Friday, September 30, 2016

Farmer Q & A: Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or often even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer, or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........


Yep, it's my father-in-law, a.k.a. Grandpa.  A true farmer with a little bit of farm dirt to prove it! If he reads this post, I'm going to have to deal with a bit of smugness from his end, but he has really helped me learn how to be a good farm wife.  This post came to me when two of my friends, sisters-in-law, lost their father-in-law last week.  Hugs and love to Miss Liz at The Farmwife Cooks and her sister-in-law Miss Amy.  Father-in-laws, at least in my case, are great teachers (probably a bit more patient than their sons) when it comes to learning how to run equipment and understanding animals and fields. Yes, they taught their sons the exact same lessons, but with age comes that innate knowledge that the artificial intelligence in our monitors and phones just don't have.  That knowledge is priceless.

My FIL has farmed some of this ground more than 50 years.  He knows where the washes are and where the danged field tile posts are hidden.  He knows just where to park his tractor with the auger wagon so that he is ready to pick me up just when my combine is full (That amazes me!).  He pretty much understands the weather; although we do quibble about his "feelings" and the actual radar activity.  Sometimes those dang storms do fall apart right before they get to us, and a few times, I have actually been right.....and wet!

We are the ones picking/cutting corn and beans while Tall Guy mans the semis and deals with the unloading end of the harvest.  I feel badly for TG because he would love to be in the "Captain's Seat." He did get to run the combine a bit while we were in beans.....

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

but he understands the drier best, and between the three of us can best get in and out of the trucks to do the unloading.  Grandpa and I take turns with who is in the combine/tractor, but when we are in corn, it works best if he unloads the auger wagon because he does it more quickly than I do, and there may be a slight issue with my depth perception, but I'm not ready to own that one quite yet.

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Grandpa is in the tractor with the auger cart unloading on the go, and I am in the combine sneaking a photo op without him seeing me do it......hopefully.

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........


There is one thing that Grandpa and I do out in the field that drives poor TG nuts:  We talk on the radio.  A. Lot. (At least according to TG)  Sometimes it's a directional thing like him giving me directions, and other times we just like to banter back and forth.  Then there are times when one of us forgets to do something like put the combine auger away or "Someone" needs to slow his tractor down during an unload on the go because his 3.8 mph in his tractor is 4.2 miles in my combine.  You would think .4 mph wouldn't be a big deal, but I would invite you to sit in the buddy seat by mine when it happens..... A lot of corn comes out of the combine auger at a deceptively high rate, and there aren't enough buckets or time to go pick a mess on "Row" 5!  We also use hand  gestures too, but not the ones I use with TG!  (hee hee!)

Translation:  "Put your head here."

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

I think I have the most enjoyment sitting back in my seat listening to Grandpa and TG discuss farm strategies back and forth.  I learn a lot from them......Maybe silence is golden......but let's not tell Tall Guy! They talk about where tile lines need to go, how a waterway might be better fixed, what vehicles and equipment need maintenance, and what I should be doing next.  Yep, with "she" listening right along with them on the same radio!

So yes,  Technology is grand, and so many answers to questions are right at our finger tips, but when I want to know something about the farm I am working on, my best resource is still on the other end of my FM radio.  Thanks Grandpa for being my life line and teaching me just a tenth of what you know.  Keep on teaching!

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........






Is there a favorite job or task you and your father-in-law are better doing than you and your husband?

Do you work with your father-in-law or mother-in-law?  If so, what is it like to work closely with them?




Time for me to get back out there and put some more corn in the bins!

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day, 
and try to make a positive difference 
in someone else's life !


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Harvest Time! Please Be Careful Out There!

Looks like things are gearing up around here, and tomorrow might be our first day of #harvest16 Please keep your eye out for slow moving farm equipment, tractors, combines, trucks, and farmers out and about.  We start early, we stay late, and we move around a lot from field to farm, from field to the grain elevator, and from field to field.  We are your neighbors, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, grandpas, and grandmas to our family and your children's friends.


