Thursday, December 5, 2019

SHHHHH! Don't Tell My Mom What You Heard Me Say!

What a great way to jump back into my blog, right?  After about 15 months of silence, I feel the urge to write about something my mom should NOT be reading.  Well, let's see if the sh!t will hit the proverbial fan with this post.

Let's talk about swearing.  Yep, I'm going there.  AND I'm going to come down somewhat in favor of it for the pure fact that it is cathartic. ( or good for you because it keeps you from internal combustion!)

Now I grew up a sweet little girl.  My mom, swear to goodness, would ask my brother and me if, during that lovely time of potty training, we made rivers or boats in the potty.  We NEVER said pee or poop back then!  I believe I was in my 40's (when I became a mom for the first and second time) before I would even say "pee" out loud.  I hope she's at least proud of me for that. I still inwardly cringe when I say pee, SMH!

Let's bring my Grandpa Bill into the picture.  He was a farmer, and I firmly believed he and God talked quite regularly with each other, and he even spoke to Jesus, although a few times I thought Jesus was in trouble because Grandpa called him by his full name.  YIKES!  After spending the weekend with them during harvest, my rather annoying little brother was bawling his head off at home, so I "allegedly" marched my chubby little two-year-old legs to the bottom of the stairsteps, and yelled, "Gosh darn you, Terry, Shut Up!" (only in Grandpa's words, which I had apparently heard a lot of that weekend.)  I was quite verbal from an early age that should not surprise anyone who knows me.  Boy, was I in trouble because first, I mentioned God in a not-so-conversational/appropriate manner in my rant, and then I said shut up, another big No-No!

Ok, so I grew up, and I learned that just because Grandpa said some words didn't mean I could say them, and I adapted.  I was a teacher's kid, so I tried to be good as I could be.  Then I became a teacher, and I'm just going to say it.  In 18 years of teaching English to teenagers, I swallowed a crap ton of bad words!  I was also and still am a devout fan of the Chicago Cubs and Purdue Boilermakers, and both those teams have inspired "bad words," mostly out of frustration, but there have also been some joyous moments mixed in the pot.

My mom would be proud of me because I really do try not to swear in public.  I take my camera to soccer games and seriously take like 800 pictures at each match, edit them, and post them privately for the team to see.  They think I'm so sweet, and I honestly do this so they can see how great they play no matter what the score is, but it's also an attempt to keep my mouth shut.  I can crack up a few of my fellow parents by uttering Mom-approved oaths like "Fiddle Sticks!"  "Oh, for Pete's sake!" and my edgy one, "Fudruckers!"  (It's an eatery in Chicago, probably a chain.  Google it!) In my mind, though,  the dark words are flying through the air. I also love one that another Chris (guy) friend taught me:  "Son of a Motherless Goat!"  It makes people laugh, and then they have to think about it for a while.  Hee Hee!

Through all these 57 years and some days I have spent on this earth, however, I have tried my dangdest to stay away from the F-Bomb.  Hearing it has always been just a tipping point for me.  Can't you come up with a more creative word than one that is so vulgar?  But then about two or so years ago, good ol' Mr. Shakespeare's line from Romeo and Juliet kept playing in my head:

"That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet..."

I don't know what pushed me over the edge, having two teenage daughters, stressful life on the farm, watching Purdue football/basketball, seeing my daughter and her friends getting plowed on the soccer field or basketball courts, or maybe I just hit my 50's and decided I could say what I want, but that darned word or its other forms has started to creep into my mind. I like to borrow the word, "bugger" from the British side of the English language.  It sounds so much nicer for some reason.

I saw a post on Facebook that hit home.  "I'm not having a mid-life crisis.  I'm just in a F*** It! Mood!."  BINGO!  My neighbor and I mouth it to each other over beverages and cathartic conversations about our daily trials and tribulations.  We had a couple over to play euchre, and we have played together for about 25 years.  Chris and I decided to let loose the F-word, and I swear we laughed so hard I thought I was going to make a river in my pants!  The girls weren't there, so no bad examples to see/hear.  I'm not sure if it goes all the way back to the forbidden fruit or word in this case, but saying it with a friend melted off so many heavy bricks of frustration and irritation. that day.

