Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sir Mouse!

So after the before mentioned mouse was caught in the trap, I heard another mouse…or thought I did (this was last week).  I sat up in bed, reached for the flashlight, and J is like sit down, you’re imagining it because you heard one a few nights ago.  But, in his infinite wisdom of understanding me, said, I’ll set another trap so it can catch this mouse.  He humors me so well.  He and I both knew I wouldn’t get to sleep hearing this little critter around the house.  But alas, the trap set empty for a week or so.  Then Sunday night, J goes to feed Gunnar his food, and I hear this *$@!*&(+.... The mouse had crawled into Gunnar’s food container (a big Rubbermaid tote thing) and couldn’t get back out.  J scooped up the mouse when he scooped up the food—we call that extra—LOL.  Anyway, I run in the mud room hearing this outburst, and say “I wasn’t hearing things after all—look at that mouse!”  LOL, so we took the whole container out to the barn and let the cats have “mouse a petit” .  So the moral of the story, I don’t really know if there is one....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farm Wives

So the other day at the gym, I overheard this woman talking about how her husband wanted her to retire and work with him.  So what does he do--well he farms about 700 acres.  Bam!  At that point, I knew I had a bond with this woman.  Skip ahead 5 seconds and we were sharing stories about moving machinery around, burnt dinners, hauling hay, and a menagerie of other tales of what makes farm wife-life so exciting.  As I left, I thought how amazing is that in that brief second we had a rough idea of what each of us had been through (true I'm still a major green-hand), and immediately sympathised and respected the other.  Maybe its because not everybody can do it, and we kind of know that.  Maybe city-wives have the same type of bond as well--I really don't know.  About everyday though, I am blessed with this network of fabulous females, that understand and support each other.  Whether its in person (shout-out to my friends on spencer rd), on the web (ruralwomenrock.com), or just the ones at the cafe.  Its a true blessing!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So Everyone I know....

has had a horrible, skip ahead, is it Friday already, is it happy hour yet--oh, no it's only 10:00-crap, kind of week.  For whatever reason, the stars must not be aligned or something.  It's not a full moon, it's not any Holiday season, who knows....so the highlight of my week was food, and this recipe can cure a bad week (add a bottle of your favorite alcohol and you will forget the week altogether).

Here goes, my good friend K, knows I LOVE red velvet cake, something about the rich, almondy, hint of chocolate, cream cheese goodness that just whispers "Oh Barbie..don't you want a piece?  Look at me mmm sitting alone in the kitchen"
So K sent me this blog recipe...and let me tell you it does not disappoint.  Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake by bunsinmyoven.com.  It is awesome!  And so easy too, I think next time I'll layer in some mini-chocolate chips between the cake and the cheesecake part--because what doesn't make awesome, awesomer but by adding chocolate?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOUPer Recipe

So I came across this recipe in Taste of Home magazine and totally had to try it...so delicious!  And I had made fresh bread, so grilled cheese sandwiches were the bomb with it!  Sidebar:  I believe that the Devil dines on:  Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, homemade grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fried chicken (with mashed potatoes--with gravy over everything), triple fudge brownies with cream cheese icing, etc etc....

You need:
1 lb browned sausage
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Ragu)
1 can rinsed/drained northern beans
1/2 of the pasta jar in water

I added:
1 grated carrot
chopped red onion
red wine

Add all ingredients in a pot, simmer.  And let me tell you--it is to die for...so good!  With the grilled cheese sandwiches, I'm talking the kind you pull apart and the cheese strings between the pieces, it was ummmm good!

Random fact--J and I both highly dislike roast and pepperoni pizza. Its fabulous, if I had to make roast I wouldn't have the slightest idea how, and if he had to have a pepperoni pizza, I'd have to fix something for me.  But God put us together for various reasons--and I add these 2 to the list  :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Great Finds

So J and I have very varied interests--hello Whitetail Nation on Outdoor Channel vs Sex and the City reruns, but there is one fun thing we like to do together--antiquing!  We both love to go to random flea markets and antique malls and look for great finds.  True, I stop at vintage clothes and he notices the sausage stuffing machine (I totally missed that--I still don't know what one looks like, but apparently it is the perfect addition to his meat grinder and food saver), but we both love it!  And we're great shopping partners too--we don't have to be Velcro and stay together the whole time, we both wander around, finding each other randomly to point out our great finds.  And yes, J does look at some of my vintage choices with a questionable uh-huh...until he sees the whole outfit put together, then is like, oh yeah that works.  Case in point--I found this fabulous red 60's dress with bell sleeves and a Chinese collar that came to mid thigh.  I'm thinking--so cute, boots, long pendant necklace...I'm so channeling my inner Joan Holloway.  J is saying I can't believe you're trying on something in the middle of the flea market booth...oh well.  Its fabulous!  Can't wait to wear it!  The label is Gay Gibson, which according to the Vintage Fashion Guild was from KC--just like me!  Vintage Fashion Guild-Gay Gibson.  Oh well, cheers!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beer Cheesey Pototoes