Looks like things are gearing up around here, and tomorrow might be our first day of #harvest16
Please keep your eye out for slow moving farm equipment, tractors, combines, trucks, and farmers out and about.  We start early, we stay late, and we move around a lot from field to farm, from field to the grain elevator, and from field to field.  We are your neighbors, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, grandpas, and grandmas to our family and your children's friends.


Have you ever taken a ride in a combine?

Have you ever offer a friend or family member to take a ride with you in the combine?

Do you have fond memories of past harvests?

Do you have a question about harvest you would like me to answer?

When you think of fall, what comes to mind?



Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day, 
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life!





Sunday, September 18, 2016

Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers: A Super Easy Snack for Any Occasion

This is a sponsored post. The Indiana Soybean Alliance provided me with the crock pot, and Indiana Soybean Association gave me the idea, but my words and thoughts are my own. Affiliated links only go on products I use and enjoy.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


Because it is fall, apples seem to be on everyone's mind.  True, we can find them at the store pretty much whenever we want them; however, there is still something traditional, nostalgic, and just plain fun about going to an orchard and picking your own.  Maybe you are like me, and there is an apple tree or two in your own back yard.  With all the festivals and fairs popping up across smalltown America this time of year, you are bound to find a variety of ways to serve apples with caramels.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

I personally, have always found eating a big apple covered in caramel and nuts and stuff quite challenging,  It all seems to somehow make on to many places other than landing in my mouth.  I love this idea of dipping wedges into the sauce and then dredging it through toppings of my choice. This way of eating caramel apples gives people at least a fighting chance of eating one without a huge mess........

See?

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Ok, so about now I bet you are wondering where the crock pot comes in to play, right?  Great question!  I actually used TWO crock pots for this recipe, and I promise this is another easy-peasy recipe!

First, you need caramel.  There are several ways to go about this.  You can buy sauce already made and then heat it up in a small crock pot.  You can also grab a bag of caramels at the store, bring them home, and melt them down in a pan or in the microwave.  I chose a different route.  I sent Tall Guy a message to pick up three cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk from our local IGA.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Place these cans in a large crock pot, and fill the pot full of water.  Make sure the water completely covers the cans with some to spare.  I started the pot up at 10:30 last night on low, went to bed, and 8 hours later grabbed a set of tongs and removed the cans from the crock pot to cool to room temperature.  After that time, you can pop open the lids and *POOF* caramel sauce is made in a can! (The water was boiling when I turned it off so, as you can imagine, the paper peeled right off the cans.)

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

When it is time to eat the dippers, scoop out the caramel from one or all cans, and warm it up in a small crock pot.  While that is heating back up to a warm creamy consistency, time to work on your apples and toppings.  I have to admit that I cheated a little and used the good ol' apple corer/slicer *on my apple.   *I like the tool I linked to because it has a rubber cover that goes over the blades, and it has bigger handles so pushing down will not crunch fingers at the end.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

This is the perfect tool to core and quarter the perfect apple.  Just remember that the Good Lord doesn't make all apples perfect, and for those you just have to grab a knife, and do it the old fashioned way.

Next, I put one cool little bamboo fork into each slice.  If your apples are going to set out a while, dip the apples in some 7-Up, Sprite, or other clear pop to prevent browning.  Lemon juice also works, but I don't like the taste of lemon on my apples.  Just sayin'

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Ok, for the toppings, the sky is the limit, but tonight I just chose four: chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows cut in half with blue sprinkles.....GO COLTS!!!... and Heath bar nuggets.  You can also try marshmallow cream, peanut butter, crushed graham cracker crumbs, mini M&Ms, coconut or any other chopped nut of your choosing.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


Dip the apple slice in the caramel, and then dredge it through one, two, three, or even all four of the topping choices, and enjoy!