So in honor of my mom and because I am still a good girl at heart, please do not take this post as a pass to start openly swearing.  My point is that in this crazy world full of stress, we all need to find a way to release our anger.  Don't go tweeting it or square off with a person who makes you angry, but get the dark out of your system.  I am so lucky to be able to go outside my house and scream any word I want.  The cows just don't care, and if they tell my mom, I'll eat them!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tailgating with Grandma Becky's Peanut Butter Cookies

At a loss as to what to bring to a tailgate party?  Looking for a sweet recipe that will make everyone's eyes light up in pure joy?  I've got just the recipe for you that is sure to be a repeat treat request from everyone at your future gatherings.  Whether you are packing a basket to go to the Colt's home opener, headed to the field with a meal for everyone out working to harvest our crops, or off to your kids' fall sports activities,  these cookies are a must take to add to the food table.  My mom makes the BEST peanut butter cookies, so I am naming her recipe after her, Grandma Becky's Peanut Butter Cookies.  AND, just so you know, they were a prize-winning entry at the Tippecanoe County Fair Open Show many years ago!

In our lives, we are taking this "tailgate" talk literally.  We just finished up with our county fair (where there were lots of tails and lots of gates!), and I wanted to bring a treat for everyone on Beef Show Day that would be an instant comfort food hit.  The night before the show, Miss K and I were trying to figure out what kind of cookie to make.  She was pulling for chocolate chip, and I was in the mood for peanut butter. Finally, we had an epiphany and decided to combine the two with Grandma Becky's recipe plus some chocolate chips!  Instant perfections!  (ok, maybe Reeces (c) had the idea first, but .....)

We chose wisely because these cookies went flying out of the container as soon as they were spied.

Miss Bear's steer earned a special distinction at our fair by winning "Best Rate of Gain!"  That means it put on the most weight between our first beef weigh-in and our last.  He averaged a 2.9 pound a day gain.  I have to say that I taught him everything I know about weight gain!  Gaining 2.9 pounds in one day is not that hard to do!   Seriously, though, we take that award quite to heart with our steers because their sole purpose is to grow up and become a healthy source of protein in your menu planning.  

Now I will tell that if you sit down and eat ALL these cookies, you, too, will be on track to compete with our steer in weight gain, but in moderation, these cookies have enough energy to get you through a long day of showing cattle or rooting on your favorite team!  Remember, sharing is a good thing! That's what we did with a lot of our friends in the show barn.  Sharing cookies goes a long way to promote peace on earth and good will toward all your fellow competitors.  It also keeps those who help you happy!

I have several friends loading up this very morning to head to the Indiana State Fair to show their livestock, and I bet you someone is baking cookies right now to take down and stash in a camper.  I wish all the kids well at the State Fair.  They and their families have worked countless hours with their animals keeping them well-fed and cooled off in the heat we had earlier this summer.  I'm sending a special shout to my Benton County Peeps who are going to be great representatives of our county's livestock production, AND another shout out to all the projects our county's best 4-Hers are sending down to be judged!  I hope you make it out to our state fair, and take in a preseason Colts' game.  Don't forget to pack a well-filled basket with all your best foods!

Grandma Becky's Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 Cup shortening
  • 1 Cup peanut butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 Cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional  1 1/2 Cups Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the first six ingredients, and beat until creamy.
  2. Sift together the rest of the ingredients, and stir into the creamy mixture.
  3. Chill dough overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Pinch off dough, and roll between palms into balls the size of a small walnut.
  5. Place 3 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper.
  6. Flatten cookies with a fork dipped in flour, making a criss-cross indentation.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cookies are done when they are set and puffy. Do not let go flat!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Food Fit for a Fan: 22 Party Recipes Round-up just in Time for March Madness

Who doesn't love a party?  Around here, someone calls up, says, "I've cleaned my kitchen!" and let the party plans commence.  Pitch-ins are the greatest because friends bring either their crowd-favorite dish or their latest find on Pinterest.  I'm getting ready to gather all my peeps for food and fun cheering on our Purdue Boilermakers as the NCAA Tournament tips off this week. With the recipes I have gathered for you, you will have a slam dunk on your table with any or all the dishes and drink recipes you find here.  They are tried and true recipes from some of the best cooks I personally know, and most are made with ingredients you already have in your own fridge, freezer, or pantry.  Let's tip off the ball and get this party-planning game going!

