Wednesday, October 31, 2007

be safe . .

I'm adding these two bonus pictures to today's earlier post.
Since we live in the country and virtually have no trick or treaters, I was ecstatic when one showed up. I have never seen a cuter lion.
He made no bones about it . .. he was coming in.
Never mind taking his treat and leaving . .. he wanted visiting time too.
Don't you just love his mane?
Check out his tail. I think he may be sitting on it funny.

Thanks for coming Julian. Next year bring your little cousin.

I do hope you and your family stays safe tonight.

You never know who will show up . . ..

I'm off to make some doggy treats.

I love my grandpup. He's a little koook.

Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Biscuits anyone?

Perhaps you have dinner in the oven and think to yourself . .. I wish we had some fresh rolls or bread to go with this . just needs something else. If you have an hour left before dinner, these are your answer.
I've made these so many times and my family has always loved these more than the actual dinner. Take that however you want.

First of all ..
Put 1 tablespoon of yeast in a small bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar
Add 1/4 cup of warm water
While that is starting to poof . .
In a large bowl . ..
Put 5 cups of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
Stir the dry ingredients together
Cut 1 cup of real butter into small pieces.
Add this to the dry ingredients and with a pastry blender combine it.
It should look like you have pieces of oatmeal in the flour when you are done.

Add 2 cups of buttermilk or else 2 cups of soured milk which is 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a measuring cup and filled to 2 cups with milk. (this should have been sitting a few minutes)
Also add the yeast.

Stir together just until it holds together and form into a ball.

Roll the dough out and cut out your biscuits.

Now, you might notice that this makes a lot of biscuits.
NO problem.
On one pan, put the biscuits you want to bake for dinner.
On another pan, put the biscuits you want to freeze.
Pop the pan you want to freeze in the freezer until they are frozen and then put them in a zip loc bag.
When you want to bake the frozen ones, take them out and thaw them on a cookie sheet and proceed as you would the freshly made ones.

Back to the ones you are making for dinner today . ..

Let them rise until they have doubled. I'd say about 30 - 45 minutes.

Bake them in a hot 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.

This whole recipe should make about 3 dozen.

Now, I have also made these into cinnamon rolls which were pretty tasty too.

At the end of dinner the strawberry jam usually makes an appearance on the table.

Well, I'm staying in the office to pay some bills, and then I'm outside to enjoy the weather we are promised after the fog lifts.

Have a wonderful day my friends.

Update at 12:30 . . .
I took 8 biscuits out of the freezer at 10 am. We had a guest for lunch so I served them with a casserole. I ate one and the farmer ate 3 and there are none left.
Yup .. .they are tasty little morsels.

Monday, October 29, 2007

the fragile crate

The other day I was outside taking a little break from my baby shower preparations when I heard my beloved coming onto the driveway. He had gone to town to do some business and when he arrived home he had a rather large crate on the back of his trailer.
He backed that puppy up towards the shop and I have to say he looked quite full of beans. I wondered if I had gone and ruined some early Christmas shopping. The box did indeed look rather large. It had fragile stickers pasted all over it. I mentally went through my wish list . .. yes indeed fragile would fit the bill . .. though, perhaps a lot of packing paper.

He seemed oblivious to my snooping and set about unleashing the crate from the trailer.

While keeping a safe distance, I observed grunting and groaning and a lot of manhandling.

My curiosity got the best of me and I delurked, knowing how much delurking is appreciated.

Rather than shoo me away with a burst of deflated surprises, I was immediately invited in to the celebratory event. The drill was utilized to unscrew the lid.

There it sat . .. beauty in the eye of the beholder . . would seem.
Having spent countless hours listening to the men folk yak about truck parts . .

I proudly announced . . .it's a transmission.

My beloved lovingly glanced my way . .. proud that I've listened, observed and studied well under his tutelage.

Miss Ella, ever silent . .. knows her days of being in pieces is eventually coming to an end.
Let the menfolk deal with her innards, its the discussions of her color that keeps me tuned in.

I'm off to make some cookies today, the bags of little chocolate bars are becoming slim pickings.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

do you advertise for someone?

Don't be alarmed . . .this is not my kitchen refrigerator. Nope, this one is in the garage. It holds the food that the two people living inside the house can't fit in their inside fridge. That in itself is embarrassing. Mostly it holds drinks and extra produce, and when we entertain, I couldn't manage without it. (at least that is what I've convinced myself)

The garage fridge has become a haven for the stickers and emblems for several years now. Anytime we purchase a new vehicle, motorcycle, the first thing my beloved does is remove the emblems. I don't quite know why .. he just does.

No, you won't see any outer advertising on us folks, but oh .. . I do hope and desire that even without a fish sticker (sign of a Chrsitian) firmly planted on my forehead . . .people will see Jesus living in me. I'm still a work in progress . . .stick with me.

