Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas 2000 ~ A True Story (and a chance to realize your Christmas dreams of owning a KitcheAid Mixer!)

You all know I love Tall Guy.  I've loved him for a long time.....  A.LONG.TIME......

As in we dated for SIX years...

I was 33 at the time.......

Well, it came to that fateful day when I told him it was time to...uhm.....let's just say a pot was mentioned.  If we were going to have a life together, with children, it needed to start PDQ!

And in the background, there is a story about my hand mixer......

I had always wanted a "big mixer," a KitchenAid mixer, but as a single girl, I just couldn't justify the price or the reason to have such a thing sitting in my kitchen all lonely and I would putz around with my hand mixer and grumble if I had to "whip" up big batches of cookie dough and other such creations.

Now we flash to Christmas 2000.   There has to be a picture of the event in a box around here somewhere, and I promise I will share it with you as soon as I unearth it.   The big story is that Tall Guy, who dislikes Christmas shopping very much, gave me a big, white KitchenAid mixer for Christmas!

In itself, this is an awesome present, but he knew and I knew there was a bigger message there in the box. We did not become engaged until January, but that mixer told me he was finally ready to settle down and get married!

This is story is the big reason I agreed to share with you an opportunity to win your own KitchenAid mixer. Indiana Family of Farmers will put your name in the hat to win one if you will do them the favor of filling out a survey for them.  This is a great group who keeps the lines of communication open between farmers and consumers.  Click (#spons) here to take their survey, and good luck!  You never know how a KitchenAid mixer can change a girl's or a guy's life!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just in Case You Were Stumped about that Oreo Cow....

First I have to say, this is NOT my creation!  I saw it on Dairy Carrie's Facebook Page, and I thought in honor of any prime rib that might grace your table instead of Good Ol' Tom, you might want to know this!

It's funny because Tall Guy and I were just puzzling over the name of the breed known as Oreo Cookie Cow yesterday!  We got the Belted part right, but all I could come up with for the second part of its name was Hampshire, which, of course, is a breed of pig that usually has a black front and rear with white in the middle.

There!  I have just mentioned three types of livestock that you could be giving thanks for tomorrow!  I suppose if I asked if anyone was making a Tur-duck-en, I could cover a few more bases!

As you drive off to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving, and you see cows out grazing, see if the kids can pick out the breed they see.  (There are a couple of ringers in this chart!)  It made me chuckle.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from my house to yours!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dear Santa, I'm in LOVE (with the Samsung Galaxy 4 from Verizon)!

First love can be so powerful....

Other times it just burns itself out......

Love can also be fickle.....

And that's kind of how I feel about my "old" first love, my Motorola smart phone.

It was my first love, and it lasted about two years, but in the last six months, I have just felt that love waning... Its memory is not as good as it used to be, it response to my touch is not the lightening quick snap like when we first met, and it, frankly, just can't keep up with me anymore....

It all came clearly to me when this new, shiny, AWESOME phone knocked on my door.... (ok, it was the FedEx Lady, but she did knock!)

Yep, I nipped this one from Verizon's page because I somehow took a picture of everything BUT the phone!

Thanks to Verizon, they have tempted me away from my first love to a newer, faster, better performing Samsung Galaxy 4!  LOVE IT!

Besides all the speed and longer battery life and quick connecting, this phone can take pictures....AWESOME pictures!

Sacred Heart 5th Grade winning the Benton County Tourney!  WOOOO! Tink is #13!

The whole 5th & 6th grade volleyball team making their traditional trip to a Purdue Volleyball game and running/rolling/falling down the Big Hill.

Boiler UP!

Two of my favorite peacocks,

It also takes GREAT videos!  I have never really taken videos before this camera, but it's addicting!  Now I just need to figure out how/where to store them!  This video is of the volleyball girls taking their traditional roll down the hill before the PU volleyball game.

Click on the link HERE to learn more about this awesome phone. There are soooo many other tricks that it can do.  I didn't even find the channel controller on my first go with it.  I truly could have played with just the phone and video for hours!  Even Tink taught herself how to take videos on it, but hers still look like you are on a roller coaster, so for the sake of those who are prone to motion sickness, I won't share any of hers!

Sigh.......It would make a wonderful Christmas present, I even tried out the LG 4G, but it just did not perform as well as the Samsung 4, so Santa, if you are listening........... PLEASE?????????  and Thank you!

