Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Anniversary Tall Guy!

One of my favorite pictures....ever!

Eleven years ago today, this day, my tall farmer and I did what some thought might not ever happen. After six years of dating, one wee "break," me buying my own house and living there for a couple of years, and lots of time spent on the farm, at the Neon Cactus, and looking at the hind quarters of cows and chatting while he milked...... well, we were married. Hind site being so infuriatingly smart, I suppose it all went the way it was supposed to. These are a couple of my favorite pictures from that day. I really need to get them all scanned and on digital of these days. I think we were the last couple to have our pictures taken the old fashioned way....on film!

Happy Weekend!

P.S.  We finally had 2/10 of an inch of rain last night!  Not near enough, but we will happily take what we get and sincerely pray for more!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rain and Minnesota Wildlife


Looks like it might rain outside. I certainly hope so because I have two girls a bit honked at me for not taking them to the pool today.

I really hesitate to talk about rain.  In my neck of the woods or grass, it's a sore subject because many are just not getting it, and some crops are to the critical stage in growing (if not past it) and so desperately need a tall drink of water.

For whatever reason, we were blessed with 1.6 - 2 inches of rain over the weekend, and it was what we call a "Million Dollar Rain."  That's no exaggeration either.  We need more, but you could hear the crops drinking it up as it fell.  Just a county east or south, and the corn is curling up with thirst, and the beans are not growing.  It breaks my heart for these farmers; we all live and pay our bills at the mercy of the weather.  We can do our best, plant the best seeds, but it's all for not if we do not get the rain we need to help them grow.

So I will give you some animal pics to check out from our trip to Minnesota.  Just a disclaimer:  It's very hard to take pictures of the local fauna on a rocking pontoon boat, but I did my best!

Ok, let's start with some animals I did NOT see in the boat.

LOVE this pic of Bear and a very pink Horton taken at the Shell gas station off the De Forrestt exit on I-39 in Wisconsin.  Too cute!

See the fish in the picture???

Loved hearing the Loons call to one another. I forgot just how much I missed that sound until I heard it the first time.

Mr. Eagle.  We saw several of them, but it was hard to get a clear pic with all the motion going on underneath me.  So majestic. So glad Ben Franklin's idea of a Turkey being our national bird did not pass.  No offense Miss Katie and all turkey producers out there!

Shoot!  What was the name of the E. B. White book about trumpeter swans????? Just a minute, I have to go Google that.  Believe me it's quicker than searching my brain or finding the copy of said mystery book that IS in a box upstairs in a closet somewhere....Survey says:  The Trumpet of the Swan.  LOVED that book as a young girl, even though I couldn't remember its name.  If you have a tween child, it's a very good read as are all Mr. White's books!

Snails!  Lots and lots!

OMGosh!  After a very big rain, Tall Guy peered out the window to try and figure out what the heck was crawling around the cabins.  SNAPPING TURTLES!  I think we counted 3-4~!  Very big!

Speaking of very big... This is Big Fish!

And Tall Guy's Big Walleye

and the Muskie Bear wants to catch next time!

These critters were at a store called Big Paw at Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  Grandpa just HAD to take the girls there.  Their verdict, "Kinda creepy!"

They had every critter but a raccoon!  DANG!  We could have brought several of them to stuff!

I thought this hat looked cute on Bear.  The picture was cheaper than buying it! ;-)

Ok,  the girls are still grumpy, but I keep showing them the radar on my phone that the rain is still coming.  Sigh...... it's sometimes not fun to be a "Not today" mom, but it all works out.  I think we are going to make crystals this afternoon once the rain does commence to falling.

Hope you are having a great day.  Just one more until the weekend.  I still have a few more MN posts, but I have been working around here too, so I will try to bring it all back home next week.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Hunk of Meat Monday: Fish Fry!

If you go a on fishing trip to Minnesota, chances are you are going to have a fish fry, and that is what we did.  

First, though, we had to catch our fish!

Bear's first Northern Pike!  ( Did I mention this was Tall Guy's first fishing trip?  He wanted to know if the pikes had teeth.   It was one of those, "Do bears poop in the woods?" moments!  YIKES!  I still love my land-lovin' farmer!)

Yes Dear, He's still in there!

And the "other" fish, our perch!

Grandpa was soooo tickled that Bear caught this fish!

Now we have to clean the darned things.  That is sometimes a tricky business, especially with pike because they have this Y-bone thing that most other fish don't have.

**** Might be a tad on the "innard" side here.  Some fish were harmed in these photos, but all went to the nourishment of our bodies.  Thank you fish!

Out come the Y-bones!

The Master Filleter at work and Apprentice Tall Guy watching and learning.  It's a smaller and more careful task that cutting up steaks!

Now for the rib bones:

and these guys were a piece of cake.

Now we are ready to head up to Grandma for the eating part!  Woo!

First, she soaks the fish fillets in buttermilk.  She uses this powder brand because it travels much better than the liquid version.

Well DANG!  Seems our little perch friends have this thing called a "mud vein" running right through the middle of them, and Grandpa says they HAVE to be cut out, so OUT they go!

Now Grandma has found a new flour mix she likes to coat the fish with called Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour.  She says it's easy to find.

Coat the milk-soaked fish fillets in the flour, and ....

heat a skillet with about a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of olive oil in it.
(Yes, for you more observant readers, that just might be a bottle of Indiana's fine Oliver Sangria peaking at you from the upper left corner of the picture! )

 These are Bear's pike pieces!  She gets first dibs on those.

 Think SIZZLE......

Yep, fill up the whole pan; the more the merrier!

When they start looking brown on the bottom, it's time to turn them over!


First batch done and ready to go in the oven to stay warm and safe from snitchers!  You have to watch out for these creatures when you fry fish!  They can eat a whole plate if you are not careful and diligent!

Miss Bear thinks her pike looks delish!

Everyone is ready to dig in.  Do you notice the variety of clothing going on in this picture?  From a sleeveless shirt to a sweatshirt...... interesting....but I can't explain it.

Get ready!

Get set!


They were VERY good, and Miss Bear declared that she liked pike much more than perch.  Poor thing.  It's much easier and one is more likely to catch perch than pike, but she is determined to catch another one some day!

Hooking up to my buddy, Miss Leah's Hunk of Meat party over at Beyer Beware.