Girls day out

Daryl got done with beans and had them hauled into the Co-op late last night, so today he was going to ‘open the field’ and take the first rounds of corn out. This way he can see if the combine with the corn head is working OK and he can check out the corn field. This isn’t something that he needed my help with,  so I picked up my Mom this morning and we were off to town. The weather was just perfect for a drive and so we took the long way there. It’s normally about an hour drive and I think it took us about 1 1/2 hours. First thing is to get something to eat. I know… that doesn’t really sound like shopping, but we were both hungry so we found a restaurant that we both liked and got our bellies wayyyyy too full! Next stop – the mall. Mom had some shoes that she needed to return, so I took them to return and left her to see if she could find a couple of things for herself while I was gone. She had great luck and I was happy that she found some stuff. After hanging out in the mall for awhile, off to the new craft store that just opened up in town. I didn’t need anything in the mall, but I was anxious to check out this store.  I had a coupon (no surprises here right?) and I was in business. When we walked in, Ma asked if I needed a cart. I told her that there was no way that I needed a cart and grabbed one of those plastic baskets. Yea, it didn’t take long and I knew that this was a mistake. Do you know that those baskets really don’t hold that much? I found tons of stuff that was 1/2 price in the scrap booking aisle that I just had to have! By the time I got to the check out line, the blood was almost totally gone from my right arm because of how heavy my basket had gotten. But it was some treasures and it was TONS of fun just checking out the store! Now when we got back in the car we talked about a couple of family weddings coming up next year and decided to drive back across town to see what this one department store had for dress clothes. We were going to just look and laughed on the way home when we looked in the back seat at the purchase that Ma made from that store. I swear that you have better luck finding something when you say to yourself that you don’t need it for quite awhile! But she had great luck and found the most beautiful dress top for the next wedding. After a strawberry ice cream malt, we found ourselves back home again. What a successful day we both had.

Mom and I

Mom and I

And for Daryl? Well he was able to get a couple of loads of corn out and is anxious to get back in the fields more next week. He said everything was working pretty good and hoped that it stayed that way.

Full loads of corn that will go into the dryer at our farm

Full loads of corn that will go into the dryer at our farm

And tonight he’s getting his winter coats lined up for the Viking’s football game he’s heading to tomorrow. I wonder what  I should do while he’s gone?

The photo of the day is that of our neighbors bean field. They were done combining the corn, so the past couple of days they’ve been working on the round bales that they made from the leftover corn stalks. Now I know that larger farmers need the round bales and we’ve had someone make us some also every year. But I sure am a small square bale girl myself. :) DSC_0244

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Supper

When I’m looking in the refrigerator I notice that the soup and lasagna is all gone that I made a couple of days ago. That’s a bad thing. What that means is that there’s nothing in the fridge that Daryl can quick grab and warm up when he’s done in the field for the day. So it’s time to make a couple more things. He’s working on the soybeans tonight, and I want to have whatever I make done when he comes in.

The first thing that I want to make is a Chicken Casserole. Now I know that Daryl doesn’t really like casseroles, but he does like the one that my sister makes so I’m going to give this recipe a try. It’s easy & fast.. and even more important it’s forgiving. It’s kind of like my sister’s recipe so it should be OK.

I put everything in my dutch oven but you can use a 9 x 13 pan. Spray your baking dish with an oil spray. I forgot this part and it didn’t stick, but you’re supposed to do it. See, here’s where the forgiving part started.

  • You need 2 cups of cut up chicken. It can be what you have in the fridge, deli, or just boil a couple of pieces quick. And if you have more or less than 2 cups? Well that’s OK. Into your baking container that goes.
  • Then add 1 lb of broken up spaghetti that has been cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup green pepper diced, 1/2 cup red pepper diced. If you want more or less then just do that.
  • 1 medium onion diced. Same rule as the peppers, more/less?
  • 2 cans of condensed chicken soup
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • salt & pepper
  • Mix everything together & top with cheddar cheese

    I put everything in one pan and then mixed it together

    I put everything in one pan and then mixed it together

  • Bake 350 for 4 to 50 minutes.
Into the oven it goes

Into the oven it goes

Now I confess it didn’t taste as good as when my sister makes her recipe, but it wasn’t a bad dish that you can make really fast!

