Wednesday, September 26, 2012 and Other Fun Photo Toys/Apps

In my "down time," ok, even I have to stop and laugh at that.....ok  I have found some very cool ways to amp up my pictures and promote ideas and causes near and dear to my heart, namely my family and farming.

I actually snuck away for a day with my bloggy pals a couple weeks ago right before harvest started, and Jent, from From My Front Porch, told be about   I wanted to take some of my farm pictures and turn them into poster prints or photo posters to promote farming, but I didn't know how to get the text on the picture.  This site has a great and easy way to "pop" your pics and add text.  When I went there, the upgrade was offered for free!  I hope you can hop on over there and take advantage of the same deal.  Here are a few of my fun creations:

I have been posting them and tweeting them under the hashtag #Farmsmatter to help promote the farmer and what we do.  This past week was National Farm Safety Week, and we just started in the field.  It's great to be able to promote what you love and what you do!

Another fun app I have added to my Andriod Motorola Atrix is Camera360.  Bear has a BLAST with this app, and I think she is truly learning about photography the fun way.  Here are some of here creations (p.s. She is under strict orders NOT to photo Mommy's bad side, or pretty much any other side from a distorted perspective.  Reality is scary enough!)

I truly think she is learning a lot about color, symmetry, focal points, and a bazillion other aspects of photography just by playing with this particular app!

Then, of course I have played with it a bit too, using different filters. Sometimes the program will suggest to me which filter to start with, and then I can tweak it from there.

Another great feature for this camera and most of the others you can load to your phone is that once you tweak your picture, you can upload it just about anywhere to anyone in any format.  I can text them or post them on Facebook or Instagram, or I can Tweet them on Twitter.  VERY COOL!

I guess the biggest take away is that while my beloved Nikon has not been abandoned, I still have some great options if I am without it and a photo opportunity presents itself.  That's kind of nice to know because as much as I love my Nikon, it is a bit of a load to pack around on spur of the moment days.

Here is your challenge.  Let the inner shutterbug inside you be free, and start playing with your phone camera!  Download Instagram and/or Camera360, and start having fun!

Is there an app I am missing?  What is your favorite camera phone or editing app?  Please feel free to share!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bacon, corn, and beans

This is just so darned cute and kind of appropriate for me to hang in my kitchen on Saturdays.  That's Bacon Day aroung here for at least three of us.  Tink hasn't pledged her undying love for it...yet, but it's in her genes to do so some day!    Have a great one!

P.S.  Crop Report:  Corn is out there to be picked, but numbers are not outstanding.  Averaging just in the triple digits, but that's about as specific as Tall Guy wants me to get.  I actually took off my Mommy/School Volunteer hat and put on my trusty ol' Carhartt brown sweatshirt to pick/shell corn yesterday!  Wooo!   Now we are switching over to beans, and I am happy to report that they seem to have "weathered" the drought much better than the corn..... so far.  Stay tuned..... for more ambiguous crop news from the farm.

And as that ol' farmer liked to say, " Let's be careful out there!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Advice on Tablets

Ok, I just received a Samsung Galaxie Tab 2 7.0 from Verizon to play with for a few weeks.

Since this is the first time I have had my hands on such a gadget, I would love to ask you all

1.  Do you have a tablet?
2.  What type is it?
3.  How do you use it in your daily life?
4.  How do your kids use it?
5.  What are your favorite apps to use on your tablet?
6.  What would YOU like to know about these devices?

Let's start talking!  I promise to report back with all my findings!

Meanwhile, I'm hitting the hay!  I have been informed I will be spending most of my day in the combine tomorrow, then it's off to run girls to practices and do homework.  There IS corn out there in the fields to be picked, or shelled as some like to call it.  Not as much as last year, but we are feeling quite blessed just to be able to fill up the hoppers, auger wagons, and semis this year.  Be safe out there, and keep an eye out for the farmers in LARGE but slow moving vehicles!


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Feast of the Hunters' Moon

Yep, it's that time of year again for one of this area's biggest shindigs along the mighty, although right now it's looking a bit puny, Wabash River.  The Feast of the Hunters' Moon is a weekend trip back to the 1790's when this area was inhabited by Indians, fur traders, and lots of animals.  This is an incredible opportunity to introduce your kids to our state's history, and see how people lived, ate, and celebrated life then.