Do you have a great tailgate recipe?  The Indianapolis Colts are sponsoring The Colts Best Tailgate Contest.  Click HERE for more information.  Good Luck!

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Printable Recipe




Caramel Sauce in a Can


Ingredients
  • 2-4 cans Sweetened condensed milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Place cans inside a crock post.
  2. Cover cans completely with water, submerged about one inch.
  3. Place a lid on the crock pot, turn on LOW, and let cook for 8 hours.
  4. Remove from water and let cool, unopened.
  5. Open at room temperature.
Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


See this recipe and more at the link below

 CROCK POT PARTY- WEEK 11


Until the next time Peeps, have a great day,
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Apple Snicker Salad

Fall on the farm......We have had a couple of days that tease at what is to come, but it's my favorite time of the year:  HARVEST!  While we are getting ready to cut beans and pick corn, there are a lot of other harvests getting underway here in Indiana and several other states.  It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting around parts of Indiana and surrounding states back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.

It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.


Last weekend we had a fish fry at the house that served two purposes: it was one last time to gather with friends before heading to the field, and it cleaned out a good part on one shelf in my freezer!  It also happened to be a day that great minds were thinking a like.  I chose to make a couple desserts, and I will share the second one with you soon, but I remembered how much Tall Guy loved this Apple Snicker Salad at a family gathering a while ago, and decided to make it for him to go with all the fish.

It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.


I learned something about this recipe; it can be made several ways.  My recipe is a pudding/Cool Whip base.....

It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.


but apparently it can also be made with cream cheese and powdered sugar because a friend brought it to the gathering too! Do you have a preference?  We should have had a taste test, but I told her to keep hers because she has a son at home who loves the stuff, and boys sure do like to eat.



Ok, You can file this recipe under Apples and Easy-Peasy because, well, it is so simple to make!  To feed the masses at the fish fry, I doubled the recipe.  I also used Honey Crisp apples as my Golden Delicious apples are still a shade too green to pick.  Our apples might not all look pretty, but they taste amazing!  The girls and I have contests to see who can have the longest intact apple peal once we start using them inside.

It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.

Like I said, they aren't pretty, but when we find a bruised one, we just cut around the brown spots and use as much as we can of the rest of the apple.  No waste on this farm!

Ok, Let's make a yummy treat for the whole family to enjoy!

It's Apple Picking Time! Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in Indiana?  I would also make a wager that a very high percentage of farms have apple trees somewhere close to the house.  Good Ol' John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed did a lot of planting back in the day.  Our Golden Delicious apples are turning yellow on our tree out back.  Now is the time to pull out those favorite apple recipes and indulge in the yumminess of apples.  A new favorite around here is Apple Snicker Salad.

Printable Recipe:


Apple Snicker Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 C cold milk
  • 1 3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 oz.) Cool Whip topping, thawed
  • 4 large (about 6 Cups) apples, chopped
  • 4 2.07 oz. bars Snickers
  • 1/2 C. Heath Bar nuggets
  • Caramel sauce
Cooking Directions:
  1. Chop up apples and Snicker bars into small, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Mix milk into instant pudding mix and stir for two minutes, then let set for two minutes.
  3. Reserve some Snickers pieces and Heath Bar nuggets for decoration.
  4. Add chopped apples, Snicker pieces, and Heath Bar nuggets to pudding and fold in.
  5. Add the Cool Whip, and fold it into the pudding mix.
  6. Top with remaining candy pieces, and drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the salad.
  7. Refrigerate an hour or more before serving.

There you go!



What is YOUR favorite apple to pick up and eat?


Share your favorite apple recipe.


How many of you have climbed up the apple tree to pick the awesome ones that grow at the very top?




Until next time Peeps, have a great day, 
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life!




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Animal Rescue: S.O.S. in the Barn Lot~!


