Monday, June 24, 2013

A Fun New Way to Get Healthy

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with a blog pal out in Iowa, Miss Katie from On the Banks of Squaw Creek via Facebook and learned about a group she had joined.  She and her friends are following a plan found HERE at a cool blog called Six Sisters' Stuff.  I headed there myself to check it out, really liked the idea, and formed a little group of my own.

We are only just into Week #2, but I have to say I really like this plan.  Here are some of my reasons:

#1.  NO COUNTING CALORIES!  I can't stand to do that.....probably a flaw, and it still may trip me up, but I am not a very good tracker of numbers.

#2.  It rewards for taking in 64 oz. of water a day.  That's doable and very good for me!

#3.  It rewards for 30 and 45 minutes of exercise each day.  I'm on that already and still getting in my 10,000 at least 5 days a week.  Hmmm.... I'm at 8729 according to my FitBit, but storms are coming, and our NOOA radio is going off about every 15 minutes, so I think I will get those last 1500 in pacing around here and checking the radio for the latest update. Praying for all the farmers in the path of this storm and those to come through Wednesday.  We don't need the high winds and hail, not one little bit of it.  Heavy rains are not good either.  Oh the fragile, unpredictable, uncontrollable life of a farmer! Dang!  There it goes again!

#4.  It requires 2 servings of fruit and 3 of veggies every day.  That's been good for me too.

#5.  It lets you have one day to splurge on a dessert!

I've also been chiming in when I can on another blog pal, Cris' Year2Change challenge.  This is another challenge that pushes me in a positive direction physically and mentally.

I only lost one pound this past week, maybe because I ate the WHOLE rib-eye steak Saturday night before weigh in day, but Hey, a beef girl has to do what a beef girl has to do, and I don't pass up or on any part of a rib-eye steak.  :-)

What makes this a great program for me is there is no telling me what I CAN'T do or HAVE to do.  It truly is a challenge, and I like that.  We are even having fun with it and encouraging each other along with sharing tips and recipes.  So if you are bored this summer, head over to Six Sisters' Stuff or Year2Change, grab your best gal pals or guy pals, and have some fun getting healthy this summer.  It can't hurt!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crop Report: Riding around the Farm

Thanks to my trusty driver and her assistant, I was able to toodle around the farm and grab some shots to show you how the farm is looking here.

I have to say, in general, we are saying our prayers and not trying to call too much attention to the fact that everything is up and growing very well. The only issue at the moment is the wheat is taking a pretty solid hit from all the wind.  It should be ok, but these afternoon pop-up storms are knocking it down or at least bending it over in spots.

In no particular order:


This bottom pick includes four rows of sweet con, the first four closest to the water way or the left side of the picture.  That water way, and several others in our fields had long, tall grass just a few days ago, but we industrious farm folk put that to good use.

Here is what we do with all that long grass:  We turn it in to grass hay!

Yep, we have loaded lots of these big dudes home from our fields.  The cows really eat it up ;-)



Thanks again to Tink and Sadie for carting me around in the gator.  I had to beg and plead with her to get in and drive........NOT!

It's way too soon to be kicking up our heals, but I would have to say we are off to a good start here in NW Indiana. I know we can drive about 50 miles in any direction and see crops in water distress or fields not even planted.......  Praying for all of us who work hard to feed this great nation.  It's not as easy as it looks, and a lot of it is completely out of our hands, but we try to do our best with what we can control.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pedometer Smackdown: FitBit vs. Jawbone's Up

Thanks to my pals at Verizon, I've been wearing this cute little blue bracelet (see below) around for about three weeks.   While it looks cute and chic, it is actually Jawbone's UP, a pedometer new to the market, and I have been comparing it to my very own FitBit to see if I need to upgrade......

Let's see how they stack up.

Both charge by hooking up to my computer with their little connectors.  Both charge quickly and hold charge for a long time.  FitBit goes for about five days, and the Jawbone will go a week.

While everyone sees my Jawbone UP bracelet, no one usually sees my FitBit because I can hook it to the middle of my bra or on to a pants pocket or waistband.

I was more likely to wear the bracelet because I don't have a great place to hook my FitBit when I go to bed or am dressing VERY casual.  Hmmmm........

While on the computer, the bracelet sometimes interfered with my typing... I guess I could have taken it off because I usually do not type on the go.

Both went wacky when I wore them and mowed the yard!  Our yard plus barn lot are both filled with bumps, no matter how many times I roll them.  I guess it was a bumpy enough ride to earn me extra steps!

The Jawbone connects directly to my smartphone to down load information.  It's very slick and quick.

With this little dude, my Fitbit connects and syncs to my laptop and downloads info to both my computer and phone.  *Note:  There is a FitBit bracelet coming out that will connect to both your computer and phone with the use of bluetooth so no connectors needed.

Both devices work with other apps. I try to use Lose It, but I am still not very good at logging in my food intake!  Sigh.......  Lose It is still an awesome app, and no one asked me to wiggle that in there!

Here are some samples of what you will see on your computer and/or phone from both devices:

Here is a daily summary of my accomplishments.  You can also view longer periods of time.

 As you can see, I am going past the 7000 step goal I set and hitting the 10,000 step mark fairly regularly.