The location is south west of the Lafayette/West Lafayette area.  You would need to find South River Road and follow the traffic.  There is usually bus service from Purdue and other areas as well.  Here is a link to the event's website for more information:

I will leave you with some of my favorite pics from our trip there a couple of years ago.  Tink is on her way out there today with about half her school.  The few days before the event, school kids can go and have more close and personal sessions with the vendors and historians there making furniture and life staples just like they did before Indiana was a state. Can't wait to hear all her stories!.

Hope you make it up for the Feast!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If You Give Your Husband A Cell Phone.....

He might call you and ask to run one little errand on your way home.

and this little errand may not take you on the most direct path back to your house, but that's ok because you know where you are going, it's for the farm, and it's the first day of harvest.....

Until you realize that the road is closed between you and your destination..... so you call your husband  to see how to proceed....

But even though he has a cell phone, he has no clue, so YOU get the brilliant idea to go one mile east then three miles north because that should take you past the closure and then you can head back west and to your original road because most roads in Indiana run true north, south, east, and west in one mile increments unless you are by a river or something, which we are not......yet.

So  Joyous of joys!  You found your destination, picked up a thermometer for the grain bin, and set off for home, BUT you do not go back the way you came because you live west, and going east would be silly.....

Until you meet another obstacle called an interstate that interferes with your true north, south, east, and west roads.

So you turn on your navigation system in your van.  It tells you you are not driving on any road, and St. Rd. 18 you are looking for is not important enough to exist, at least at the level of magnification you need to show you where it is and you are at the same time.

So you keep heading south, after going one mile west or so, keeping an eye out for civilization, ANY sign of it, but the only sign you see is the STOP sign that Grandpa Joe missed when he pulled out right in front of you!  He is amazed that anyone else would be traveling this road!  You feebly wave him on through the intersection that was almost your last and keep heading south and west looking for a paved road of any type!

So then your cell phone rings, and it's your husband wanting to know where you are!

And you would really like to tell him, but you honestly have no #$*^%!@#$^%$#&*! clue exactly where you are; you might be in White or Benton County.  The Magic 8 Ball is still out.

So your husband asks if you can go to Dayton for him!

"WHAT?!?!?!?!?"  (You are yelling a bit loud even for a cell phone conversation because this place is WAY EAST AND SOUTH  of where you are trying to go!)

"SERIOUSLY ?!?!?!?!??!?"

"Yes!  I have to grind feed, and I am out of calcium carbonate and urea!"

Great!  Now I am wishing I had hit the bathroom at Menards!

"OK!  As soon as I find 18 I will head back to I-65 and go to AMERICUS!" (Note this is NOT Dayton!)  Men and directions/places ?!?!  What is it with that?

So you find 18, I-65, SR 25 right before the 5:00 traffic hits the half constructed round-about (DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THAT~!), and you find the feed guy's place, and call Hubby as instructed......

"Go to the southwest door; it should be opened," he says with a somewhat fading voice.

So you go to said door, and it is locked, as are the next two, and you still are thinking of the urea and thinking that you really have to go!

The last door is UNlocked, thank heavens, and you think you will celebrate by finding a nice big pine tree, until you realize that one of the dogs you hear barking is on YOUR side of the fence and coming to see YOU!

You quickly call Hubby, haul three 50 pound bags of feed needs into your van, shut the door, find, St. Rd. 25, I-65, St. Rd 18, your house, and your very own potty.

And as you finally relax, you wish you had your cell phone so you could send your hubby on a "little errand"!

Then you go to feed your hungry children pancakes for supper and realize you do not have enough milk, which means you have to go to town....

So you call your husband's cell.......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shrimp Alive and Growing in Benton County Indiana!

Yep, There he/she is.  A salt water shrimp living right here in Benton County.  Actually, there are quite a few of these creatures living in our county at RDM Farms LLC right off of State Road 18!  I am a huge shrimp lover and have been dying to get over there to sample some, so a few weeks ago, I finally did it!  Come take the tour with me! 

Look for these flags just off St. Rd. 18 in one of the few hilly parts we have in our county.

 It's on the south side of the road.

Back here, inside the red barn/building.

