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  :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Luau Burritos

So the hubs and I both love to entertain and have people over, and over Memorial Day had our annual Luau.  Luau burritos?  Well they really could be any get-together burritos, but here's how its done...and they were delicious!

Leftover meat (I used brisket and turkey)
Leftover baked beans (dip or pan style)
Leftover corn and tomato dip salsa stuff
Shredded cheese

Mix it all together, add a dab of taco seasoning, wrap in tortilla shells and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so.  They were fab--and didn't taste like they came from a luau either  :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fancy Nancy Was a Cow

Fancy Nancy Was a Cow
Fancy Nancy wasn't a sow
Fancy Nancy had a big bump
Then she became a pain in the rump


So I'm out doing my little rounds talking to the critters the other day and see one of J's cows (Nancy) looking funny and not symmetrical--she had a huge bump on the left side of her chuck/shoulder area.  And her brisket area (like the underchin on a woman--that part that just jiggles no matter what you do) was bigger.  Hmmm--that doesn't look normal, and she's just standing there looking like a drunk person trying not to fall over.  I head over to find J, and say I think she has a tumor (in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice).  So we head over there, and at first he doesn't see the tumor until she turns around, then oh my!  Yeah that's not normal.  So we call the vet who did the c-section see blog: Florence Nightenhoof; and he comes out the next day.  He takes one look at her and goes, yep she ruptured her blah blah lymph node, we'll have to drain it.   We get her in the shoot, and he makes the cut and out comes all this funk.  Ooh was it funky...eek.  So now she has a hole that will heal but we have to flush out every other day.  I will get a picture of her soon, but what woman wants her picture taken and plastered on the Internet with a swollen underchin???

I have to give props to the vet, Preston Hickman, if you are in the central Kansas area, I highly recommend him.  He doesn't dilly-dally around, he sees the problem, and takes care of it.  And he explains what he's doing in a normal, non-condescending way.  Not like "you mean you didn't know where the upper sciatic lymph node was on a cow?"  But in a real person-to-person we're going to take care of this animal together way.  Totally impressed by him.  Hope we don't need him again for a while, but its good to have that safety net.