Monday, February 28, 2011

4tunate to Find a Great Meatloaf Recipe for the Crock Pot

Yeah Leah!  I have another contribution for Hunk of Meat Monday, thanks to my new friend over at 4tunate  This incredible Quatromama, as she calls herself, is a gal right from here in  Indiana, and I love the stories about her four little men who just turn four!  Please go check her and give her some love.  Anyone with four boys needs it, but a momma with four boys who are newly four years old has my total respect!

Here is her recipe.  It's kind of messy to make meatloaf AND take pictures, so there are only just a few.  Tall Guy LOVED this recipe, so did I.  Tink warmed up to it, and Bear.....well, let's just say hamburger is not her first choice on the menu, but she DID eat her share.  Sigh.....cooking for children can sure have its days!

Easy Crock Pot Meatloaf
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 3/4 c Milk
  • 3/4 c Uncooked Oats
  • 1 T Dehydrated Onions
  • 1/2 t Ground Sage
  • 1/2 c Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/3 c Salsa
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 c Ketchup (topping)

Directions:

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  



2. Form a loaf and place in a crock pot (you might try spraying it with cooking spray or using a crock pot liner).
3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
4. Add ketchup on top for remaining 30 minutes.
5. Dinner is served!

Sorry folks, not my best picture-taking moment, but it really was yummy, and after the next day, there was none to be found.  


Thanks again to Quatromama at 4tunate for the great recipe.  I am headed back to find more!


YUMMMM!  Miss Leah has a great recipe for a casserole that reminds me of my favorite sandwich to munch on as I strolled down the streets of Paris, France many moons ago!  You have to go check it out!


 
Hunk of Meat Mondays


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walking with The King...but It's Not Elvis!

I did it!  I made it back on my treadmill!  I didn't want to do it.  February has me in it's nasty grasp, all gray and gloomy and cold, with occasional teases of warmth and sun, which just makes the gray stuff worse.

Tall Guy actually made me breakfast after Tink and Bear hustled off to the bus.  His one condition, GET ON THE TREADMILL!  He's good about being my coach, even when I don't want one but still need one.

So off I went to the very cool sun room (because of aforementioned weather conditions), stuck in my ear thingies, and thumbed through the music choices on my music thingy.  It's not an IPod, but a Zune??/ made by Sandisc or something like that.  Anywho.... I chose this lovely lady, and she made my walk an extremely happy one:




I LOVE CAROLE KING!!!!!!  I have loved her music for a very long time; I was nine when Tapestry came out, and for a girl craving music to sing to, she was IT!

If you are better informed than I am in the ways of digital music, I strongly urge you to download this album for music that will make you sing and smile and feel good about yourself.  Even on a dreary day in February.

"You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes, you will
That you're beautiful as you feel

Waiting at the station with a workday wind a-blowing
I've got nothing to do but watch the passers-by
Mirrored in their faces I see frustration growing
And they don't see it showing, why do I?"

Now try not to smile after listening to these words and this lovely, soulful voice!  I dare you!

If the music is still not cutting it, hop over to see all the beautiful pictures Miss Lauren posted from her dreamy cruise to sun-kissed beaches.   The big stinkers had a wonderful time while we were shoveling back snow back here at home.  No seriously, I am so glad they were able to get away and enjoy the sun for a week.  They needed it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Walking with Bacon

Saturday at our house is also know as "Bacon Day," named by Bear because she loves herself some bacon.  AND she is picky about it!!!!  I stumbled upon her favorite bacon at Sam's, and now nothing else is acceptable to her, and I have to say the rest of us agree. 

You can't tell with this first pic as well as the next one, but these regular strips, halved, came out about the size of bacon bits!

See the difference between the two bacons now???? BTW  I totally LOVE cooking bacon on my George Foreman grill.  It ROCKS at making bacon as healthy as it can be!
Here's the brand from Sam's that my Little Bear (and Momma and Pappa Bear too) cannot live without.
Now after all this, I need to go take stock of the freezer to see if I need to pick up more.  It's a major sin to be out of good bacon on Bacon Day!   Enjoy!


