Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Like Big Barns and I Cannot Lie

Though you may tire of seeing barns on this blog,

I never tire of photographing them.  All of these beauties are no more than a twenty-minute's drive from my farm.

From the ones that seem to sink behind the wildflowers,

to the ones the perch so perfectly on a hillside, they never bore me. 

Sometimes it is the old tractor sitting in the barn that really catches my eye.  

The old, haggard ones always draw a bit of love from me. 

"I was so naive as a kid, I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing." 

Johnny Carson 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Neighbors

We have a couple of new neighbors close to the farmette.  

They are the nice, quiet variety.  They are also a bit shy.  They will allow my son to feed them by hand, but were a bit more cautious when I showed up for a visit.  

They were not up for a Sunday afternoon chit-chat.  

Maybe next time....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dirty Deeds

This week the chiclets and I have had a couple of days off from school.  Why, you ask?  Well, our girl's high school basketball team went to the state championships!  

Go Ladies!  

So, when I woke up this morning, not only did I not have to go to work, but The Deerslayer had gone rabbit hunting and Toots traveled to the ballgame with her dad.  I had the entire house to myself.  


Alas, I did not recline and partake of bon-bons, but I decided to clean out the kid's bedrooms.  Oh yes I did.  

You see, when they are not around I seize the opportunity to dispose of things they wouldn't miss.  Like, the odd piece of broken toy they think they cannot live without and other such items.  However, this type of clean up does lead me to the odd treasure here and there.  Take the miniature arrow that The Deerslayer has made. 

Or, this homemade frog gig waiting for its date with destiny.  Poor frogs....

And, then I found this dude under the girl's bed. 

Game on!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ode to the Trees

What would my farm be without the trees......

The ones with near perfect symmetry. 

The twisty ones,

and the lonely one that I love to gaze upon. 

Some trees are show stoppers in a straight row,

and some new ones are just starting to show their goods. 

"And, this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." 

William Shakespeare

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just Say No to Scurvy

In this day and age we are all so busy.  It's hard to get in all of the vital nutrients needed to round out one's nutritional needs.  But, let's be clear.....we all need our vitamin c.  I mean, who wants to have a bout with Scurvy?  You know, that atrocious disease attributed to pirates and sailors?  Yes, I am talking about that one.  So, I am going to gift you with a recipe for Lemon Bars that are chock full of vitamin c.  

Make it and eat the whole pan.  Because, seriously, who wants to look like a pirate?  

First, let's make the crust.  You will need two sticks of softened butter, 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and two cups of flour.  Mix together well and press into a 9x9 inch pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. 

Then, we get to my favorite part, the filling.  Combine four eggs, two cups of sugar, four tbsp flour,four tbsp fresh lemon juice, and some grated lemon zest.  I used about one tbsp of zest. 

Mix the filling ingredients well. 

Pour the filling over the slightly cooled crust.  Place the concoction back into the oven and bake for twenty-five minutes, until golden brown on top.  Don't overcook, the bars should be soft. 

The crust is a bit sweet and the filling is high in citrus flavor. 

Despicably good. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

No News is Good News

Have you ever heard the saying, "No news is good news"?  That would certainly apply here at the farmette. 

School days, frosty mornings, homework, early suppers, and a plethora of rabbit hunting seem to be rounding out our days. 

I think we might just mosey our way through winter.  

That would be just fine with me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How Far You Go in Life...

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young

compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. 

Because someday in your life.......

you will have been all of these. 

George Washington Carver 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gimme Shelter

Sharing with you today a video clip from Playing for Change, an organization which aims to generate attention to the needs of people around the world.  For, it really is within the shelter of each other that people live.  Many thanks to VP at Livorno Daily Photo in Italy, for sharing this with me. 

*To play this video, please scroll down and turn off the music player.*

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just a Dusting

Our first snow day arrived.  Mind you, there is only a true dusting of snow.  However, combine that with 45 degree temps with rain, then a plummet down to 20 degrees with snow on top, and you get a frozen mess.  Thus, no school for the chiclets and I today.   

This means sleeping late, stoking the wood stove, lots of coffee and making some messes in the kitchen.  


Also just a tad bit of bird watching through my frozen, spotty kitchen window. 

Snow days are slow days....

Score one for this Farmchick.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simple Pleasures

A sweet dog catching a bit of sunshine while enjoying a new toy. 

A sink full  of clean dishes, which actually means we were all in the same place at the same time to enjoy a meal together.

Blue, sunny skies on a January day. 

Two guys who enjoyed a morning of hunting on our farmette. 

And, did I mention maybe only one more week of the hot-pink cast for the girl in the house? 

Life just keeps rolling along.....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Easy as Pie

So, I don't like cake.  

You wanna make somethin' of it? 

Saying that here in the south is somewhat of a sin.  I mean, cake is one of those southern icons, but I just can't get into it.  

Pie, on the other hand, is a totally different story.  I love it all from the crazy to the traditional.  Today I am going to share an easy pecan pie with a pecan sandy "ish" type of crust.  

Let's get started, shall we? 

First, mix one stick of melted butter, one cup of flour, and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.  Do not even consider using margarine.  Man up and use some real butter.  You won't be sorry.  Mix ingredients and spread into a pie dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

Next, let's talk about the filling....my favorite part.  Combine one package of room temperature cream cheese (8 oz.), one cup of powdered sugar, and one small container of whipped topping (8 oz).  Mix until smooth and very well blended. 
For the topping you will need to mix one cup of chopped pecans with one-quarter cup of butter.  Toast in the oven for about twenty minutes at 350 degrees.  You can also mix one-half cup of coconut with the pecans and toast them together.  I skipped this because the rest of my family doesn't like coconut.  In local speak one might say, "they ain't right".  But, that is a post for another time. 

When the crust is cool, spread the filling in the dish and top with the cooled, toasted pecans.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to eat the entire thing in one sitting.
Drizzle chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce, on top of pie slice. 

Make it, eat it, enjoy it.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back At It

With the holidays over it is back to a more normal routine.  Visits with the orthodontist, orthopaedist, dentist....a true wonder that I have time for work.  Or, for perusing this past year's photographs. 

Reclaimed log cabin in Alabama. 

I am enjoying our regular routine and the nice, quiet evenings at home. 

Zinnia on its last leg in October.

I am already planning the garden and thinking of a straw bale cold frame.....perhaps. 
Giant sunflower from my garden in July. 

Any plans for your garden this year? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Burgers and Signs

Each time I drive to my parent's home, I have to veer off the interstate and travel down a two-lane highway.  It is by far the most pleasant part of the journey.  It goes in a nice, southerly straight line through Alabama and right through some beautiful old towns.  

I have passed this old general store many a time and thought about stopping.  And, this time, I finally did.  Located in Opp, Alabama, this store is home to more than a few relics.  Antique signs hang outside and the inside is just as rustic. 

The old wooden doors clanged appropriately when we entered and left the building. 

This tiny building, next door to the larger store, held more signs and a few antiques inside. 

I do think this old Texaco sign looks like it has been hit with just a few bullets. 

Not only did this store serve coffee, but also one very fine cheeseburger. 

And, also some pecan pie that I did not have time to sample.  Perhaps next time......