Monday, August 31, 2009

The thought of it makes my back hurt

This past weekend, amidst all of the baby worries, The Deerslayer had a friend stay over. I know what many of you are thinking. Two middle school aged boys....what won't they think of to get into? Actually, it is quite the opposite. As soon as they get together, they are off and running with their own projects. Making their own arrowheads, shooting bows, swimming, and eating.... a lot. This time they decided to pitch the tent in the front yard and have a camp out. It was a little cool for this time of the year, but they were not deterred. They slept out there all night and never once came knocking on the front door.




Secret Agent Man helped them build a campfire and the roasting of marshmallows commenced. I have to say that they were pretty understanding about having an eight year old girl join in on the fun.




Our Jack Russell was fed just a few marshmallows. I did not think this was a good habit to get started.





That dog ended up running off with part of the bag.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prayers

Not so long ago our friends Trooper and Blondie got married. Yesterday they welcomed a sweet, little baby boy into the world. He arrived a few weeks early at 4 pounds 5 ounces. He is doing pretty well on his own and we are hoping and praying for his continued success. He is pictured here with his Daddy in the nursery. Southern Fried Momma took this picture yesterday soon after he was born.


If you have a moment today, and feel so inclined, please send up a prayer for Baby A. We would all appreciate it so very much.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's that time of year again

Here in Smalltownland it is time for the tobacco to be cut and and brought in from the field. Although tobacco is not quite the cash crop that it once was, many farmers in our area still depend on it for income.




This is what healthy tobacco plants look like right before they are ready to be cut.





Once they are cut, they are placed on a tobacco stick. The will eventually be placed on a wagon and transported to a tobacco barn. There the leaves will hang and dry in the well ventilated barn.





This week many fields have been looking like this.






Some tobacco has already made it into barns this week. Tobacco leaves have been scattered here and there on the roads. A few tobacco barns are already loaded with their doors open wide letting those leaves dry as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's the Loooooooove Shack

Secret Agent Man's twin brother, Flyboy, lives in the fancy, big city. However, you wouldn't know it. He is here in Smalltownland every chance he gets. Typically, he stays at the hunting/gathering cabin of Trooper. But, here lately, he has been hankering for a place of his own. His own place to spend the weekends and hunt on his property.

Hence, construction began on the cabin in the woods. An A-frame structure being built by Secret Agent Man, Flyboy, Trooper, and Rico. It is a weekend warrior project for sure. All the guys converge on the job site for the weekend and are back at the 9-5 on Monday morning.




So far, things have been going well. No one has been injured and there is running water for the cabin. Yes, it will have electric, cable tv, plumbing, etc... and a nice little loft.





Roofing went on this past weekend. More interior work is set for this coming weekend.






So....really the only question I have about this is: What do you get a middle aged, single man for a house....no make that a "cabin warming" present? A six pack of Bud and a Tink's Scent Bomb?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Maker's Mark Brownies

Brownies are a favorite around here. To be honest, I have a recipe that I usually follow. But, I decided to mix things up a bit and use my favorite whisky, Maker's Mark. You can't go wrong with whisky and chocolate people.

Let's check out our motley crew:

3/4 cup of self-rising flour
6 tablespoons sweet butter
3 ounces baking chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces Maker's Mark



Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. I used the microwave with good results, checking/stirring the mixture after every 20 seconds or so. After it is melted stir in the sugar, eggs, nuts, vanilla, flour, and whisky. Mix well and don't eat too much of that whisky infused batter.





Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Pour better into a greased 8x10 inch pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until firm. I used a very ancient Glassbake pan with good results.





Meanwhile, try not to hit the whisky bottle too hard so that you will have enough left to make some glaze. You will need:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
1/12 teaspoons whisky
1/8 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Brush on or pour over brownies.





The flavor of these brownies is delicious. I baked them for the prescribed 25 minutes and they came out cake-like. I prefer my brownies a bit softer and in the future will cut down the baking time a bit.



Enjoy!




Friday, August 21, 2009

Mystery flower

I went out for a short walk around the farmette a couple of days ago. I had my camera with me looking for some interesting shots. I was around a thicket of blackberries when I ran across this flower. I thought it was gorgeous. It was the only one of its kind that I saw. I took a couple of shots and went on my way. However, went I went back the next day it seemed to have magically disappeared.




Does anyone out there know what this flower is? Have you ever seen one?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A little of this and more of that

Last week I posted this picture for Thoughtless Thursday and received a few comments. I should clarify this a little bit. After each rain we get clusters of these tiny, yellow butterflies all around the farm. They are beautiful. It isn't unusual to see them on flowers and such. However, when I saw them on a chewed up baseball, I was surprised. And, they just wanted to hang out there. I ran and got my camera and wound up with this shot.


This would be the hound who chewed up the butterfly baseball. He will soon turn a whopping one year old. See that nick right between his eyes? That is from his Jack Russell buddy. I believe it is a "love bite". I think he has a loving/understanding/tolerant owner who lets him nap on her sofa.



In other hot farm news our usual three ring circus has settled down just a little bit. Secret Agent Man came home with the first load of rock for the sinkhole. He and the Deerslayer worked up a sweat unloading all that rock. They were starving when they came inside and I know that hamburger helper was just what they were hoping I had fixed for dinner.......