I do hope you have a blessed Sunday . .. see you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's a beautiful day in our neighborhood

This morning the sun rose with beauty.

I pulled my duck boots on with my winter jacket and walked out into the fields behind us.
The frost has arrived and I mentally patted myself on the back for getting my flower beds tucked away for the winter.

Today, it's quiet on the farm. Tablecloths and napkins to wash, floors to wipe, and memories to enjoy. We celebrated the birthday of our eldest last night.
Today, we thank the Lord for our son, we love him, we are proud of him and we rejoice with him in all the wonderful things he has to look forward to this coming year.
I do hope you have a wonderful day, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 26, 2007

babies at Auntie Vellie's house

Last night our family welcomed the two newest baby boys. The bungalow was abuzz with chatter and laughter and smiles. What a gift to be able to spend this time together. This post is especially for those that couldn't come because of the miles that separate us. We missed you.
Natalie and Liam sat happily beside Colleen and Kaeden. Those two little guys have no idea how much fun they will have together chasing each other through hallways in about a year.

The grandmas were oh so proud. The gifts were just cuter than ever. The gluten free cake was quite good. I don't think anyone would have known had they not been told. So that's a good thing.
I have baby sheets in the wash, I emptied the little garbage can beside the change table and I'm back in business.
So, that was party number one and tonight I have another to get ready for so I best get back to my kitchen.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

baby shower/drill

Hmm, didn't expect to have this greet you eh? I have a cake mix in the oven and I haven't more than a moment to spare. We're having a baby shower for my two brand new great nephews tonight. Gluten free food is needed so I went in search of a cake that would fit the bill. I'll let you know how it works out. Thank you Julie for pointing me in the right direction.
Besides the cake we will indulge in an appetizer evening. Oh yum.
Now, I know you are thinking to yourself . . .well, that's really nice of her to have a baby shower . . .oh dear I wish I were that kind. Actually we having a two baby over at the same time drill.

I'm ready. . . .babies both sleepy? . . .no problem.

Lay your little heads down. (not that anyone will give up their chance to hold a sleeping baby)
Messy bottoms . .. "no problem".

In a few short hours the house will be full of laughter and tissue paper will be flying.
The house will smell of apple cider and other goodies.
OH, my buzzer just went . .time to go have a look at the gluten free cake.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

cleaning up the yard

Yesterday was a glorious fall day. The drizzle and sometimes outright rain took a bit of a hiatus and allowed the sunshine to warm the air and lift our moods.

I took a break from the yard work to take a few pictures of course. I was amused at this last magnolia bloom. The leaves are turning yellow and yet this little bloom refuses to give up.

I asked my beloved if he would get the wheelbarrow out of the barn for me . . .I heard a racket and the wagon was delivered. Fun times.

While I cut back perennials, he yanked the last of my saliva's, geraniums and begonias out by their roots and raked out the soil.

I had given up hope that I'd be outside in a Tshirt for the rest of the year and the warmth was so welcoming. Now if we could just have it stay for a few weeks, I could read a book and pretend to be sitting poolside at Palm Springs with the rest of the Canadians that seem to be leaving the country.

Once the beds were cleared , the blower came out to get the dried bits from the edges of the house and under the plants . .. onto the lawn so that JD (lawnmower) can pick it up and be done with it.

I ventured out to the back of the field to visit Indee.

I admired the rows of tiny blueberry plants that have recently been planted behind us.
Who couldn't love this view?
Today the rain has returned, and as we sat having our morning coffee we kept saying . . ."boy . .sure glad we got that done yesterday."
I'm off to clean house for the parties we're having for the next couple of days. . ..stay tuned.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

and after that?

Yesterday while I was in the middle of my quilting frenzy I turned Oprah on. I don't normally watch her show unless something of interest is scheduled, and yesterday was one of those days. She had a guest, Dr. Randy Pausch a college professor who shared the last lecture with the audience that he had shared with his class. The gentleman is dying of pancreatic cancer and has been given only several months to live.
I was immediately drawn into his lecture because he had a very enthusiastic outlook on living. Essentially he had prepared this speech not for the millions that would see it but rather for his children when they are old enough to understand it. At this point, he is still strong and feels really well. He came with his ultrasound pictures which certainly leave no doubt as to the validity of his condition.
As I expected he encouraged living life to the fullest, every moment of every day. Don't assume you will have years and years to fulfill all your dreams.
Oprah asked him interesting questions and really the interview was fascinating.

