Friday, August 30, 2013

Random Five Friday

A random farm sign on a random piece of farm equipment for this Random Five Friday. 

Glad that the Little League World Series finally came to a close.  My daughter watched and worried over each game. 

Mildred sent me a jar of Fig Preserves, holy cow were they good.  I had never experienced them before and now they will be a staple in my kitchen.    Then Pat kindly sent me her copy of Time Magazine, with an article about the declining bee population, just because she thought I might want to read it.  I am a fortunate blogger.  

Who thought a scheduling a football game on Labor Day was a good idea?  

If you are looking to buy some real estate, I am suggesting this piece of property.  I could totally live there.

Linking up with Nancy today!

Be well, my friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Coming soon to a field near you....Fall.  Or, as some folks like to call it, Autumn.  

Here in Smalltownland, we are still smothering in the hot days of Summer.  Fall is just around the corner and I am counting on it.  According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, a tough winter is what I should be thinking about.  

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."  

Anton Chekhov 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shock and Surprise

I was feeling organized.   Secure in having a day well planned and getting everyone where they needed to go.  

I also felt pretty good in that my dress clothes had survived a day of teaching without one dash of magic marker anywhere on my person.  

And then I took my daughter to a neighboring town for pitching lessons at the university.  

The daughter pitching just two years ago. 

It soon became obvious to me that I was the only mom there.  The only parent that didn't walk in carrying an empty milk crate or five-gallon bucket.  I walked in wearing dress clothes and carrying a checkbook....the one piece of equipment I thought I needed for these lessons.  

Then the coach informed me that my daughter would need a, "catcher", during her lesson and it was looking like I was it.  


I don't know who looked poor daughter or myself.  You see, it would be her father who sits on the five-gallon bucket, at home, while she hurls softballs at nose-breaking speed.  

The daughter at bat this spring.

A quick text to my husband with the phrase, "I might die", must have had him concerned as he showed up twenty minutes later, to save the day. was a close call......

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tobacco Harvest

For me life is a series of cycles that make it zoom along at the speed of light.  Now that we are back in school, fields of tobacco are beginning to be harvested and hung in barns to dry.  

Although we do not grow tobacco on our farm, my husband's family grew a crop each year when he was growing up.  It is a labor intensive crop that uses time honored methods of hand cutting, hanging the stalks on sticks and placing them in barns.  

In fact the dear husband and his identical twin brother, (yes, there are two of them), grew tobacco as a way to raise money for their first car.  

It is a plant that comes with a lot of history and controversy.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Random Five Friday

Talk about life being in fast forward, let's look at this picture.  My daughter, third from the right, celebrated Homecoming, as a candidate, this week.  How crazy early is that?!  

Obviously I should have payed more attention in my high school chemistry class.  I have to take a few minutes and review my son's notes before I can converse/help him study.  Whew.....

First football game of the season tonight!  

This article really describes me.  How about you?  

I am wearing some big earrings to work today.  I hope my students are prepared!  lol  

Linking up with Nancy!  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Once upon a time I posted a picture of an old house here.  It is now no more and all that remains is the chimney.  

I think this chimney has been witness to a lot of history. 

"Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What to Say

This scene from our summer is looking mighty good about now.  Currently we are drowning in homework and school activities.  

I might come up for air in a couple of days......

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pollen Baskets

 As usual, the bees around the farmette have been hard at work gathering pollen.  

They gather it in their, "pollen baskets", which are located on their back legs.  Tiny hairs aid the pollen in sticking to their legs.  

Technically they are known as, "Corbicula", but I think pollen basket sounds much more hospitable.  

The pollen is gathered in the basket from the bottom to the top, just like a real basket.  When it becomes full, the bee flies back to the hive where it is deposited and made into honey.  

"To make a prairie, it takes one clover and one bee, 
One clover, and a bee
And revery. 
The revery alone will do, 
If bees are few."  