Hunk of Meat Mondays


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Short and Sweet~ Forrest Gump Style!

Life choices are just like choosing a pair of jeans!  Are your going to be a bit uncomfortable and wear the smaller size or choose the pair that fits you with a bit of room to spare? 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Walking with the Lt. Governor: An Important Message to Hoosiers!



Whew!  What a week this has been.  I totally concur with Miss Leah's assessment of the week (except my birthday is not for two more months.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEAH!) over at Beyer Beware.  On Wednesday, I started my time in the van with a trip to the Big Town so Tink could have her expander checked out.  Yep, She has some orthodontia going on to correct a crooked jaw and some upper front teeth seems to have an aversion to coming in straight and in an acceptable line.  Down there, checked, and then back to school, a 50 mile round trip.

Once I dropped her off, I scooted on back to the house to get ready for my trip to the REALLY Big Town and a round table meeting with our Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.  How cool is that?  I'm up at the top of the picture, apparently thinking I was a whole lot taller that I am.  I even had pretty good heels on!  Dang!  She met with around 30 bloggers from the state to talk about what we are passionate about in our posts.  AG was well represented with Leah, Jeannette, Beth, Sherry, and I there.  Mommies with special needs children, a knack for saving money, a passion for health and fitness, and a desire to tell their own stories also attended.

I shared one of my concerns with the Lt. Governor, and I want to share it with you as well.  Many areas in Indiana DO NOT have access to high speed internet OR sustainable/dependable cell phone coverage.  Having access to high speed internet is very important to farmers from a marketing and learning aspect. Even more important on my radar is having cell phone coverage.  There are several parts of our farm ground that do not have cell phone coverage, and this is a serious safety issue.  This fall, we had many fires spring up because of the dry weather and high winds.  It is extremely stressful to see smoke outside your window, call your husband on his cell phone to check on him, and NOT be able to contact him.  We are talking potential loss of crops, machinery, and life, and it scares the bejesus out of me!

There is something we can do, though.  We have to SQUEAK!!!!  The Lt. Governor set up the Indiana Office of Technology.  According to the data this office has, 92% of Indiana has access to high speed internet.  I'm not sure how your connection is, but I know of several families still on dial-up!  We need to let this office know of areas and/or residents that do not have this access.  Here is what her Deputy Secretary sent to me:

Below is the link to the questionnaire. Once you are on the page, click “Indiana Broadband Service Questionnaire.” The page will also give you some info about this five year project. The Federal Government is releasing their first report on the initial findings from all states including Indiana. 



Now we have a way to be heard, but I would like for everyone to go one more step for me, for all of us out in rural areas and even some small towns who do not have dependable cell phone service.  PLEASE also let our Lt. Governor know that this issue is serious and important.  We have to SQUEAK even more loudly on this issue.  Contact your legislators and move on up the ladder so we can keep our homes and our families safe.  

I don't usually get so serious on here, but I truly believe if we give our voices to this message, it WILL be heard.  We don't usually like squeaky wheels on the farm, but this is the one exception.  
I'm off to send e-mails, write a letter to the editor, and visit the the questionnaire to let my voice be heard on this issue.  I hope you will help me spread the news to the people who read your blog.  Thanks!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Walking with a Smile

Friends are the best!  We all need them, and I hope everyone reading this blog has at least one person's face pop into your mind.  I was able to spend time tonight with a close group of my favorite people.  We taught together for sixteen years, and it's been nine more years since I left my friends to live my life on the farm and have Tink.  That's 25 years!  I just realized it!  Our Silver Anniversary!  (Math is NOT my strong suit!)  I love my life now, this wonderful life that my friends helped me find, but in finding this new life, I chose to give up my professional life, and the people who smiled at me five days a week for  3/4 of the year were no longer just down the hall.

Friends are so important, and the wonderful thing about these friends is that we don't have to see each other every day.  It is one of those friendships that will pick up whenever at least two of us are together.  We laugh together, and we get each other.  I miss them, and they miss me.  I miss that part of me that was a teacher and interacted with high school kids every day.  I am glad, though, that I did not have to give up my friends.  They are such a precious gift.  I need to make more time to spend time with my friends, those I saw tonight and those I haven't seen in a while.  E-mail and Facebook are great, but we all need to take the time for some "face time" with our friends.