Here is what it looks like on my phone:


If I have to make a decision, I would and will keep my FitBit.  One big issue has been the different readings I get from the two when I compare days.  Sometimes it is up to 1500 steps, and that's a lot.  I asked another friend who I know is using the FitBit, and she said she also tried the Jawbone UP, had the same issues, so she brought in a third party counter.  It matched up with the FitBit.  That was good to know.

I'm not a slave to my phone, so I can wait to sync my FitBit to my computer at the end of the day or first thing in the morning.

If you do not have a slick little pedometer like either of these products, they really are beneficial to showing you how much you move and burn calories during a day.  You might be surprised to know how many miles you do or DO NOT cover during an average day.  I would urge you to look at both products on their webpages here, and see which one best fits into your life.

I've been pushing the walking thing these last two week, and my goal was/is to reach 10,000 steps a day 5 of the 7 days a week.  I have been doing pretty well, and I do owe my FitBit and Jawbone UP for keeping me honest, accurate, and accountable.  Now if I can just keep a better log of the food that goes in.......  Thanks again to Verizon for allowing me to try out the new Jawbone UP. Click here to learn more about these devices. 
All my thoughts and observations are my own.  I was not paid or compensated for my opinions.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Calling out to all bakers!  Tink is trying Foods this year in 4-H, and we are searching for the perfect muffin recipe!

Do you have one?

Would you like to share it?

Any tips or tricks to pass along?

Do you know how long it's been since I baked for 4-H?  I think I just did cookies, so it would have been my first year, so if I was 9 at the time, I come up with 1971!  Holy Moly!  Just after the dinosaurs died!

I put the call out on my Facebook page, and got some wonderful recipes to try, but I thought I would give a shout out on the blog to see if there are any more great ones out there to consider.  You can e-mail them to me at or message them to me on my Walking the Off-Beaten Path Facebook page.  I am seriously considering sharing these great recipes after the fair in a blog post, so let me know if you would like to include yours in the sharing.  Thanks so much!

Most of our projects are coming along.  The pictures and paper for the scrapbook are all here, cropped, and semi-layed out, the basket is DONE!, her first pair of pants are finished, but she and Grandma want to try another pair, and when she gets back from 4-H camp, we are headed to the kitchen and barn.

I have to tell you, I am a bit worried about the cow part of this.  I did a lot of the work at the beginning of last year because Tall Guy was in the field.  Remember this post?  This year, however, she is also showing beef cows and Miss LadyBug.  They are much bigger, and Miss LadyBug is preggers.  Praying TG can chisel out some time to get out there and work with Tink and these bigger moos.

Speaking of moos, have you seen the latest craze about the fluffy cows?  WOW!  My big fear is that they are making them look so darned cute, that PETA and HSUS will start promoting them as the next teddy bear, with a slogan that says, "How could you possibly eat Fluffy?"  ACK!  Yes it's a neat way to groom them, BUT the rib-eye's I served for Father's Day yesterday tasted way better than these fluffy cows look!
They are not born that way; they are just like us back in the 80's and 90's with our hairspray and blow dryers.  I would suggest, as I did back then, not lighting a match too closely to so much product! ;-)

Ok, back to my crazy life!  Hope yours is going well.  I will try to get out and take some crop pictures to let you know how they are growing, but right now, I hate to say this too loudly, everything looks pretty darned good.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CAT FIGHT! Ok,, It's Really Cute Kittens...Barnyard Follies Part 2

A little Barnyard fun from the Furballs~!  :-)

Aunti Angel  broke it up.  She's an awesome babysitter to these two and their little sis.

Time for Bear to play "Where's Blackie?"

Hiding in the hay conditioner..... wish it was out doing its job, but we have been hauling grain, and we need 3-4 days for the ground to dry out and the whole hay process to be completed.  Not seeing that window on the extended forecast.

Lovey is pulling extra duty since it looks like the coyotes are two up on our cat population.  KIA includes Larsa (hey, I don't name them, the girls do), so Lovely took on feeding her three grandchildren PLUS the three new kittens she just had.   Bless her heart.  SHe did the same thing when her sister went MIA last spring.


Miss Bear is supervising the crew while Lovey takes a break.

 This is Susan, and she was rolling all over the tool shed floor.  Too cute!

And finally, this is Starlight, one of the fighters from the top of the post and newly orphaned.  He's a cutie-patootie too!

Starting to feel kind of like the cat lady around here, but at least they are outdoor cats and are keeping the mice and birds honest.  AND they are much more farmwife-friendly than snakes!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Farmer's Daughters: Barnyard Follies

School is out, and we are trying to keep the girls busy and away from the TV, so out to the barn we go!

First, Tall Guy asks Tink if she will climb up and help him transfer corn. Then I get a call saying, "Hey! You want to come out and see your oldest daughter?" Oh My Gosh! She was on the monster that kills backsides! Remember my post, "Walking with a Hitch in My Get-along"? Well, Miss Tink has grown a bit since then, and apparently she can handle the 19 inch steps. Now if I can just handle her being up there!

Now Little Bear had her nose out of join because she was not allowed to climb up (I really thought she would be the one to go up that high, NOT Tink!), so Daddy gave her another lesson on driving the Gator.

Whew!  I thought she was not going to turn the thing in time, but then Daddy was right there with her!

Watching all this fun were, of course, the critters:

Just another day in the life of our farm family.  Hope yours is doing just as well :-)  Happy Graduation to all the seniors out there!  Get out there and make us all proud, especially our kids headed off to become a vital part of Agriculture!