Verizon provided me with the opportunity to demo these phones, but I had to send them both back, so these opinions are very much my own!  Thanks to Verizon for helping me decide on a phone before buying it, I mean putting it on my list to Santa!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Two Forces That Should Never Be Underestimated: Community and Weather

After the past 48 hours, there is a lot I find myself thankful for, and I thought I would share what I have learned.

First, at the end of October, I had a call from Tall Guy while the girls and I were running around our Big Little town, Lafayette.  He wanted me to know that he just heard Scott and Kelly's house was on fire!  Scott is TG's cousin, and they live about two miles down our road.  HOLY MOLY!  Now you have to know that Scott and Kelly's house is smack in the middle of what we like to call Wallpe Corner because one cousin lives within shouting distance from their house, a brother lives a mile east, and we are the western end of the box.  Three of these homes were lived in by the generation before us, including Scott and Kelly's home. Scott grew up there.

Even before the smoke had literally cleared, we were scrambling to find clothing and essentials for this family of seven, and this wonderful community started to give.  They found a house to rent in town, everyone had the essentials as far as clothing and comforts, and still the community gave.  A fund was set up for them at a local bank, and we started organizing a Free Will Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction for November 16.

Meanwhile Tink's 5th grade teacher's husband was severely injured/burned on or about the same time, and a fund was set up for her as well.  The kids had a "NUT" day at school for her.  This means that if they paid a dollar, they could have a No Uniform Today break.  There are 89 kids at school, and that can be broken down to under 50 families, and those little darlings raised over $1200.00 for this family in one day!

In the past two-three weeks everyone has been scurrying around helping when and where they can with both families.  I am so excited to tell you that after the spaghetti dinner, silent auction, and a raucous auctioning off of left over desserts, a bit over $3000.00 was raised Saturday night.  This from a small town in a very small county of 8700 people.  I know that is a neighborhood for some of you!  WOW!

Then there was yesterday, and all the storms!  That provokes a very different WOW!  I knew they were coming; I think I have confessed to my obsession with watching the weather, but I like to know what is going to smack me before I get smacked. I like to be prepared.  Sometimes it all blows away before it gets to us, and other times it just about blows us away!   We escaped with just a few wind damages and electrical fluctuations, but we are pretty much untouched by what blew threw.  Others I know, some not very far a way were not so lucky.  Lafayette was hit, southern Tippecanoe County was hit hard, including the elementary school and junior high I attended way back when.  Pretty much all of Indiana was effected in some way as the line of storms blew through.  The girls are home from school today because a few of the schools within our district and many homes are still without power.

It's crazy, but you watch.....every little town will start to gather up what they have and take care of their own. Help will come to those in the bigger towns, and the rebuilding will start almost immediately.  It won't take a government mandate for people to step up to the line.  All it takes is for one person to see a need, and that ball of help seems to blast off before you can say, "Who?"

So I applaud all those out there today scrambling to help others, praying for those that need it, and giving their time and energy when and where it is needed.  YOU ALL ROCK!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How Many Ways Can a Farm Wife Go Crazy?

I have an idea for a new television series about a farm wife.  It's an autobiography a work of fiction, but it might entertain a few viewers.  Here's a look at the different actual events scenarios our heroine will face:

1.  Being told by Mr. Farmer that Child 1 is tired of being the oldest and doing things first because her mom does a better job with Child 2 her younger at bottom of screen quote from famous psychologist about Top Ten Reasons Parents Feel Guilt ....cut to a conversation about birthday presents in the van on the way home from school.....Mom to Anyone Listening in the Van:  "So it has been brought to my attention that someone is tired of being first in everything....(Child 1 nodding in the back seat) since I tend to mess things up the first time I do them (Child 1 still nodding)......I think Child 2 will get a smartphone for her birthday to see how it all works before attempting this new thing with Child 1 and "screwing it up.'"  (Child 1 no longer nodding, eyes big, mouth about ready to open in a scream or wail.)

2.  Mysterious stomach issues occurring in Child 2:  Backstory:  Go to the doctor three times in the past two months, go through one x-ray showing "no room at the in" (or out as the case may be), 3 "procedures" FW has never done before to help C2 "eliminate" the problem in three days, second x-ray showing good progress, tummy aches still persist to the point that Child 2 does not want to get up in the morning.......cut to making yet another doctor appointment with Mr. Farmer taking child to said appointment.......Mr. Farmer is flustered because he had a lot to do on said day to get all the equipment ready for winter (combine, corn head, bean head, auger wagon,....), and he is working solo so FW is sympathetic to his situation (sort of kind of)...........cut to Farm Wife changing appointment to another day so she can take C2 to Dr.