So yesterday I was creating meals in my mind, and thought about Beer Cheese Soup (which is so delicious!  Mmm good) anyways, that could probably be transferred to a scalloped potato dish right?  Well I tried, and it was delicious!  Pretty quick and easy too.  Plus I made it during the afternoon, didn't cook it, just threw it in the fridge, and when J came in from doing chores, just threw it in the oven.

Here's what I used:
1 can Campbells cheddar cheese soup
1 grated carrot
1/2 grated apple
1/2 cup beer
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 big baker potatoes

(I don't know if the apple is necessary, but I had it, so why not throw it in)

Slice the potatoes up thin.  Mix together the other ingredients, then add the potatoes, put in a casserole dish and bake at 350.  Bam!  It was delicious!  When I make it again, I'll add onions too, just didn't have any yesterday  :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Basic Life Skills

So I was reading this article online by Ms. Suzanne Perez Tobias Link, and thought it was a great article and thought I'd share (and add my own 2 cents).  Plus I've had some encounters lately with the not-so-with-it folks and really just want to vent on it.

--Forms--everyone should know how to fill out a job application, bank loan, W-4, and a 1040EZ.  If you are old enough to be making money honey, you are old enough to figure out how to fill out a W-4!  And unless your mommy and daddy accompany you all through life, you will have to figure it out sometime.  A big THANK-YOU to Field Kindley High School Consumer Economics that it was a requirement to fill out a 1040EZ.  I have done my own taxes my entire life, and it boggles my mind those people that rely on others to help them fill out basic forms. 

--Reconcile a bank account (now whether you choose to or just look at your statement is your own business), but when a transaction says "cleared" you should know what that means.  And know what the routing number vs the account number is on the check.

--Phone etiquette.  As in "I need speak with someone regarding "insert issue" please."  Or leaving a voicemail with the needed information "Name, number I can be reached at, I called regarding blah."  Instead of just voice-vomiting to the person who answers the phone, or voicemail. 

Ok, I'll step down off of my soapbox...and I'm sorry if I offend anyone with my rants--just my thoughts  :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Child Labor

First thanks to everyone that's been commenting  :-)  If I was more tech savvy I could learn to comment back--LOL.

So this weekend, one of my cousins brought his kids out to the farm to run and play and be creative and get dirty--wait isn't that what all kids are supposed to do?  LOL.  Anyway, J was building fence and welding up the rods and whatever else he was doing (see pic below--looks pretty good huh?).  Well the youngest boy (he's about 5) was all excited about the welding hat and what was going on, and trying to help pick up rod (which was about 2-3 times the size of him).  I asked J, isn't there anything he could help with?  Sure enough there were 6 inch pieces laying around that had been chopped off that needed to be picked up.  I told E, you want to help--see those pieces, pick them up and put them in Uncle J's truck.  Boy he was a fast little mover--the expression on his face was priceless.  He thought he was one of the "big boys" helping with the fence.  The video games, DVDs's, movies, TV, etc were forgotten the moment he threw one of those pieces in the truck.  It was great! 

I do think its important that kids get to work and feel some sense of accomplishment, however small the project maybe, they will learn from it.  With all the talk of kids having ADD, ADHD, learning problems, erratic behavior, I think the simplest solution would be actual work and creative play.  *Not to minimize learning disabilities by any means*  Those kids made up games and played outside for hours, and the best thing--they want to come back --I say bring it on--there's always plenty of outdoors to spread around  :-)

J is a great welder!  I'm married to such a handy-man  :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barbie Secrets in the Kitchen

So I've garnered some tricks in the kitchen and just thought I'd share, if you have some feel free to add  :-)

--When measuring out peanut butter or butter--it always sticks to the measuring cup right?  Unless you rinse the measuring cup with water first--then it just slides right out--and there's not enough water to amount to anything.

-Same goes with measuring honey or molasses--I always heat up the tablespoon or teaspoon, the heat just makes the honey/molasses just slide right off.

-Not spraying metal pans with Pam. I heard this one at one of those home shows where there's the crazy person with a headset trying to sell knives or coffee cleaners or shammy clothes, etc, well this one said that there's something in the Aerosol that reacts in the oven and creates the orange funk that gets on metal pans after they've been used for a while.  Well I don't know if its totally true or not, but I haven't done it since, and my pans are in great shape.  I just spray a paper towel then swipe it in the pan.