Here's to all of us who have friends and who are friends.  That makes us all very special people! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walking Through the New Laundry Room

One of our domino projects is the Laundry Room, a.k.a the old entrance to our home.  We had a new wall to the west where it connects to the new garage.  The old entrance now goes out to the sun room.  My goal for this room was to brighten it up, so we used the paint from the sun room.  I know it's all a bit on the tan/beige side, bit I plan on covering a good part of the walls with pictures once I'm to that point.  Believe me, though, just the paint made this room an entirely different place to work! 

See?





Thanks to the crazy lighting at 5:00 a.m., the room has a more yellowish quality to it that it would if you were standing beside me.  'Course then you would see my in my p.j.s and I might have to keep you here forever to protect that little secret!  That blank wall in the past picture will be home to a storage closet Tall Guy is going to work on, hopefully before planting season.  The days are flying off the calendar. 

I'm off today for a very interesting meeting in the Very Big Town.  Can't wait to tell you more.  Of course this meeting is at 3:00, and our County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is back this way at 6:30.  Looks like I am going to be driving with the crazy people to get my tail back home on time!

Dang!  I had better go dig out some nice "Go To Meeting" clothes.  I don't wear them too often.  Hope I can find something that fits, or I will have to do some much dreaded power shopping at Circle Center before 3:00!

Have a great day and enjoy the warming weather!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Labor of Love (??) Happy Valentine's Day!

So far this year I have not been as diligent at posting as I was in 2010.  One might think that life on the farm would slow down after harvest, I was even silly enough to hope for that, but a little remodeling project has kept us hopping in between holidays, snow storms, and the regular goings on in a house with 6 & 8 year old girls.

Even though it's not done, I really want to show you our sun room.   It all started back on February 3, 2010 when we signed on to build an attached garage and sun room to our home.

I need to stop and tell/remind you that this house is house Tall Guy has lived in his entire life.  His folks and before them both set of his grandparents lived here.  According to the carving in our closet, plaster was poured up there in 1920, so we are working with an almost 100 year old home.  A mere youngster by comparison to some home.  But..........

One of the "fun" things about working on an older home is there is no such thing as a "standard-sized" anything, and that includes windows and doors and wiring and plumbing.  Here are a few before pics taken 2-3-10:

 I helped pull the outer layer (lath is the right term I think!  I would ask Tall Guy, but he's asleep in his chair!  Shhhhhhhh!)  OH!  There is a story to tell in just a bit, but note that we moved our hot tub up on the new slab for the sun room before we actually built the room.  We thought we were being pretty darned smart because  the hot tub measured 7'10" and the patio door is supposed to be 8 foot.  Stay tuned for the rest of that story!


 The room is finished on the outside, now to get the inside done!
 Time to paint!
 Now time for the tile!  We do have the treadmill out there, and the view is great!
 Here it is from the outside with the attached garage.

The rest of the story with the hot tub is that once we had it somewhat settled, we discovered it had a crack in it.. UGH!  If you look at that last picture, you can see the hot tub in the middle of the room.  It's final destination is in the left corner, but we started talking with the spa company and came up with a plan to trade in our old tub and replace it with a newer, and tad bit smaller one.  The big catch???? Once the patio doors were installed, we realized we do not have enough room to take out the hot tub without taking out one section of the wall!

DOUBLE DANG!

I have good news, though.  Tall Guy talked with the head spa people who wanted our old one to refurbish, and told them of the crazy things we would have to do to our sun room to get that tub out (and the $$ to do it!), and the dear man said we could scrap it.  WOOOO!

Obviously, you don't have to tell my guy twice to do something.  He started in yesterday, and I will show you that mess with the finished room soon~!

Meanwhile, the girls are waiting patiently to lounge around in the sun room.  Tink enjoyed a relaxing moment with a surprisingly cooperative and affectionate Pumpkin, aka Fat Cat. 


