Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Continuation: "Why aren't farmers out planting their crops?"

If you are traveling along highways and interstates this weekend, you might look out the car/van/truck window and see what looks like many unplanted fields once you leave urbana behind you.  There might even be a conversation in your vehicle of choice that goes along the lines of "Why haven't those farmers been out planting their crops???"  Be patient.... Most are already in the ground and starting to pop out of the ground....Really!

If you go by our farm just west of the house, you won't see anything growing unless you slow down and have a sharp eye.  In between last year's corn  rows, though, this year's soybean crop is popping up out of the ground!

Like I talked about in last month's chat about cover crops, we also left the corn fields untilled to save our top soil from blowing away (and it's a pretty good snow fence during the winter months!).  No-till is another name for this process.  You might see some of the ends of the fields worked, or having dirt showing.  We do work some of those end rows to break up the ground from all the harvest equipmentrunning back and forth on it in the fall.  That constant travel of combines, tractors and wagons and even semis. creates compaction of the soils, making it pretty tough to dig at and in if left alone all winter.

Top update you on the corn crop across the road, the cover crop has completely died out, and the corn is getting tall enough to start covering some of the dead plants from view.

The two pictures below show where our field cornstops and our sweet corn starts.  Tall Guy planted seven rows of sweet corn for us.  Can't wait until it's ready! Field corn is on your left, and the sweet corn in on your right.

If you look more closely at the next picture and the one following, you will see a hidden crop that we will get ready to harvest next.

Those green grass strips running through our fields are grass waterways.  It's a way we filter any run-off water from our fields before that water makes its way in to the drainage creeks.  As soon as the weather man gives us the green light of about 3-4 clear, rain-free days, TG will be out with this hay conditioner to cut the waterways, and he will bail it up as grass hay for our cattle.

Hope you are having a great weekend this Memorial Day Holiday.  Please keep in your hearts those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live in this great country of ours.  This was also a HUGE weekend here in Indiana because the Indianapolis 500 turned 100 years old.  In honor of this milestone, the black out issued back in 1950 on all Indianapolis channels to carry the race was lifted. Translation: It was the first time in my lifetime I could watch the race in the comfort of my home!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Country Girl's Hack on Iced Mocha Lattes

Coffee is very much a mainstay on most farms.  You might have seen pictures of a farmer warming his hands around a steaming hot cup of Joe.  Sometimes they just hold the cup to warm up their cold fingers from milking cows or feeding livestock With farmers answering that internal early alarm going off in their head, it's nice to give the rest of the body a bit of a boost to catch up with its top part.  See what happens when farmers drink coffee???? 

Sigh...... Well maybe it doesn't quite happen that way, but most farmers are a bit more easy going AFTER they have had their coffee!

One of my favorite stories to tell is about a trip to the Big Town, Indianapolis, and talking to a salesperson as I check out of one of the fun stores in Indy's Circle Center Mall.  She was all bummed, so I asked her what was wrong.  She proceeded to lament the fact that because of construction, she had to an extra mile to find Starbucks for her daily fun coffee drink.  I chuckled and told her, "Honey, I have to drive about 30 miles to get to a Starbucks store."  I think it took her a while to process that horrific bit of information...... Ah,.... the list of differences between the country mouse and the city mouse just got bigger.

When I do get to visit an urban coffee shop, I have the dangedest time trying to figure out how to order what I want.  I just can't pop in or go through the drive through and say, " Hi! I would like a mochalattedoubleespressoandrealcreamtwosquirtsofmochaplease!" I'm not even sure of what I said. It's more like, "Hi, I'm not sure what the name is, but I want coffee with cream, espresso, sugar-free chocolate and hazelnut syrups......on ice please." Gah!

Now that we ladies are taking to the field, many of us are also fond of our morning java, but some of us out here like a bit more in our coffee besides, well, coffee.  We are hard pressed out here in the country to find a java roasting oasis within five miles of home. Here's my solution to this dilemma.

I have survived this most horrid gap between myself and "civilized coffee" by making my own. During six months of the year, I drink it hot, and thanks to our fickle Indiana weather, I'm just now transitioning over to the other side with iced coffee.  Want to know my secret? 

Here is what you will need, kind of.  Base your drink on what you like.  I usually use decaf instant coffee unless I really need a kick in the pants.  The flavorings are all subject to the creator's tastes. Have fun with this Peeps!