Animal Rescue  Cooper Hawk

Want to play "Let's Make a Deal!"?  Would you trade in what is behind Curtain #2 for what is under this lovely Indianapolis Colts Crock Pot box?  Is it a crock pot? No, remember I used my Colts Crock Pot to make this great dip!

I'm not sure if you could consider what is inside the box as a ZONK!, but this box is part of a rescue mission that went on out in our cow lot this morning.  Now don't go worrying.  All humans on the farm and four-legged critters are just fine, but Tall Guy came upon one two-legged visitor hanging out in the feed lot.  And just what is under this box?

Animal Rescue:  S.O.S. in the Barn Lot~!

It's a hawk!  TG thinks it might be a sparrow hawk, but we won't know for a few days.  This guy (Girl?) was on the ground, a bit covered in poo, and not flapping its wings.  When TG came in from chores, he told me what he found and made a few calls to see what to do with it.  Now when you city folk call Animal Rescue, I am thinking that you don't have to capture and deliver the animal needing to be rescued, and drive it 45 miles one way for it to be safely with those who can help it.  That's what Tall Guy did, with a bit of help from three young animal rescuers.

Animal Rescue:  S.O.S. in the Barn Lot~!

Once these guys made it over to Wildcat Wildlife Center, they were met by a worker who gave them a number to call in a few days to check on our feathered friend.  

All this excitement reminded me of a story we used to pass around my family.....

A Barnyard Fable

Once there was a little bird who decided to stay in the North for the winter.
However, it soon turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south.
Ice began to form on his wings.
Almost frozen, he fell to Earth in a pasture.
A cow wandered by and crapped on the little bird.
Our feathered friend thought it was The End, but the manure was warm and defrosted his wings!
Warm, happy, and able to breathe, he started to sing.
Just then a cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated.
The cat cleared away the manure, found the singing bird, and promptly ate him.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS.....

Anyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy.

Anyone who pulls you out of a pile of manure is not necessarily your friend

and

If you are warm and happy in a pile of poo, keep your mouth closed!

Yep Peeps, My family has a great sense of humor!

It's been a couple weeks now....Yeah, blog posts don't always get finished when I want them to during harvest......  This hawk is a Cooper Hawk, but TG likes to call it a Sparrow Ahwk, and after about two and a half weeks at the shelter one of the workers there brought it back out here to be released.  I was in the combine, but Tall Guy was here to help set it free.  He tried to take a video of the event, but that Cooper Hawk was pretty darned anxious to be free.  All's well that ends well, and that my dear Peeps was a quote from Uncle Willy.  You might know him better as Sir William Shakespeare!

Animal Rescue: Cooper Hawk   S.O.S. in the Barn Lot~!

Animal Rescue: SOS in the Barn Lot!

Until next time, Peeps, have a great day,
and make a positive difference in
someone else's life!


Friday, September 9, 2016

3 of Lana's Life-isms



There are a few random ideas I just feel a need to share with you today.  Call them Pet Peeves, Myth busters, or just plain ol' sayings I take issue with.  You'll see as we go down the page together.

3 Lana Life-isms


1.  I'm not sure that's something to be happy about.  (or about which to be proud for all you grammar purists out there!)  It's been my experience with babies that some are quite difficult to get to sleep, and they tend to wake up many times during the night.  If you want to say you had a great night of sleep, say, "I slept like a tween or teenager last night!"  I can't begin to count the number of alarm clocks that are in both girls' rooms THAT DON'T DO SQUAT to wake up our Sleeping Beauties, and we are fresh out of Prince Charmings to give them that special wake up kiss... Miss Bear had her head about six inches from a blaring music alarm and was still out like a rock.  Miss K does the same thing, or her alarm wakes her up, but she just shuts it off and goes right back to sleep. To make matters worse, they both sleep upstairs, and we are on the ground floor.  That means there is a great deal of VERY loud conversations going up and landing on mostly deaf ears (they both have window air conditioners running on high at the moment).  Tall Guy is just about to the point that if they don't get up in time to make the bus, they will stay home and work with him ALL DAY!