And just like that it's done!

And just like that it’s done!

 

I also make some potato soup and have that in the fridge for the upcoming days. Our house is smelling pretty good about now!

The photo of the day is that of our chickens. They hate wind (Smart chickens!!) but they like the sunshine. So they all meet under our hay wagon for the afternoon.

IMG_2161

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Lunar Eclipse and starting beans – Wednesday

I knew that there was going to be a lunar eclipse of the moon tonight and seriously I was even up at 2:30 to take a look. Well, I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up, it was 2:30 in the morning is really how it went.  I remembered about the lunar eclipse and the blood moon so I opened up the front door and walked outside on the porch to take a look. I didn’t see a moon, but I did see 5 little kitties all running towards me, so I hurried up and went back inside and shut the door. I was hoping that I could catch it on the way to work instead in the morning and went to bed. And guess what? I did exactly that! When I pulled out of the driveway the moon caught my eye and honestly it was pretty cool. It was really red and after trying to figure out just why the lunar eclipses make the moon red, this is what I found (and no there will not be a test afterwards)

“A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and the full moon form a nearly straight line so that the full moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. The earth’s atmosphere extends about 50 miles above Earth’s surface. During a total lunar eclipse, when the moon is submerged in Earth’s shadow there is circular ring around Earth which the sun’s rays pass. Sunlight is made up of a range of frequencies and as the sunlight passes through the atmosphere, the green to violet portion of the light spectrum is filtered out and the reddish portion of the spectrum is least affected.” So the bottom line is that the red is the only part of the atmosphere that the sun is picking up when it shines past the earth to the moon. Well that is what I learned today! 

So you can call the moon the Blood Moon or the Harvest Moon, but either way it was still pretty cool at 6:30 in the morning.IMG_2148 Daryl was able to get in the fields tonight to start to take out the soybeans. The weather was perfect and so far so good with the equipment. I don’t want to say anymore on that so I don’t jinx it. I did a little bit of running around for him getting stuff for the field and no matter how much we complain about the cell phone bill, those phones really do come in handy when it’s field work time. I took a couple of pictures in the field tonight. The first one is Daryl just getting started to combine the soybeansIMG_2156the beans in the fieldIMG_2155 and Daryl of course after I brought out some stuff for him for the combine.IMG_2159 After the chores were done and the eggs picked, I spent some time working on getting organized for the fall . Out came and my planner and also some big ideas on organization. Yea, we’ll see how well I that all goes.

The photo of the day is that of Waffle. She’s probably the most sweetest of all the kitties and the most playful. She usually sits where no one can see her and then she comes out and ambushes them!DSCN9020

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Today’s Challenge Photo 10-8-14

OK, here is today’s photo. So far I haven’t been able to stump you guys with the photo’s but I’m thinking this week is when it’s going to happen.

No clues this time and check out the photo below. It’s a little blurry, but that adds to the challenge. DSC_0211c

 

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Mystery Photo 10-1-14

Here was the clue last weekDSC_0219a

and here was the answer! You guys are Rock Stars!! DSC_0219

This is the first year that my little pine tree has pine cones. The cows kept eating the tree in the past years and finally left it alone this year.

 

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Road Trip!