3.  Next Day:  Farm Wife goes to Big Town to see other farm wives and friends!  She is so giddy that the I-65 the highway through Lebanon L City is completely without construction data of how many years this particular stretch of road has been under construction for the last, oh, SIX years!.... that she buys herself a celebratory Peppermint Mocha Latte, Grande, Skinny, Extra Shot!  She is sooo proud of herself for saying her order correctly (Please do not write in telling her otherwise!) because she doesn't order this drink often that she totally misses the fact that traffic is suddenly backed up on the big highway, and semis behind, in front, and beside her are all veering right to the last exit before the back up.  Farm Wife manages to veer with them, running over just one piece of torn off tire tread, and makes it to the exit without spilling any precious coffee (In a freakish premonition, she is glad she ordered the extra espresso because of upcoming events)

4.  Farm Wife makes it to her meeting with friends only to be told by a very sympathetic and understand pal that she is about 24 hours early for said meeting.........(Sounds Effects:  Lots of internal bleeping after the initial shock wears off.  Director's choice of smoke coming from her head or floods of tears from her eyes) Wonderful pal, actually Gal in the Middle of our Farm Wife's chaos, takes time to sit down with her to solve puzzling phone/computer technical questions.  Blissful happiness for 5 minutes then have Magic Light Bulb appear over Farm Wife's head!

5. Farm Wife calls doctor's office to see if Child 2 can see him today as previously scheduled......YES!  at 11:15.....Farm Wife starts to think. She is 60+ miles away, and it is 9:55. FLASHBACK to figuring out 5th grade math story problem...Call to Mr. Farmer requesting he pick up C2 from school and meet FW at Dr's office where FW will take over C2's visit and Mr. Farmer can go back to his tool shed! Sound Effects: Raucous applause! Special Effect:  Fireworks going off!  He can do it!  11:05 FW pulls into parking lot right behind Mr. Farmer's truck! (More Applause!) C2 is now with FW and in Dr.'s office........Play music that sounds apparent reason for tummy ickies.......Trying a new med to see if it helps!

6.  Farm Wife safely back in her home town, going to pick up the new medicine at the wonderful small town pharmacy that has all sorts of great and adorable things.  Pharmacist tells Farm Wife to watch for sleepiness, dry throat, dry eyes, and....Insert DRAMTIC music......, possible constipation.....pan to FW whose face shows total shock and disbelief! A disbelieving "SERIOUSLY!" can be heard.  Show FW walking out of pharmacy still shaking head.. Next she picks up Child 1 from school and the door to C1's side will NOT open..... After watching FW try 10 different sequences of unlocking methods......INSERT high-pitched buzz of van warning system going off for the whole six miles back to the house with C1 sitting in the front seat......  Show her pulling up to the tool shed where Mr. Farmer comes out to see what is wrong.....He cannot figure it out....Child 1 has miraculous look on face and cries out "Hey, Maybe the gas tank thingy is open!"  Pan to FW and Mr. Farmer's faces of amazement as she  is right!  Then hear FW's inner voice muttering "Oh NOW she figures it out after the annoying ride of headache-producing whining of the alarm still is playing in my mind."

I don't know.....This whole idea probably won't work because no one would believe it could actually happen........

And 7.  (Just for kicks and giggles!) Farm Wife goes to get Grumpy Child 1 and take her to basketball practice, but with 15 minutes to get there and two more kids to pick up, she cannot find her keys....Insert more mental bleeping noises.... After two desperate minutes, she fishes the out the extra set from the bottom of her MaryPoppins-like bag, and makes it to school with three girls and one minute to spare.  Show ends with FW still looking for her ^&*$^#% keys......

Will she find them before she has to go back and pick the girls up?  Will she tell Mr. Farmer about this latest development?  Will C1 ever be happy again?  Stay tuned...if this show is picked up, there will be endless episodes from "This Is My Real Life and I Still Love Everyone in It!"

Monday, November 11, 2013

The VERY Last Day of Harvest!

We have been sort of done with harvest for about a week, all except two small fields, about 50 acres total, that are now as ready as they ever will be to come out. Tall Guy is beating feet, or tires, to get the last of our double crop beans in before this nasty weather hits.  For those of you in sunnier spots, our forecast reads nasty freezing drizzle any time after noon with "a bit" of snow to follow tonight!

Oh, and because I still love to teach, double crop beans are beans that were planted on top of wheat ground after it has been harvested, usually in late June or early July, so they are behind about a month or so behind in growth from our beans planted during planting season.  I should asterisk that definition because it all depends on Mother Nature as to when we get our first crop of beans in!  Some years the double crop are neck 'n neck, and that's not such a good thing.