Who doesn't love a party?  Around here, someone calls up, says, "I've cleaned my kitchen!" and let the party plans commence.  Pitch-ins are the greatest because friends bring either their crowd-favorite dish or their latest find on Pinterest.  I'm getting ready to gather all my peeps for food and fun cheering on our Purdue Boilermakers as the NCAA Tournament tips off this week. With the recipes I have gathered for you, you will have a slam dunk on your table with any or all the dishes and drink recipes you find here.  They are tried and true recipes from some of the best cooks I personally know, and most are made with ingredients you already have in your own fridge, freezer, or pantry.  Let's tip off the ball and get this party-planning game going!

The Farmwife Crafts  Slowcooker Honey BBQ Wings

Chasing Saturdays  Instant Pot Chicken Legs

Chasing Saturdays  Crock Pot Bacon Wrapped Smokies

The Farmwife Cooks  Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Dip

The Farm Wife Cooks  Fiesta Ranch Crackers

The Backroad Life  Turkey, Onion, and Chive Pinwheels

The Backroad Life  Crock Pot Fiesta Corn Dip

My Fearless Kitchen  Slow Cooker Pineapple Meatballs

Kim Galeaz  Rebound with Hot Reuben Dip

Beyer Beware  King's Hawaiian Roll Ham Sandwiches 

The Farmwife Feeds  Crock Pot Smoked Sausage Bites

And from my kitchen:

Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Queso Dip

No-Bake Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip

Crockpot Caramel Apple Dippers

Now, don't you worry.  A party isn't a party unless there are fun party drinks to go along with all that wonderful food.  Beer might be the beverage choice for some sports fans, but parties are fun times to get creative with your drinks.  You know, there is even a drink called a Boilermaker!   It's super simple.  Pour beer into a glass, and whiskey into a shot glass.  Drop the full shot glass into the glass with the beer, and BAM!  Bottoms Up and Boiler Up!

Here are some other fun choices to consider.

Drinks for kids:

The Farmwife Drinks  Green Punch

The Farmwife Drinks  Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

The Farm Wife Drinks  Homemade CopyCat Wendy's Frosty Recipe

Drinks for adults:

The Farmwife Drinks  Fireball Cherry Apple Bomb

The Farmwife Drinks  Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Bud Light Beer Punch
* This is so good that you might even find yourself hopping and skipping, but try to slow down a bit before you hit that last part.

The Farmwife Drinks  Rum Punch - Tidal Wave or Shark Bowl Punch

So, I've gathered the best recipes for your parties and my own.  There is something for fans of every age to enjoy.  Gotta keep them all happy just in case the score is not to their liking.

One more shout out to my alma mater, Purdue"
Here's hoping all your teams play their best games, and your parties go on well after the last whistle is blown.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

National Ag Safety Week: Be Aware of Slow-moving Vehicles on the Road

For better or worse, I can now be a poster child (ok, woman) for Farm Safety on the Roads.  Please, please, please be watchful for slow-moving vehicles.  They are not just out on the roads during harvest.  We are gearing up for planting season, and there will be many farmers out moving equipment, seeds, and wagons in just a few weeks. Let me tell you my story.

It happened the last day of harvest; actually, we had finished the night before.  Tall Guy asked me to come help move our equipment home that morning so we could get it all done in one trip.  The irony is that they could have moved home that night after finishing, but they all agreed it would be safer to wait until daylight hours for the 20-mile trip home.

So off we went to the county just south of us to move home the combine, the tractor and auger wagon, and the bean head for the combine.  Grandpa took the tractor and wagon home "the back way," which means he did not take US 41; he stayed on the county roads. The combine, however, is a wide vehicle, and the truck pulling the bean head is quite long, so with TG in the combine and me in the truck pulling the bean head,  we turned north on to the four-lane US Highway 41.

It was a clear day, just like we had hoped, with very little traffic.  When we drive home on US41, it's not a big deal.  There are two traffic lanes and an extra "lane' on the right for emergencies.  TG always leads, the combine straddling the emergency lane and the first lane, and I always follow.  I've learned from doing this about 17 years to give him a healthy distance ahead of me.  Combines are so wide, kind of like semis, and the rule is if you cannot see their side mirrors, then the driver cannot see you.  Thankfully, I was paying attention to that rule because just about a quarter mile from our road, I was hit from behind by a semi.