I could hear the dogs barking at something in the barn Monday morning around 4 am and at first I thought.. well I thought really bad things! Then all of a sudden I was thinking that maybe a skunk got in the barn and the dogs have got it cornered. Now normally the only bad thing about that is the smell that usually comes with skunks. But I know that Reno was due for her rabies shot and I started to panic what if it was really a skunk,  and if was sick… Well, you can about imagine how much sleep (or lack of sleep) I got after 4:00. So today I have an appointment for Reno to get her shots. My plan was to pick her up on my lunch hour and road trip it to the vet and then pick her up after work. While she was there, she was going to catch up on her shots and then get a shampoo and a style.

It was now my lunch hour and I make a mad dash home and first things first. Kaiser has chewed off Reno’s her collar and so now it’s junk Yea, no surprise here! It seems like anything he sees, he can destroy in about 5 minutes. Since I needed a collar to hook the lease on, I decided to use his on her. I thought that this was a good plan. Well I grabbed the lease from the house and down to the barn I go. When I opened the door Reno saw that I had the lease in my hand and she knew right away that someone was going somewhere and she started to get scared. She got really scared to be honest. She makes this funny clicking noise with her teeth like they are literally chattering. She then lays on the ground and won’t make eye contact. Well that’s all good, but we were going to go and that was that! I got Kaiser’s collar off by literally holding him down and then it went on her. OK, so far so good. Then the lease went on and we were heading down the road in the truck to the vet’s office. She was so good when I dropped her off and I was so proud of her. Sometimes when our dogs get scared, well let’s say it get a little messy in their office. Now fast forward to after work. I pull up in front of the office and get out with my lease. They knew the time that I was coming back and was going to have Reno ready. When I step out of the truck another car pulls up beside me and out steps this lady who looks pretty friendly. I say Hi and we both head into the office. Now out comes Reno all clean and happy when all of a sudden this lady who walked in with me went over to Reno and grabbed her face and said how beautiful ‘he’ looked and was ‘he’ happy to see her? She kept telling Reno that she just loved her and and then she was ready to take her home. OK, now this is getting a little weird. I gave the ‘I think this lady is kind of freaky’ look to the vet and she just kind of shrugged her shoulder. Finally I told the lady that this was my dog and she looked at me and then she looked at the dog and then.. her face turned RED! All of a sudden out of the corner of the room come a running another collie, but a male instead. Reno was just basking in all the petting she was getting and was sitting so nice and calm. But this other dog. Holy Cow! This other dog couldn’t keep his feet on the ground. He came a running around the corner and after he literally slid up to her, he started to jump. I swear all four feet were off the ground at once. Now I was thinking that Kaiser was naughty but I’m rethinking that statement after seeing her dog! She asked the vet how she should be disciplining her dog and the vet told her just keep doing what she was doing. Now I’m not an expert, but I’m thinking to myself that maybe she should try something else!  I think both Reno and I had the same expression on our faces when we walked out of the office this afternoon after seeing how excited that dog was. But soon we were in the truck and headed back to the farm. I snapped a quick picture of Reno when we got home just hanging out in the truck. She looks pretty sassy with her scarf on and all and I think she knows it!! IMG_2146

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Getting things cleaned up a bit

It was really nice after work today so I decided that I better get some of the stuff cleaned up around the old milk house, flower boxes on the barn, and the other buildings. I wanted to clean up the flowers that were either dying or needed to be removed before the weather turned really cold.

I started with the lily’s by the milk house and holy smokes did I end up with a mess! I’m not sure how I got so much stuff out of there, but it was one of those times when you started something and then you get about half way done and think ‘this is a really yucky job!’ But I got through it and ended up carrying the extra leaves behind the grain bins. I’m not sure who’s going to use them this fall and winter, but I bet some little creatures will!DSCN9006

I laughed when I went down to check on the flowers by the Roadhouse. I saw that I had some oats growing in that container! But it didn’t look so bad – so I left it in there. Well at least for now. DSCN9015

And finally the ones by the front door. I just couldn’t junk them out yet, so even though they’re looking pretty summery around the pumpkins and mums that I have out there also, well that’s just how it’s going to have to be for now. DSCN9017

 

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Hanging out at home

Daryl wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to get in the fields today, so we just planned on getting some things done around the farm just in case the weather got nice and he was able to start to take out the soybeans. We both have more than enough to do this time of the year, so it was OK to try to catch up a little bit.