Would you believe this is my first time all harvest seeing the world from a tractor cab?

Didn't make it in the combine one time, not even to ride this year for about 247 reasons that I will explain in posts to come, but I did get to drive this tractor....

With the auger wagon behind me, I had the daunting task of navigating it all between two buildings and a semi just to get it out of the barn lot.  I sure wish my friend Jent, From My Front Porch, would have been there to talk me through it.  I can drive the big combine, but the danged clutch/break pedals still bumfoozle me from time to time.  The end result, though, was a success!

I parked right where I was supposed to, and I even have witnesses........

Cows sure are curious critters!  I think they were a little proud of me....or they were hoping I would give them some more hay.....

And at the end of every good deed, is the long, well not that long, walk home.  And it's a very chilly south wind blowing here today.

Yea Me!  There are so many farmwives out there who drive a tractor most of the 365 days of the year, but I have never had to do this until the last few....I think I need to wait for the ground to freeze and practice more out in the fields.  That's where all the farm kids learn to drive any and all farm vehicles, and I am not too old to learn a few more new tricks.

Now to get the steaks out to thaw because we will be having our ALLELUIA! WE ARE REALLY DONE dinner tonight.  It's a tradition!

Hugs and Love from the chilly farm!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cheeseburger Pie in a New Light!

Yes, you who are faithful readers know about my Cheeseburger Pie, but I'm writing with the gals at Indiana Family of Farmers for a Table Talk, and we were asked to recreate a recipe using our new lighting knowledge and tools.  I'll reshare this great recipe and throw in a couple more just for fun.

So, if you search for my Cheeseburger Pie recipe, you are going to get a couple of hits, but let's look at a picture of my  TO.DIE.FOR.PIE....

Hmmmm....... it kind of looks dead doesn't it?  It's still the same delicious pie, but the lighting was all wrong!

Let's try some better light a la my new light and some editing on the ol' picture program........

I think this one is my favorite picture...

What a difference a change of lighting makes in your food presentation here in the bloggy world!
Here is the recipe:

Cheeseburger Pie

1 pie crust, baked
1 lb. hamburger (or a bit more!), browned and de-greased
3/4 C. onion (TG doesn't like 'em so I left them out.  I LOVE onions!)
1 large can mushrooms
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C.  shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. Italian seasoning ( I used "a bit" more than that!)
1 C. pizza sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Pour all ingredients except pizza sauce and mozz. cheese in a baked pie shell.  Bake for 40-45 minutes. at 350.
Take out, add pizza sauce over pie, and bake 10 minutes more.
Take out, cover top with mozzarella cheese and set back in oven to melt (TURN OVEN OFF!)

Remove when cheese is melted and serve!

You can click here to see how I put it all together back in November 2010~!

Just so you know I can cook other meals, I'm going to share a few more of the goodies I've been making and baking:

Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot!

This is SUPER SIMPLE!  Put a pork loin roast in the crock pot with a can of root beer, Coke, or even beer, and cook it until it pulls apart with two forks.  You can add BBQ sauce if you like or just enjoy it in the yummy juice

And Yes indeedy!  I finally made my friend Jent's awesome Apple Cookies!  You can find the recipe by clicking here and going over to visit her blog, From My Front Porch for a while!

Then I got a little creative with some left over chicken breasts, mushrooms, pesto, cheese, and the newest creation from that cute little dough boy:

These dudes are COOL!  You don't have to try mushing the cresent rolls together to form a sheet!  Somebody over at Pillsbury is thinking 

I think my food pictures are getting brighter and more edible-looking.  The family is enjoying my renewed interest in the kitchen too.  Thanks again to Indiana Family of Farmers for providing me with this very cool light.  It really does make a difference!

So what are you cooking in your kitchen?

I am participating in Indiana's Family of Farmers Table Talk Series and received a gift in exchange for my participation.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who Knew????

Well who did know????

Tink and Bear are seeing the world a bit more clearly now that they have their new glasses....but here is the rest of the story.

How may of you out there started wearing glasses in school?

How many of you who wore glasses in school were excited about your first day at school with them?

How many of you thought you were going to be the coolest kid for a day with your new glasses?

Yeah, me neither......Same with Tall Guy......BUT like the song tells us, "These times they are a changin'"

This little girl woke up at 3:30 A.M. yesterday because she was soooo excited that we were going to pick up her glasses after school!  SERIOUSLY!  Yeah, it still kind of feels like 4:30 since we are just a few days in to that lovely DST, but let's not even get me started on that sore subject!.......It was still very early in the morning!