I have to remind you that I am not a measuring kind of cook by nature, but let the record state I really tried to measure this all out for you who like numbers.

For this tumbler, I went with three spoonfuls of instant coffee.  Tall Guy used to drink coffee, especially when he went out to milk at 4:00 in the morning during those cold months, but now the caffeine kind of messes with his sleep.  I use instant because I don't need to drink a whole pot full myself.   

To start putting the yummy in this drink, I add 2 spoonfuls of chocolate creamer and ......

2 spoonfuls of hazelnut creamer.

I like to shake this stuff up before pouring in the liquids.

While I'm mixing the dry parts of this potion, I'm boiling some water in the microwave. Pour about a cup over the dry ingredients, and stir.

Like this!

Next, I add some ice and three secret ingredients that make this iced mocha The. Bomb.

The first ingredient will make any dairy farmer tickled pink!  Yep, I put REAL CREAM in my coffee, about a 1/4 of a cup for a drink this big.  It's MOOOOOrvalous!

Next, add some Skinny Syrup, English toffee flavor! YUM!  Seriously Peeps!  Use Amazon Prime and order what you want.  Why?  You will get what you want in just 2 days or less, AND more flavors are available online.  I've also found that grocery stores usually do not carry the brands I like in the flavors I like.  Again, gotta keep it easy-peasy!

And on those very cold or long or special mornings, I just might add a wee bit of Kahlua. Hey, it tastes better than the flavored syrup.  No judging!

Fill the cup up with ice, and maybe leave a little room to pour some of your hot water left over the ice to help along the melting process.  Ah..... Now I can sit back, drink my yummy iced mocha latte and watch the dark blobs out in our foggy pasture turn in to cows as they come closer to the fence.

There you have it!  Easy-peasy, and I'm pretty sure it comes out cheaper than a venti or grande at you-know-where!  Take this recipe below and turn it in to your favorite flavored iced coffee drink!

Homemade Iced Mocha Lattes 24 oz. glass/tumbler

  • 3 spoonfuls Instant coffee
  • 2 spoonfuls Sugar-free chocolate creamer
  • 2 spoonfuls Sugar-free Hazelnut creamer
  • 1-1 1/2 Cups boiling water
  • 1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz. Sugar-free flavored coffee syrup
  • 1 oz. (more or less) Kahlua liquor
  • ice cubes
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix dry ingredients into the glass/tumble. Shake around or stir together so they are mixed.
  2. Add boiling water, and stir together until dry ingredients are dissolved. Add a few ice cubes.
  3. Add cream and flavored liquids, stir, and then fill glass/tumbler with ice. You might want to pour a bit of the hot water over the ice to start the melting process.  Enjoy! Substitute coffees, creamers, and liquids to suit your taste.
Printable recipe

Monday, May 9, 2016

Man Crush Monday! I'm Married to a Rock Star!

I don't know why I'm surprised.  It happens just about every time I post a picture of him.  I can be places with him, and people will go right by me to him and say, "You're Tall Guy aren't you?!?!"

He doesn't have a Facebook page, he doesn't tweet, and he still pays bills with a check, an envelope, and a stamp.  I'm Married to a Rock Star! *The picture was taken on the road, allegedly at a stop light while he was hauling grain to Lafayette.  See ??  People just roll down their windows to take a picture of him, and he gives them that smile that made me fall in love with him.

These are his groupies!  He has them in several different towns, but these girls know him well and let me hang out with them.

Ah.... our "Gator Dates"  out checking fields...... Love those!

Of course he has his true girls closest to his heart, and they love him to the moon and back.

MELT. MY. HEART.  !!!!!!

He manages to get so many different jobs crossed off his list every day!

April was quite the eventful month is this house.  I've never been in the ER in my life as a patient, but I managed to end up there THREE times last month.  We finally figured out that kidney stones were freaking out my blood pressure, but he was there right by my side every visit, and just like babies, none of these trips were made with the sun high in the sky.  I think we got home for the last one around 5:30 a.m.!  Of course besides these trips there were several doctor visits made.  I'm happy to say my ship seems to have righted itself, but I'm so glad he was my anchor through it all.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Mother's Day!

With Mother's Day just a few days away, here are a few pics from our year so far.  Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there doing their best every day to make this world a better place for their kids, be that they walk on two or four legs.  Either way, ours days are filled with adventure and love!!