-The easiest way to clean a microwave?  Put a cup of vinegar in a glass measuring cup, heat on high for 90 seconds or so, let the microwave sit in the vinegar steaminess for a while, then when you go in there with a sponge all the crazy funk just comes right off.

I'm sure there are others, but that's some  :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

More recipes

So here are a couple of EASY recipes that I came up with and thought I'd share:

No name casserole
you need:
1 lb of hamburger (uncooked)
3/4 - a full bag of noodles (I used whole wheat)
1 jar of pasta sauce
choice of seasonings
I also crushed some black olives and threw in some onions but I'm sure it would be fine without it.  Oh I also threw in some red wine--lol!

Take a 9x13 casserole dish, put in the hamburger, noodles, pasta sauce, and the extras.  Cover with foil and cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  And that's it.  The hamburger cooks, the noodles cook, everything tastes great.  And probably took less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Stuffed Sweet potatoes

You need:
1 sweet potato for each person
browned sausage
packaged stuffing butter

Cook the sweet potatoes in foil, and when they're not quite done, pull out and scoop out the centers, so it kind of looks like a canoe.  Put some sausage in there, top with stuffing and a pat or 2 of butter, wrap back up with foil and throw back in the oven.  And let me tell you, the flavors are divine!  The stuffing cooks because of the butter, and the sausage and sweet potatoes go fabulous together.  I'm trying this tonight just in a casserole dish and also adding cranberries and pecans---doesn't that sound good? 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snakes on Plane Doesn't have Sh*t On the Snakes in Our Basement

So yes, we have snakes in the basement.  J told me he did before I moved out here to BFE, but I thought he was joking....well, the joke was on me.  The first real memory I can have of a snake visitation on the farm was after I had moved here, I was pulling up weeds around the house (J was not quite the "keep weeds down around the house" person--I just don't think he sees it--I'm positive he doesn't see it--and he's better with acres than a yard, if there were weeds in a 60 acre field of soybeans--he would notice and be calling up the Coop to come have them take care of it, little weeds around the house not so much) so out I am pulling weeds, and of course its a Sunday and he's a work, and what should appear--a big black snake!  I don't know who was more scared me or the snake.  I'm sure the snake had just been chilling in these weeds that were growing along the house for a while, and I was disturbing his little home.  And it just so happened that J's Dad was up, so I run out to the barn and am like T--there's a snake!  I did not know at that time that he wasn't a big fan of snakes either.  But he played my knight in shining armor with a pitchfork and hauled it out to the cornfield. 

The basement snakes are a little different and thankfully they are smaller.  There are blue racers (they tend to get a little pissy when you disturb them), garter snakes, some other kinds, really I don't look at them for too long.  I just do not like them at all.  They're sneaky and slither around when you least expect it.  Like when I'm home alone and have to go to the basement to get something out of the freezer.  Ugh.  Nothing like walking down and hearing the tshhhhh sound of a snake.  When its high snake season I won't even go down there, I make J go down and stock me up with all kinds of meat so I don't have to go down.  And of course he says it keeps the mice down....I have yet to see a snake with a little distended belly showing they ate something...hmph!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Pitter Patter of Little Feet

So you know when you wake up in the middle of the night and you have that feeling, like there’s something new, there’s something there that was there before, you and your husband are both aware of it.  That’s right folks—we have a mouse!  So we keep little Jose’s food in our room above his kennel.  I wake up a little after 3 hearing the tearing of paper, and immediately think a mouse is stealing my lil man’s food!  Grab the flashlight, shine it and sure enough out skampers this little mouse. J is like WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!  HOW DID YOU HEAR THAT?!!  I say there’s a mouse in our house!!  So much for the idea that the snakes in the basement keep the mice away!  So the mouse skampers off and I go lay back down, only to hear the little pitter patter of the mouse feet (we have wood floors) up and down the hallway.  He was trying to get in the laundry room where Gunnar’s food is!  Oof!  Out I hop again with the flashlight chasing this little guy down.  He runs away…only to come back into our room again going after Jose’s food!  This guy is determined!  So I take the bag (it was unopened) and dump the whole thing in a Rubbermaid, hoping it will go downstairs and leave us alone.  Nope!  I could hear him up and down the hallway, climbing on the kennel, knocking over the measuring cup for Jose’s food, skimpering here, skimpering there, climp, climp, climp, scratch, scratch, scratch, knaw, knaw, etc.  Ugh!  I wish I had J’s tractor ears sometimes!  The soundtrack of “A Mouse Goes to the Farm” was not restful or sleep-inducing. 
So I let Jose out this morning, and there is Catman looking up at me like “Momma I know there’s a delicious little mouse in the house—let me in, let me in”…don’t worry Catman—once this little mouse is in a nice trap—it will be bon appetit for you  J