While Daryl worked outside, I spent the time today washing and getting the canned apple jars from yesterday organized down in the cellar. I used to never rewash the jars until one time I had some pretty funky stuff growing on them and from then on, it’s always something that gets done. When I was putting away the jars I spotted my water bath canner and when I compared the two that I had, there is a difference in the sizes. Now how weird is that? Well for whatever the reason why this one is shorter is beyond me and it’s headed to Good Will where someone can use it only for pint jars.

Definitely two different sizes.

Definitely two different sizes.

I also had a chance to get some cards made. We needed a baby card DSC_0238and another sympathy cardDSC_0236 and finally belated birthday card. DSC_0235I took my time just hanging out in the scrapbook room today and it was GREAT!

Another thing that worked on today was to make some chicken soup. Daryl has a terrible cold and with leftover chicken in the fridge it sounded like a good plan. I was thinking as I was making it that nothing around the farm really goes to waste. Like I said the chicken was left over from yesterday dinner and when I took the meat off the bones, the parts of the chicken that I didn’t use got split up between the dogs and the kitties. Well to tell you really how it went, the kitties had it to start with and then the dogs came around. Yea, you can picture it right? Then after I cut up the carrots, celery, and onions,  the scraps from doing that went out to the chickens. It’s kind of cool not wasting anything and I really have to remind myself how important to do that really is. So below is my recipe for my soup today and even Daryl said that it was good!

Fast and easy chicken soup

Fast and easy chicken soup

Easy Chicken Soup

  1. Remove chicken from the bones and tear up into smaller pieces
  2. Add 2 boxes soup stock (I used 2 of the 32 ounce sizes)
  3. I added 2 carrots cut up, 2 stalks of celery cut up,1 small onion, and some garlic. Honestly, you can add as much or as little of these things that you like.
  4. Then it looked a little runny and I knew that Daryl hates homemade noodles, so I added a packet of the pasta mixes that you can usually get on sale for a $1. I had creamy chicken with noodles and into the pot it went. I left it simmer for about 30 minutes and just like that it was done.
  5. I almost forgot. I also added some butter to the soup :)

This time of the year I always want to have leftovers in the fridge and I’m thinking this soup isn’t going to last long. So I made a pan of lasagna just in case Daryl was going to be able to combine beans this afternoon. I thought that the lasagna would stick to your bones (as my Mom would always say). But the weather didn’t cooperate and he’s hoping that he’ll have a chance early this week to get started. Until then? Well I guess we’re eating soup and lasagna for awhile.

The photo of the day is that of our little kitties. It was still a little windy and cold today and the kitties like to cuddle together on the couch on the porch. I took the picture from inside our house looking out the window in the kitchen. I’m thinking that it was a good spot today for them. I’m just wondering where the 5th kitty was? DSC_0230

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Today is apple day!

I didn’t need an alarm clock this morning to know that I better get up and get something done with the day. I originally had plans to go on a wine tour with some of the girls, but decided that I better get work done around the house and also something done with the apples in our backyard.

Our over achieving apple trees

Our over achieving apple trees

First things first, start the laundry. OK, I confess, I really like doing laundry and when I’m in the house I try to find something to wash. Is that weird? Oh, well if it is weird,  it’s comforting to hear the washer going for me and I’m thinking I’m too old to change now.

Next – make sure that I get everything ready for canning apples. I went down to my stash in the cellar to get the water bath kettle and the other stuff. After I got everything upstairs  it looked like I was going to be set. The kettle must have been my Mother in law’s because it seemed not to be as rusty and beat up as mine. Well, score right? This is how my kitchen looked just before I got started.

All ready to go!

All ready to go!