3 Lana Life-isms

2.  Well Mr. Franklin, that's all well and good, but the pain in my knee is NOT gaining me anything but weight!  I was so fired up to come home from vacation and hit the walking trail and exercise road, but my left knee put the kabosh on those great plans.  Not exactly sure what is wrong with it, but we have several possibilities including bone spurs, cartilage in the inner portion of my left knee wearing thin, or a torn meniscus.  Went to an orthopedic doctor yesterday, and he gave me a steroid shot in hopes it will allow me to climb up the combine this harvest. It hurts too much to cross my legs, so cross yours and your fingers that this gets me through harvest.

3 Lana Life-isms

3.  With the sleep or wake up issues and knee issues here, I'm just about ready to make a big ol' batch of cookies, and you know what's going to happen to some of that dough?  Yep, it's never going to see the inside of the oven.  I LOVE chocolate chip cookie dough with just half the flour added to it the best... Oh.My.Goodness!!!!!  And I will swear on my 30+ year old version of Shakespeare's Complete Collection of Writings that I have NEVER been sick from eating cookie dough. All those big hulking guys used to put raw eggs in their morning drinks to make them big and strong! They were the pictures of health.  I really think that some mom somewhere just got tired of making up cookie dough, going out to hang clothes on the clothes line, and coming back into the kitchen to a half empty bowl of dough and two kids running out the other door.  Now if you eat too much of it or anything, that can make you sick, but I say eat your dough if it makes you happy (and probably a bit fluffy!). A cold glass of milk makes it even better!

Ok, I'll let all these wonderful words of wisdom settle with your morning coffee.  I will be back later, though, to share more ponderings.  They will probably have the theme of reading and following signs while driving through road construction, or how to use sarcasm to stem your road rage.  Until next time, I will leave you with a few writing prompts to fill my comment box. It does get lonely!  Believe me, I will read each and every one of your answers.

3 of Lana's Life-isms

How do you wake up your tweens and teenagers in the morning?

What is your best method of losing weight?

What is your favorite cookie?
(Recipe sharing is strongly encouraged!)

3 Lana Life-isms

Monday, September 5, 2016

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Queso Dip

This is a sponsored post. The Indiana Soybean Alliance provided me with the crock pot, and Indiana Soybean Association gave me the idea, but my words and thoughts are my own. Affiliated links only go on products I use and enjoy.

There is something about chicken that just kind of lends itself to party food, especially when people gather for a sporting event.  Wings, and any meaty piece of the chicken covered in barbecue sauce can make grown men dressed in their favorite team's jersey look at the cook with love in their hearts. If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.

There is something about chicken that just kind of lends itself to party food, especially when people gather for a sporting event.  Wings, and any part of the chicken covered in barbecue sauce can make grown men dressed in their favorite team's jersey look at the cook with love in their hearts. If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.


If you were to see the inside of our living room on a football Sunday, you would probably have to shake your head and look again.  You think you would see Tall Guy all comfy in his LazyBoy, with the usual fanfare of food and drink around him, but you would be wrong.  I am the football freak in this house. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this sport just as much as I love my Cubbies and Purdue basketball. Oh, he will watch it, and the girls are coming around now that they understand the game a bit more, but it's my raised voice directed at the screen when the Colts score or the refs can't get a call right.

I have a bit of disclaimer on the ingredients above picture.  I gathered all the ingredients, most of which I had in the pantry, but my family put the kibosh on the black beans.  The original recipe came from Allrecipes' Outrageous Warm Chicken Nacho Dip suggested to me by one of my very special go-to-for-recipes friend Angie.  Thanks Chickie!  I started with this recipe but made some adjustments so that it fit my family's tastes.  Seems fair because they are going to be eating it. Let's see what made it into the pot!


If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.