 Then Little Bear got into one of her Martha Stewart moments, and started decorating everything in her very own unique way.


The use of a parasol was a nice touch, I thought.  When the sun comes in, it's very toasty out there!
 
I picked out and ordered furniture last week.  So while we will not be toasting our love in our new hot tub tonight, this labor of love is starting to have a shiny light at the end of it all.  Whew!

OH!  Do you know that once you start remodeling, there is a domino effect in the rest of the house?  Next up is the laundry room and a few other areas!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Walking on over to Indiana Family of Farmers

Howdy everyone!

Would you like a peek into the romance between Tall Guy and me?  With a certain famous Oklahoma blogger's book coming out, I thought I would take a stab at telling our story.  Stop by Indiana Family of Farmers for a page out of our book.

Stay tuned for more blogs about remodeling, stuff in Tink's mouth, and fun at school!  It's a crazy life, and I am so trying to keep up with it all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OOOOOH AHHHHHHH

I wanted to share my pretty picture with you all!  I did not do one thing to it in the editing program!  If these were all diamonds, my Valentine's day would be set!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Walking through Snow

Yes I survived all the snow, but I can't believe I haven't posted in almost 5 days!  DANG!  Where did that time go? 

Meet Maxine and Mabel.  They stuck around for the Big Snow!

January 30
 February 1
 February 2
 February 4
 February 5
Miss Bear is playing Queen of the Mountain thanks to Tall Guy's efforts to clean out the drive and barn lot. 
 Yeah, I know it's just a sparrow, but at least he/she posed!
 This is a pretty picture, but in the world of farmers, cattle farmers especially, it's important to keep an eye on how high the drifts get near the pasture fences.  It's like Mother Nature's very own Get Out of Jail Free card!  NOT FUN when you have to go chase them back in!!!


While the Perfect Storm was not so perfect it still dumped enough to mess with us for three days!  This snow has been a TOTAL PAIN to move because it is layered with ice.  We did not have any ice accumulate on wires, but the sleet came down hard with the snow, and that made for a horrible winter version of the Chinese water torture, that plus watching Purdue lose to Wisconsin!  UGH!

It did blow Wednesday, and then everyone spent Thursday digging out.  Schools had a terrible time moving this heavy "stuff" off parking lots.  Tink and Bear went to school on a two-hour delay on Friday, and then cheered at half time of the high school game that night.







Yesterday, while I freshened up from an early morning Zumba class, Tall Guy took the girls in to school for a 6th grade boys and girls b-ball tournament.  When I came home, it was starting to sleet, and our weatherman said we could get a dusting of snow.  When I peeked out the window after my shower, I couldn't see the neighbors down the road.  SNOW~!  To the tune of about SIX inches!  SERIOUSLY!  DANG!

This was the fluffy stuff, though, so it moved a whole lot easier this time.  Geez-O-Pete!

This past week, I did go on a bit of a reading binge.  Finished Water for Elephants, then read ALL THREE of the Hunger Games books.  Tall Guy just about has the porch all painted.  Don't fret; I helped paint too, but I started last week with a sinus infection.

I am going to get back to reading everyone's blogs and catch up with you all.  Hope you weathered this last week of weather, and here's to Mr. Ground Hog for NOT seeing his shadow!

HUGS to all, and I will be chatting again with you very soon!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walking with Mom's Cocoa in my Cup

This is kind of a repost, but with all the weather going on outside, I thought the timing was right.  When the girls go out to play in the snow, they do NOT come in to Swiss Miss and hot water.  NOPE!  My momma always had the box of Hersey's Cocoa out and a pan on the stove steaming with hot cocoa.

It's really not hard, just follow the directions on the side of the box, add a few marshmallows, and you are a goddess to the frozen creatures unthawing at your table!

Give it a try! Now no wussing out and making it in the microwave.  Get in touch with the generations of long ago; break out the sauce pan and spoon!



 Looks like Round Two is moving in, so I hope you all are home and safe.  Take this time for some family bonding and memory making!  Enjoy!