Now, maybe I was concentrating on my quiltin' a little more than I realized but the question I expected her to ask never came. Please if you saw the show and I missed it, correct me.
I would think that Oprah would have asked about what his plans were for after that? He spoke so freely about his dying but I never once heard anything about his plans and dreams and hopes for eternity.
It seemed so sad to me that all his efforts and energy are for the next few months and certainly his zest and passion for a life well lived are important. I wanted to call in and say .. .and then?
I had a conversation recently with a friend about how I would be if I was in that situation. You already know I'm a processor of my thoughts. I know would be talking just as much about what would happen to me after those few months were completed as the present.
When I look up at the sky . . . I see my future. As sure as the fact is that someday I will die I am equally as sure that someday I will live. Really live.
The bible says in the book of John chapter 3 and verse 16 . .. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have ever lasting life."
You know what? That just gives me goosebumps. Seriously, we can talk willy nilly about this earth but someday I'm leaving it, and I'm glad there is a plan for what happens after that. I sure hope you do to.
Okay, I'm off to work in my flowerbeds one more time before the frost hits. The sun is shining and I'm liking the idea of adding a few squint lines to my smile lines.
Have a great day my friends.
PS . .at noon, still thinking about this and I just can't figure it out . . .really . ..wouldn't everyone think about the later part? What do we have to lose by planning for that part?
Okay, got to go check my quesadilla . .

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quiltin' speed style

It's pouring rain here again today and I sure do wish we could divert the weather to our friends down in southern California. While I'm quilting, I'm praying that they will stay safe.

I wanted to make some baby quilts for my play yards. Before you become far more impressed than you should let me just say that I cheated.
I went to the Linen store and bought one large hand quilted quilt at 50% off and and one soft fleecy blanket at Coscto. They were cheap like borscht. With the left over fabric, I can still make car seat cozies.
A little cut here and there and a few seams and I'm nearly done.

Now that I have the sides together, I'm hand tying the quited blanket to the fleece blanket.

Tricky I know, but I figure grammies have to be sneaky some times.
Farming isn't what it used to be. My farmer just called from his cell phone in the barn "I don't smell no coffee "he said . . . . .I replied .. "come a little close".
I'm off to put the pot of coffee on.
Have a great rest of your day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

he's a good man

On Monday our feed salesman is retiring. Shoot. I liked this guy. He just never got on my nerves and for a salesman that is quite an accomplishment.

Ken the feed salesman is also my big brother. How handy is that?

Last week one day my farmer husband and I were invited to come to the feed mill at lunch time to help celebrate Ken's retirement. He has been a feed salesman with this company for several decades and a bit so . . .they must have liked him and he must have been good at his job.
This begs the question . . .what makes a salesman good?
Well, you would think that a salesperson must have a personality that would be somewhat aggressive to be able to fill a quota of new customers. . .makes sense, right? . . .
Then it also seems that he would have to know how to put a good spin on outcomes that are less than expected. In other words he would have to be able to butter things up a bit when necessary.
Generally speaking you would expect that a good salesman would be assertive so as to not allow his customer to leave the company to the competition.
I am somewhat astonished that my big brother was ever hired to be a salesman. None of the above characteristics would come to mind when anyone thinks of Ken.
Oddly, when the company hired him, they also were looking for other characteristics. I was curious to know what the company would say as they congratulated him on his excellent years of service.
His boss was almost at a loss of a way to describe this salesman who had been so successful with not only his little sister and farmer husband but also with the tables of other customers who had come to bid him a happy retirement.
He may very well go down as the only successful salesman to be told by his bosses before his peers, family and customers . . . ." this man has a gentle spirit."
I wanted to stand up and cheer and say . . .yes . .. this is my brother... . . a man who has integrity . . .a man of his word . . .shucks I was proud of him.
As a salesman, Ken had a reputation for being there for his customers. He taught many a new farmer how to take care of chickens. He developed many friendships over the years that will continue on long after the middle of the night phone calls for a rush feed order stop.
When Ken said his few words . .he of course was soft spoken. He wanted to thank his bride of 40 years for standing by her man . . .
. .. understanding his discomfort at all the attention . .she helped him . . ..
"just give me a kiss" Mary said. Of course he did and smiled at her the very same way that I've witnessed for as long as I can remember.

So, where will he go from here? Well, besides continuing to be a farmer himself, Ken and Mary are going to be enjoying their growing family. Their oldest son Dwain and their daughter by love Lori are expecting their third child.
The little farm hands are growing up so fast and they love to spend time with their grandpa.

Ken and Mary have very recently welcomed their newest member of the family. Ken Jr and their daughter by love Natalie just had baby Liam.
Liam didn't know that his very first celebration that he ever attended was to his Grandpa's retirement party. Oh little Liam . . grow up to be like your grandpa.

Their one and only daughter Tammy with her husband Quinn and their little daughter Shaye flew out to be there. Shaye is an adorable bundle of fun. Her grandpa has a soft spot for this little muffin. I've seen him smile at her the very same way he smiles at his own little girl.

So Ken, Have a very Happy Birthday.
May God bless you as you continue to run the race set before you. May you continue to find joy in serving your Lord and Saviour wherever you are led.
You are a good man .. . this little sister is proud to have a brother like you.