Looks like I added chopped chilies in place of the beans, and instead of Original Velveeta, I used the White/Blanco Velveeta. Shredded chicken breasts, Red Gold chopped tomatoes with chilies because they are from Indiana!, chopped jalapeno peppers, green onions, and some taco seasoning make up the rest of the ingredients.  This is the one place you get to "stir the pot" and not have a nasty mess as a result.

After an hour on high in the Colts Crockpot,  I checked to see how it was all coming together, and discovered it was a bit runny!  Yep, I forgot to drain the Red Gold Tomatoes and Chilies!  Dang it!  No big worries though.  Since I bought the 2 pound block of cheese, I just added an extra 1/2 pound or so to the dip.  When it melted into the rest of the dip, I had the thickness I wanted.  Whew!


If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.

If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.

It that simple!  My family gave it a big thumbs up.  TG liked it best in a tortilla wrap, so there is some versatility to this recipe.  The NFL's first game airs Thursday night with the Denver Bronco's playing the Carolina Panthers.......Sniff Sniff.  We here in Colts' Country secretly rooted for the Broncos because we could never abandon The Sheriff, Peyton Manning. What a great guy!  So glad he was able leave on top.  Our Colts start the season next Sunday at 4:30 at home against Detroit.  If you are headed down to Indy early to do some tailgating, this dip will put a big grin on the faces of all your friends.  It will also look great on the buffet table spread if you are watching at home.  Go Colts! Let's have a great season.... And of course I wish the same to your favorite team...unless you are playing mine!  If you would like more yummy tailgate reipes and information about the Colts' Tailgating contest, click HERE.
"Are You Ready
for Some
Football Food?"

If you love chicken but don't like the mess of BBQ sauce and wing stuff on your fingers, try popping some shredded chicken into your favorite queso dip like I did to create Crockpot Spicy Chicken Dip for your next tailgate or sports party gathering.



Crockpot Spicy Chicken Queso Dip

Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz. can Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with Chilies, drained
  • 1 small can diced chilies
  • 1 pound Velveeta Queso Blanco, cubed
  • 2 large Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/3 C. Sour cream
  • 1/4 C. diced green onion
  • 1 1/2 T. taco seasoning mix
  • 2 T minced jalapeno peppers (more or less)
  • 1 C. Black Beans (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients except beans in a slow cooker, stir, and cover. Cook on high, stirring a couple of times, until cheese is melted and dip is hot. About 1-2 hours. When done, stir in black beans and cook 15 more minutes until the beans are heated through.

Until next time, Peeps, have a great day, 
and make a positive difference in 
someone else's life!



Thursday, September 1, 2016

5 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.

Vacation pictures....Don't you just love them?  They take you back to a funny moment, or a peaceful end to a day, or a wild and crazy adventure.  For just a moment, you can put yourself right back in the time and place and relive all those great, carefree feelings.......  What?  You weren't in any of your vacation pictures? Holy Moly! Never fear~! Help is on the way as I share with you 5 Never Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.

Vacation pictures....Don't you just love them?  They take you back to a funny moment, or a peaceful end to a day, or a wild and crazy adventure.  For just a moment, you can put yourself right back in the time and place and relive all those great, carefree feelings.......  What?  You weren't in any of your vacation pictures? Holy Moly! Never fear~! Help is on the way as I share with you 5 Never Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.


We just returned from a much needed vacation that ended like three days before school started.  Our 4-H fair was held the very last days of July, ending on August 1.  We had just a few days to scamper around doing laundry, cleaning up all the piles created from "dumping and going" during the fair, paying bills, and repacking.  Out the door we went on August 4th for a 3075 mile road trip west of the Great State of Indiana.  The girls had never been west of Illinois, and Tall Guy and I hadn't seen mountains up close and personal since our honeymoon, so it was past time to head west.