Tink did not wake up as early as her sister, but she was just as excited to be getting her glasses.  It was to the point that she wanted to miss school to go get them?!?!?!


What is up with these crazy kids????  They were just as cool and excited when they went to school with their braces!?!?!?!

I'm not saying I want to go back and relive those thrilling days of late elementary school and go on through middle and high school, but DANG!  I wish I had had such confidence in the whole peer review thing when I had to walk through those doors with new things on and in my face!

They came back from school today with all smiles, and everyone thought their glasses were cool!

Maybe we ARE making strides in changing the world kids live in!  At least it seems that way at our little school, so THANKS to all those Sacred Heart Cardinals who made this transition on our girls a blissfully easy one!  Here's hoping to more!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Where Do You Hang Your Family Pictures?


The bean dust is starting to settle around here, corn is drying in the bin, and Tall Guy is off to Warren County to harvest for another farmer; we call that custom work.

Translation:  WE ARE DONE WITH OUR HARVEST! (but the party doesn't start until he gets back from Warren County!)

Meanwhile I am trying to reclaim the house, and I have some beautiful pictures to hang.  The big question I have is:

Where do you hang family pictures?

As you can imagine, I have a ton of family pics, but these are very pretty ones taken by a REAL photographer.  Want to see some?

There are more, but you get the idea.  I'm just not sure where to put them...Family Room, Dining Room, Bedroom?

So I'm asking you, dear readers, Where do you hang your family pictures?

p.s.  Big thanks to Christy Lee from for these amazing pictures.  She took them from my head and made them real!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Injun Summer

It's been a crazy time here on the farm!  We are finishing up beans today if everything (weather and equipent) holds, the girls are both done with all three sports for one whole week (Tink's basketball call out is next Monday), and the new addition is in its critical planning stage (Translation: Where do you want these windows to go.?)!

With all that, I am soooo grateful to my daddy for sending me this excerpt from a gentleman who lived in my home county.  I even went to McCutcheon High School, named after this writer, and John T ran around with guys whose names ended up on Purdue's football field, Ross and Ade.  Mr. George Ade lived in the great town of Brook, Indiana, and that's where my mom and dad grew up.  Grandma and Grandpa Lyons worked for Mr. Ade until his death.

So, while I'm off trying to keep all my fires lit, I will turn it over to Mr. McCutcheon and let him tell you a little story....... 

Thanks to Google for helping find these pictures!
John T. McCutcheon
Chicago Tribune
September 30, 1907

Yep, sonny this is sure enough Injun summer. Don't know what that is, I reckon, do you? Well, that's when all the homesick Injuns come back to play; You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here—thousands—millions, I reckon, far as that's concerned. Reg'lar sure 'nough Injuns—none o' yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They wuz all around here—right here where you're standin'.  Don't be skeered—hain't none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year.  They all went away and died, so they ain't no more left.

But every year, 'long about now, they all come back, leastways their sperrits do. They're here now. You can see 'em off across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o' hazy misty look out yonder? Well, them's Injuns—Injun sperrits marchin' along an' dancin' in the sunlight. That's what makes that kind o' haze that's everywhere—it's jest the sperrits of the Injuns all come back. They're all around us now.

See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o' look like corn shocks from here, but them's Injun tents, sure as you're a foot high. See 'em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires a-burnin' and their pipes a-goin'.
Lots o' people say it's just leaves burnin', but it ain't. It's the campfires, an' th' Injuns are hoppin' 'round 'em t'beat the old Harry.

You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin' over the hill off yonder an' the harvest fields is all swimmin' in the moonlight, an' you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a little while.  Jever notice how the leaves turn red 'bout this time o' year? That's jest another sign o' redskins. That's when an old Injun sperrit gits tired dancin' an' goes up an' squats on a leaf t'rest. Why I kin hear 'em rustlin' an' whisper in' an' creepin' 'round among the leaves all the time; an' ever' once'n a while a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes floatin' down to the ground. See—here's one now. See how red it is? That's the war paint rubbed off'n an Injun ghost, sure's you're born.

Purty soon all the Injuns'll go marchin' away agin, back to the happy huntin' ground, but next year you'll see 'em troopin' back—th' sky jest hazy with 'em and their campfires smolderin' away jest like they are now.

Technically, I believe it is supposed to frost first, then warm up for Indian summer, but I am really tired of the heat, so I'm good with the weather we had last week!

Be safe out there, and keep an eye out for farmers!