My goal was to make not only apply pie/dessert filling,  but also some apple sauce. With the over abundance of apples that our trees produced this year, this shouldn’t be an issue. I have an old apple peeler that I use and I am so grateful to have it. I know that there is a challenge that people are doing on Facebook these days on what 3 things they are grateful for every day and do you know what I would say that mine would be today? First my apple peeler (it’s a given right?) The second would be my dishwasher. I think I did 4 loads of dishes today! I use it not only for dirty dishes, but also it has a sanitize on it for jars. And the last one? Well for Daryl of course. He got the tractor and bucket out for me in between doing his farming stuff and I picked some of the ‘good’ apples from the middle of the trees that I couldn’t reach with the ladder. DSCN8996OK, let’s get back to these apples that I was cooking up today. I used up 2 bags of apples for the pie/dessert filling and even though it doesn’t really look like I have much at the end, the apples are just packed in the jars and it’ll taste really good around February I bet! Now for the apple sauce. This meant another bag of apples and looking on line for a recipe. I combined two recipes that I found and I was in business. First to quarter the apples and start them cooking in my dutch oven. DSCN8997Then the one recipe calls out for brown sugar and lemon juice. Neither one of these ingredients sound bad – so in they go.DSCN8999 It called out for 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar and 3 Tbsp of lemon juice, but it didn’t say how many apples that you were supposed to use. After I put in the brown sugar, I compared it to the picture on the web and it didn’t quite look the same. So what the heck and in went more brown sugar. After it cooked for quite awhile, I put it in my food processor to get the rest of the apple chunks smooth. Now I have a confession. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten apple sauce before. I know that this seems almost impossible right? If I did eat it, I sure don’t remember it. So I thought today is a good day to start and I gave it a taste. And you know what? It wasn’t bad at all!  Maybe it was the amount of brown sugar that went into it, but it wasn’t bad. I guess you can still learn a few things when you’re in your 50′s right?  :)  Into the water bath the jars go and I realized earlier that this wasn’t my ‘normal’ kettle and it must have been my mother in laws.  How I knew for sure was because it was smaller than mine. Now this doesn’t make much sense why they all wouldn’t be the same size right? Well I had to put so much water in it to just cover the tops of the quart jars that man oh man I had a water mess by the stove when it started to boil. And with mine, I always have room to spare. No big deal, but with the apple sauce a much better plan was to use smaller jars. Now you can see why I was so grateful for the dishwasher right? After a long day of being in the kitchen, I was finally done. I was a little disappointed that I only had 20 jars sitting on the counter, but then I also always set my expectations a little too high when it comes to canning.

Here is my end resultDSCN9001

 

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Goals

I think everyone needs to set some type of  goals and at the beginning of the year I try to set a goal of ‘something’ every month. Now some of them are big goals, like running in a 10K in September. And some of them are not so big, like getting some photo books done in November. But with the weather turning so fast, I’m really concerned about my October goal. My October goal is to paint some of the buildings and fences outside. The reason that I’m a little worried is because they are actually using the four letter word today – snow! Yea, SNOW! I am so not ready for this yet. My painting outside won’t take that long, but it will take probably a week to get what I want done after work. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how this whole thing plays out. But I’m hoping that the weather will turn again and we will have a nice and somewhat warm October.  They were right though about a cold front moving in tonight. When I went outside to lock up the chickens in just some shorts and a t shirt tonight, I made a mad dash for the house because it was pretty chilly.  My poor little cherry tomatoes are just starting to ripen so out comes the old sheet that I keep around to cover the plants up and they’re all covered up for the night.  I hope the crazy wind doesn’t blow it off of them.

This is what the sky looked like on the way to the farm tonight. Yup, winter is coming.IMG_2145

And the photo of the day is Earl. Isn’t he cute?

Earl and No Ears just hanging out tonight in the cow yard

Earl and No Ears just hanging out tonight in the cow yard.

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