Just so you know....if you see some chick barreling down the highway in a white Mac-Daddy farm truck with a Nature Conservancy tag hanging all cock-eyed on the front....it's me people....make sure you wave.
Peace out


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Farm drama from the Mama

Some of you who read this blog know that I live in the great state of Kentucky. It is known for many things, specifically Bourbon, horses, and stone fences. What you may not realize is that it is a Karst landscape. Full of limestone, (for all of those stone fences), and caves. With all of those caves comes natural springs and sinkholes. Here on our farmette we have both a natural spring and a cave. We also have a few sinkholes that dot our farm landscape. Sinkholes are a natural part of everyone's landscape around our area and generally we don't think much about them. Except, when one decides to open up on the side of your yard.

Yes, one decided to open up on the side of our yard. Technically it would fall under the category of a cover collapse. It is an odd thing when you are standing on the pool deck thinking, "Is that a hole in the yard?" Not so good. The diameter was only about two feet, but it was much deeper. We put a fancy lid on it to discourage nosy dogs....and kids.


So, Secret Agent Man brought in a team of experts. Rico, Trooper, The Deerslayer, and Secret Agent Man convened to dig out the sinkhole yesterday morning. The sinkhole was dug out past eight feet deep and will be filled with a graded sized rock. This is not a total, "fix it", but it will help provide drainage so that the land will not continue to wash away. We actually think the area under this drains to the cave on our property. Interesting, for sure, but we don't want to be rappelling into cave territory.




Many thanks go out to Rico for providing the piece of equipment and to Southern Fried Momma. I know she missed him yesterday morning.


The Deerslayer and Charlie supervised the proceedings until everything was finished. Now I have a lovely pile of dirt in the yard. BONUS!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pondering on this past week


This past week has flown by for me. We have fallen back into our old routine of homework and sports practice. It seems like such a short time between arriving home and bedtime. So much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished. The flurry of activity leaves my mind full of intelligent thoughts:
If we are home so little, then why is there so much more laundry to do and so many more dishes to wash?
Why is it that the air conditioning drainage line only gets clogged during the hottest day of the year?
If the school cafeteria is really following the food pyramid guidelines, just when did mini-corn dogs fall under those nutritional government guidelines?
I know it's hot, but do the cows really have to take turns standing in their water tank?
I have had to wake my children every morning this week, however I would bet my paycheck that I won't have to in the morning.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A lesson for us all



This week the chiclets have transitioned back into the school routine pretty smoothly. Toots is an enthusiastic student and always gives me the rundown of her daily activities. I was especially interested when she told me that her new teacher had passed out toothpaste to the class. I said, "What do you mean, toothpaste?" Toots rolled her eyes at me like she is already sixteen and let me know that it was, "the lesson".

The lesson involved the students being grouped into pairs. Each pair received a travel sized tube of toothpaste, a small paper plate and a toothpick. The toothpaste was emptied onto the paper plate and then the students were to put the toothpaste back into the tube...using only the toothpick.

I told Toots that this sounded impossible and she said, "Well, of course it was!"

The teacher regrouped the class and then explained that trying to get that toothpaste back into the tube was just like trying to take back mean or hurtful words that you say to people. It just can't be done, despite your best efforts.

Point well taken.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Long gone, our summer's gone...

The gathering clouds bespread the sky, and the gentle showers descend; the ripening fruits we just descry, as summer is at end.

The Farmer's Almanac 2009,
August Quotation



This week the chiclets went back to school. And although there is still some time left in the season of summer, for us part of it is over. Long gone are the mornings of sleeping late and then enjoying coffee on the front porch, while the dogs lick me to death.






Long gone are the moments of playing around with my camera and catching a squirrel snacking from the city park trash can.






Long gone are those moments where I catch my daughter being sassy beside of the very official sign in front of the National Museum of Art, in Washington, D.C.







Long gone are those moments of silliness at trap shoots around the state.





Long gone are those spontaneous friendships made at local gatherings and the chance to "babysit" a gentleman's new puppy, appropriately named, Dixie-Dog.





The chiclets went back to school with not a problem. However, after previewing my blog post, I believe this Farmchick is sad to see our summer go.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday afternoon Peach Pie

This is totally my momma's peach pie. When I was growing up, this was a wonderful summer time treat. The Bab's would make two pies and they might last a total of two days. The recipe only uses a handful of ingredients and is just too easy. Since we have a cook out to attend this evening, I thought I would whip up a couple and share the recipe with all of you.

Here's the rundown. You will need at least five ripe peaches. They need to be peeled and thinly sliced. Pour one cup of sugar over them and let them sit for about fifteen minutes.




Next, mix together one large tub of frozen whipped topping and one container of sweetened condensed milk. Mix well and then add 1/3 cup of lemon juice.

Drain the peaches and gently stir them into this mixture.




Make sure the peaches are mixed thoroughly and then spread mixture into two graham cracker crusts. I bought two of the extra large crusts and they worked out perfectly. If you buy the standard sized crusts, you will have some pie mixture left over.




Two easy pies....one for your family and one to share. Enjoy!


Fresh Peach Pie

1 large container frozen whipped topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
5 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 extra large graham cracker pie crusts

Place peaches in a bowl with sugar on top. Stir to distribute sugar and allow to sit for at least fifteen minutes. Mix together the whipped topping, condensed milk, and lemon juice. Drain peaches and add them to the mixture. Stir well and distribute into pie crusts. Keep in refrigerator.