I had seen him in my side mirror about a mile before our road, and I was waiting for him to go by me so I could make the right turn without having to worry about getting in his way.  He saw me, too, but what the driver told me later was he did not realize was how slow I was driving.  All my flashers were on, and for good reason.  A combine, at least our combine, cannot go much faster than 20 mph.  I was driving about 15 mph because ahead of me TG was slowing down to make his turn.  The semi driver, who we were told looked down to adjust his heater, didn't see me again until right before impact. He was going all of 60 mph. All of a sudden, my whole truck shook, things popped, and I realized I was not in control of my vehicle.

Here are the pictures, taken by my hubby who whipped the combine around and pulled in the median to help.  You should know that all he saw from his seat in the combine was a lot of white smoke.  The width of the combine blocked his view from his mirrors.  I wasn't close to being pushed into him; that would have been a whole different outcome, but I was pushed closer to him by the impact of the semi's contact from behind.

This is our bean head, and the semi hit me smack in the middle, from just right of the deer, John Deere.  You can also see I was moved completely to the other side of the road.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

The bed of the truck took most of the impact.  It was a short bed.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

This is an extremely important picture for me.  While the bean head was shoved into the bed of the truck, the bed of the truck was shoved up into the back seat of the crew cab.  That crew cab was one of the three miracles that saved me from injury.  The second miracle is that while the bean head went into the bed of the truck, you can see that the tongue of the trailer went underneath the truck.  If it had gone up too, it would have been just like a spear going through the truck.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

Here is a closer view.  I will also say there was an added blessing that no one was in the back seat.  This wreck happened on a Monday, so the girls were in school.  Anyone who would have been seated in the back would have been severely injured.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

This is what the backend of the truck looked like after the bean head was removed.  We were going to buy this truck from Gpa to be K's first truck, but ....well, you can see that's not happening.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

The semi that hit me did not escape.  Every vehicle in this accident was totaled. TOTALED!

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

The truck pushed me, and in that instant, the third miracle happened.  I did not slam on the break.  In fact, I went a ways before I actually realized I still had my foot slightly on the gas pedal. If I had hit the breaks, then I'm sure all the damage behind me would have surrounded me and included me in the mess.

Ag Day Farm Safety Road Safety

So all vehicles, the semi, the trailer, the bean head, and Gpa's truck were totaled, and I walked away, shakey mind you, without any part of me broken, scraped, or bruised.  I felt and do feel so blessed.  We believe I had a slight concussion, just from the impact, think a very harsh stop at the end of the rollercoaster ride, and the jarring, while not giving me whiplash, did aggravate my fibromyalgia. Tall Guy told me that my driver's seat could not move, so my arms must have locked up, and pushed my body back into my seat.

I seriously got back in our van and drove the girls to a function that night.  I wasn't afraid to get back on the road, but I can still see all the skid marks on the highway when we come home from church or are coming home from the southwest side of the state. It keeps my mind focused on safety and the blessings I have in my life.

Soooo Peeps..... Please please please slow down out there when you come across slow-moving tractors, trucks and other farm vehicles, or any slow-moving vehicle.  Finally, I have to admit that I wouldn't look at these pictures on TG's phone for a few days.  When I did, it made me face just how lucky I was that day, or just how close I was to not being here to share my story with you.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites

Looking for a party food that is sweet, tangy, with a little kick to start off a gathering or get together?  Look no farther than this post.  Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites are the perfect combination of yum and wow!
 Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites

Looking for a party food that is sweet, tangy, with a little kick to start off a gathering or get together?  Look no farther than this post.  Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites are the perfect combination of yum and wow!

Looking for a party food that is sweet, tangy, with a little kick to start off a gathering or get together?  Look no farther than this post.  Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites are the perfect combination of yum and wow!

Just because one sports season ends doesn't mean that it's time to put up all the crock pots and shut the refrigerator door.  Yes, the Winter Olympics are over, yes there are no big holidays to celebrate until Easter, BUT here in Indiana we (meaning the Purdue Boilermakers) have at least a month left of basketball season, and that is something to celebrate! 

Looking for a party food that is sweet, tangy, with a little kick to start off a gathering or get together?  Look no farther than this post.  Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites are the perfect combination of yum and wow!

Mark my words, you are going to love this recipe. It's super simple, sweet, and tangy with that KICK to make you come back for more.