Here are the times to shoot for:

RDM Farms is operated and owned by Darryl and Karlanea Brown, with son Levi and Darryl's mom Marie helping.  It was the third indoor facility to sell saltwater shrimp in the country, and now there are SIX in Indiana!  Darryl and Karleana thought about raising tilapia first, but shrimp proved to be a more economical way to go, and they take a shorter amount of time to raise from start to finish.  The day I visited, I learned that Hurricane Isaac just missed the place in the Florida Keys that supplies the Browns with their baby shirmp!  Whew!

Here they are about 25 days old and almost ready to be moved to the juvenile tanks.  Their water is moved with them so their environment is disrupted as little as possible

This is a nursery tank kept at a balmy 90 degrees.  There are about 17,000 shrimp in a tank, and the Browns are averaging around 90% survival from start to finish with their shrimp.

These are the bigger tanks, or if you look closely you can call them pools!  The nets are used to try and prevent  any jumpers from getting out.  Some still do, and the Browns have two bait stores that buy these jumpers for the area fishermen.  NO WASTE!

The water is brown because there is a special "good" bacteria in it that consumes the shrimp's ammonia and waste.  The water is constantly kept moving through a Zero Exchange aerobic heterotrophic system.  

The water is recycled in this gray tub and reused.  Karleana said that they have been able to use the same water for two years because of this system.  No waste of water!

This stone also helps keep the water clean. The air goes through the stone, and the resulting bubbles release C02.

 Shells from shrimp that die are kept and sent to the Universities of South Carolina and Alabama to be used in research for calcium sources, diabetes research, and rope making.

The shrimp go through five different kinds of feed!  The first one is in liquid form, and then they graduate to solid pellets that grow in size as the shrimp also grow.  Karleana tells me that shrimp are exactly what they eat.  It's good to know these guys are getting great food in very clean water!

Here is the price board just inside the building so you can see all your options.  There are also several recipe cards to take home with you and try!

Yes!  Those of you who know the Browns for their hot house plants, will be happy to know that they still sell a few of those too!

Thanks so much to Karleana for giving me the grand tour of this new facility.  Will all the plans in the works, I truly believe it will become a great asset to our county and help develop the business of aquiculture throughout our state!

For more information, you can go to their website:

Tell them Lana sent you ;-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hunk of Meat Monday: SHRIMP!

I LOVE SHRIMP!  I could go off like Forrest's friend Bubba and tell you all the different ways I like it, but let's just say I love shrimp!  What is even better now is that I can buy fresh, LIVE saltwater shrimp right in Benton County Indiana!  I'm going to tell you more about the actual process in my next post.  Let's get down to the eating part today for Hunk of Meat Monday!

First off I wanted to try pan frying them in butter and garlic.

I selected eight and popped them in the pan. When they turn pink on one side, it's time to turn them over!

I was advised to cook them with their heads on because the meat would be sweeter.  Fine with me. The girls, still smarting a bit from eating tongue, were not as thrilled.

Just because I'm a nice mom I cut off the heads, feet, and shells before presenting them to the girls for a try.  Tink liked it, but Bear said she was waiting for the fried version.

So while Tall Guy and I liked these shrimp all buttery and garlicy, the girls were begging for some good ol' fried  shrimp.  So.....Off with their heads and other parts!

I'm kind of old fashioned here, so I go with what my momma used, and she used what my Grandma Lyons told her to use, which is Aunt Jemima pancake batter, and I sniped one of Tall Guy's beverages to make the beer batter shrimp.  This, by the way, also works well with mushrooms, onion rings, and anything else you like with batter on it.  Not too sure about Twinkies and cookie dough.....may get back to you later on that one! ;-)

There are no set portions; just add beer to some pancake flour, stir, see how thick it is, and keep adding beer until it's not too thick, which means kind of runny.

Back to the shrimp.....dust the naked shrimp with a bit of the pancake flour then dip in the bear batter, and put in the pan to fry.  I used Smart Balance oil.....I think!

Oh!  By the way!  I put some green beans in the pan that had the butter and garlic and started them to frying!  YUM!

Yes, that is Tall Guy's hand with the tongs turning the beans.  Wooooo!

This last picture just about brought tears to the girls' eyes.  They were so excited!  Yes, the shrimp were delicious!  Yes it was a bit of work to clean them.  The owner, Karaleana, said she fries them with the shells and feet on because most of it cooks down, and the rest just add to the crunchiness.  I asked the girls about that, but they both are still holding the cow tongue episode over me, EVEN THOUGH THEY BOTH LIKED IT!