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sir Hugh

So last spring, I was able to go with J to the Oleen Brothers sale.  It was quite interesting being in the arena and hearing the helpers yell out yep, yeah, etc etc.  I didn't even know who was bidding, it was just the slightest nod of the head from the bidder, that the helpers saw and continued on.  I don't know how people can just tip their head and that's $6,000, $4,000, etc.  Kind of anti-climatic, if there's big money, a big show should go with it, oh well.  J was bidding on this Son of Son of Prize Angus Something or other, and won, and what's the best place to bring a new bull?  Our place--LOL.  He's kind of weird too, jumpy, like he really doesn't know what to make of me (maybe the Oleen Brothers don't strut around in pink boots like I do), so anyways, I named him Hugh...he's the Dolly Parton of Angus bulls.  Then he went away for the summer to romance some ladies...and now he's back...and he still doesn't know what to make of my pink boots  :-)

Here are the rest of the steers, they had to check out the boots too...or maybe they just thought I had some grain!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What is Hospitality?

So one of the areas that we (J and I) are blessed with is that we both have a heart of hospitality.  If someone shows up at our door at dinner time, J will offer them a beer, and I will set an extra plate at the table, no big worries, no big adjustments.  We both have this our home is your home policy, and welcome guests anytime.  On New Year's Eve, more than one person was surprised to see us out, and asked "You guys aren't having a big party?"  LOL.  We love to host parties and have people over--friends, family, friends of friends, neither of us care.  It's amazing and a blessing that we both have the same "entertainment" style.  It would be different if one of us didn't like having our home interrupted by friends, dogs, hunters, neighbors, etc.  To us hospitality is sharing what we have and always having an open door.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Good Book and A Great Bag!

So I think I've mentioned I love to read...and that my favorite author is Daphne du Maurier...so good!  If you haven't read any of her stuff, let me know, I can lend you one--they are fabulous!  But anywhos, a book came out that said "written in the style of Daphne in Rebecca".  Oh I'm hooked, sign me up!  So I picked up a copy of The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson and was not disappointed.  She is definitely a fan of du Maurier's and writes similar to how she did.  The book is very good and I do recommend it.  It doesn't hold a "Lantern"  LOL to Rebecca, but its worth reading.

And I got a fabulous book bag from my sister in law, you can read her blog (and see pics of her adorable children) at ChasingCherubim, seriously they have some cute kids! Anyways, she got my name in the stocking exchange, and this is what she got me (along with other things):

Isn't that the cutest logo you've ever seen?  I love how the lime in the martini glass is a little barn.  The saying is perfect, the whole thing is just awesome...now I just need it on a shirt, bumper sticker, fat pants, letterhead, etc, etc.  LOL

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

White House Black Market

So J won a $500 Bradley Fair gift card from work.  (For those of you not in the Wichita area--its a very nice shopping area with WHBM, Chicos, GAP, boutique stores, etc).  And lets just say that J has as much business in Bradley Fair as I do in Cabelas...so basically I got a shopping spree  :-)

And I fell in love....with White House Black Market.  Their clothes fit me so well.  There is nothing like standing in the looking glass and feeling like a million bucks.  The pants are long to--which is a bonus for me!  Most of the time pants hit me ankle length, or just long enough I can't wear big shoes--and who doesn't want to not wear big shoes?  LOL.  Now it is a little pricey--or I'm just cheap, but when you have a $500 gift card why not splurge?  Now I just have to watch for sales  :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dennis to Doris

So things have been pretty quiet on the farm (minus the hustle and bustle of wrapping presents, baking goods, loading up packages--making sure to not confuse one families load of gifts with another, baking more goods, etc).  What a minute, why did I say quiet?  Its been a bustle of activity--inside.  Outside, its been pretty blah.  The calves have grown accustomed to not having their mommies around, and Dennis wasn't looking quite as pissed as he used to.  Wasn't as in past tense?  Yep, this weekend all the bull calves and the bull got loaded up to go to Grandpa's house.  I don't really know how Dennis will react when he finds out that he's about to become a Doris.  Something tells me I should go by and visit to make sure he's alright.  I'm pretty sure that he's going to be looking for a fence to bust through.  LOL.

Anyways hope your Christmas season was full of blessings and Joy!  Happy 2012!