I actually grabbed all the ingredients on my way to a blog retreat with my Indiana Ag Amplifier pals. We stayed at the beautiful Indiana FFA Center down near Trafalgar.  It's the perfect reflection of what southern Indiana looks like, with rolling hills, woods, and quite a bit of wildlife ( read DEER) running around.  We have the deer at home too but not the rolling hills and large wooded areas.

Dang!  I squirreled again.

Here's your list of ingredients:

Maple Syrup
Apricot Preserves


We are that close to making something sooo special! 

Click to Print:

Looking for a party food that is sweet, tangy, with a little kick to start off a gathering or get together?  Look no farther than this post.  Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites are the perfect combination of yum and wow!

Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites

  • 2 pounds or rounds Kielbasas sausage
  • 1 jar Apricot preserves
  • 1 cup Maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Maker's Mark bourbon whiskey
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces and place in the bottom of a crockpot.
  2. Add the preserves and syrup. You can use whatever syrup you have on hand.
  3. Add the bourbon. I chose Maker's Mark but any bourbon that you like will work, and you can use apple juice in its place.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.

 Maker's Mark Kielbasa Bites

I want to give a big shout out to Tammilee at Tammilee Tips for her Pinterest recipe that inspired this post.

Now it's time to gear up for March Madness, an event we take quite seriously here in the great state of Indiana.  Stay tuned for a recipe round-up with all the great foods and drinks to make your March Madness Party or any party a huge success.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Love on the Farm: So God Made a Farm Dog

There are so many parts of our life on our farm that I love, but this past week I made one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life.  She was old, she had had an ACL tear that left her with arthritis, and after a slip on the ice and fall off the porch, she was just in too much pain, and we had to put our much loved Sadie down.   I want to share with you one part of farm life that I have always loved and that is having a Farm Dog.

Yes, I used to teach English, and yes, I know Farm Dog should not be capitalized unless it's a proper name or title. but those of us who are farmers know the importance of a good Farm Dog.  So with a nod to Paul Harvey's wonderful, "So God Made a Farmer," I'm going to tell you what happened on the Tenth Day....

So after God created this world of ours and made a Farmer and a Farmer's Wife, he realized there was still something missing.  Farming can be a solitary life.  It involves late nights and early mornings. There are long walks and even longer drives. Sometimes it's just a farmer or a farmwife out there alone. After much thought, on the 10th Day, God made a Farm Dog.

When the farmer went out early in the morning to do up his chores, rising in the wee hours of the morning to milk the cows or inspect the livestock soon to give birth while everyone else slept, God made a Farm Dog to cheerfully greet him with a smile, a wag of the tail, and faithfully go out with him and keep him company.

When the farmer's livestock escaped their pasture, God gave him a Farm Dog to help round them all back and bring the escapees back home.

When the farmer's head was filled with engine noises and thoughts of missing parts and putting them all together drawing his attention away from his surroundings, God made a Farm Dog to bark and let him know when a strange truck pulled in the lot.

When the farmer's wife needed to shoo the kids outside for a little peace and quiet, God made a Farm Dog to go with them and protect them and play with them in her place.

When the farmer's wife wanted to go for a walk down the road, God made a Farm Dog to go with her and encourage her to walk a little faster or even jog to help her stay healthy and fit. At the mear mention of going for a walk, the Farm Dog would show her excitement by jumping and spinning in circles to encourage a smile instead of a sigh from her farmwife.

When the farmer's wife and children were out picking up rocks in a field, God made a Farm Dog to watch, protect, and growl in an alert that a coyote was very near.

When the farm cats needed a furry friend to snuggle with, God made a Farm Dog to share with them the warmth of her body to shelter them from the cold.

She could also settle any fight just with her presence. When the farm kittens needed a babysitter and place to play, God made a very patient Farm Dog for them.

When the farmer sent a daughter on an errand in the Gator, God made a Farm Dog to ride with her and keep her driving at a safe speed.

When special days came around, God made a Farm Dog to help mark the time and wait for the bus.

When the trials and the frustrations of the day were just too much to bear alone, God made a Farm Dog to listen without judgment and give kisses to whoever sat down and vented to her.

So God made a Farm Dog that day, and He has made several since then; each one specially created and picked to meet the needs of each farm family.  Each one has and has had a special place in a farm family's heart, and we here up on Fowler Ridge, miss this special gift from God, our very own Farm Dog, with all of our hearts.

Rest in Peace Sadie Daisy CLoud Wallpe, and one day we will, again, go on one of our long walks.