If you don't know already, I am a picture-taking crazy girl!  LOVE taking pictures, sometimes to the chagrin of my family.  I know, though, that some day they will thank me for capturing all the great moments of their childhood on film and digital files......I just hope I'm still alive and coherent enough to say, "See?  I told you so!"  Let's get right into the 5 Tips that will make you an awesome photojournalist of your family moments on the road!  That sounds much better than a picture-taking crazy girl right?  Ready?

Whoa!  Wait a minute!   You don't want to be in these pictures??  I've had several people, ok maybe even including myself, say those same words.

I need to tell you one very important message:

Get Yourself in the Picture!!


Years from now, your kids are going to look back and wonder where Mom was. They won't get to see you.  As much as we might not like to see ourselves in pictures, Our families will want to see us in the pictures!!!!  So, get yourself in the picture!  Ok, now on to the list and 5 ways to put yourself in your vacation photos.

1.  Buy a Selfie Stick!  When we headed out west, we weren't always in a crowded place for our pictures, like in The Badlands, and a selfie stick helped us out with this issue of taking a complete family picture.  It doesn't have to be an expensive thing. I bought one at my camera store, Camera Outfitters, but if you are not around the Lafayette, IN area, you can get the same one I have here.  I'll be the first one to tell you that it takes a couple of tries to get all the bugs worked out, but it's fun learning.  This stick doesn't have a button to push to take the picture; you just set the timer on your camera, and start smiling when you see 3..2..1..SNAP!  Here are some of our attempts:

                              15 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures. 25 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.

                              35 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.45 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures. 

                              55 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures. 65 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.

                              75 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.85 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.

2.  Know What NOT to Do with a selfie stick!  So, in #1. it is important that everyone knows exactly where to look at on your smartphone.  I had no clue where to look, and I am still baffled at that fact.  I do believe, however, it is a generational difference: I don't take a lot of Selfies!  The girls set me straight on that one! With #5, it's a good idea to try to hide the stick, so don't keep your camera too low.  On the other side, I think we had it too high in #6.  #7 is a total disaster because we were looking into the sun, AND the camera shadow hit Miss Bear right on her noggin.  I like #s 1,2,3,4, and 8.

3.  Rely on the Kindness of Strangers.  There are some awesome people out there who will see you struggling to take a picture that includes yourself, or they will see you taking a picture that you should be in.  These sweet people will come up and say, "Hey!  Can I take your picture for you?" Your response: "Yes!  That would be great!  Thanks!"  LOVE it when this happens because you might end up meeting someone from a different state, country, or realize you only live two counties apart! Stranger things have happened.  Here is my favorite Kindness shot:

5 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures

Just a note that Miss K, who pointed out to me exactly where to look at the camera on these occasions, kind of seems to be distracted.

4.  Pay It Forward!  Again, I love to offer to take pictures for others.  You might see a mom trying to capture a picture of her kids, parents struggling to get all the kiddos corralled long enough for a shot, friends all traveling together, or a solitary traveler with a camera around his/her neck.  Don't be afraid to ask if these people would like to be in their pictures too.  It's such a small thing, but you have captured a moment in time that they will always cherish.  I even took a couple with my cell phone, then the other party gave me their number so I could send the picture to them. So.Darned.Easy!  See?

 5 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures
The first picture is of two grandparents with their granddaughter.  Turns out they live about 40 miles from us across the Illinois state line!  I can't remember where the other family is from, but I love the smiles of both parents.  Yeah, you are not actually in these pictures, but I bet the families will think of you when they look at them!

5.  Have Your kids Take over the Camera!  It's ok to snap a picture of just you and your spouse without the kids.!

5 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures

I don't know about you all, but TG and I don't always get just our picture taken any more, and it's kind of nice to have one or two.

There you have it!  5 Never-Fail Tips That Put YOU in Your Vacation Pictures.  Next time, we will talk about our trip to the Wild Wild West and how to take pictures while riding a horse!  Didn't know I was that talented did you.


Until next time, Peeps, have a great day, 
and make a positive difference in 
someone else's life!