Emily Dickinson
The Complete Poems  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Random Five Friday

A funny gift from my garden this week.  I realize it lends itself to all kinds of jokes....

It has felt like fall for the past few days.  Heaven!  

I threw this together one morning this week.  Best meal of the week, by far.

A certain dog chewed up a toy last night.  Now it looks like a blizzard hit our family room.

Happiness in our house is a batch of cookie bars.  Make some this weekend!

Linking up with Nancy today!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Behold the pear.'s a house. 

It's a pear house.  

Chock full of June Bugs.  

June Bugs that started flying out of said pear at record speed.  Hence, no more photos.  

Seven June Bugs flew out of that opening.  How they were all squeezed inside is beyond me. They must be really close friends.   

"A true friend never gets in your way unless you are going down."  

Arnold H. Glasow 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On the Wings of a Butterfly

I was lucky enough to get some captures of this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feasting on the Zinnias.  

It wasn't too difficult to photograph.  

It just flitted from flower to flower.  

Certainly not in a hurry.  

Both of us were enjoying the last bits that summer has to offer.  

"Butterflies are not insects, Captain John Sterling said soberly.  They are self-propelled flowers."  

Robert A. Heinlein 
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nicely Spun

Out early yesterday morning,  I spied some of natures's beauty.  

Webs were scattered all along the fencing.  

The spiders utilized the square as perfect frames.  

"The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web."  

Edwin Way Teale  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Random Five Friday

At the request of John Foster, I am posting three other photos of the cabin mentioned in yesterday's post.  I hope you enjoy them, John!  

My daughter doesn't want me to use the theme from the old TV show, Green Acres, as my new ring tone.  I just might have to do it.....

Discussing the Second Great Awakening with my son has been quite interesting.  Gotta love history class.  

If you want to see a cat, dressed as a shark, ride on a Roomba, then just look here.  It makes me want a cat and a Roomba.  Not the quality entertainment that I passed along last week, but if you need a wholesome chuckle, then this will do it for you.  

Currently, I am out of flour.  While this is not exciting news, it certainly is random.

Linking up today with Nancy at A Rural Journal!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Built somewhere around the time frame of 1803, this cabin is still mostly intact, even in these modern times.  It is quite a contrast to the conveniences we have today.  I think we often take electricity, running water, and modern appliances for granted.  It is difficult to think how hard it must have been to live in that era.  

The couple who owns this property live in the large Greek Revival home also located on the property.  While renovating the large home, they told me they lived in this cabin.  

I am intrigued by an adventure like this yet, at the same time, it seems out of my scope of patience.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So Late So Soon

"How did it get so late so soon?  It's night before it's afternoon.  December is here before it's June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?"  

Dr. Seuss 

My thoughts exactly as I watch summer vanish before my eyes.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Watermelon Jam

I can only imagine what life must have been like for Chef John Folse growing up in the New Orleans area.  His cookbook, The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine, is like an 808 page love letter to his cultural roots.  Part history book, but mostly cookbook, it is filled to the brim with recipes tied to his youth and, many times, family members.  

My copy has been poured over many times and has quite a few post it notes stuck to pages, but I have hardly made a dent in the volume of recipes the book contains.  One recipe that did catch my eye this summer was for watermelon jam.  

Thus I went on a search for a ripe, local watermelon.  I had to do this because there was an unfortunate situation between my husband, the weed eater, and the garden. Our melon plants ended up in garden heaven.  That is all I have to say about that.  I picked out this beauty and I recently learned the secret to selecting a ripe melon is to look at the, "belly".  That is the bottom of the melon where it rested in the garden.  If it is white, it is not ripe.  If it is yellow, then you are all set.  

Next, I cut a section off of the bottom and .....

set the watermelon on the end and cut the rind off this way.  Much easier to take off the rind and the white section, as I really only wanted the ripe, red flesh part.  

After I cubed the melon, I removed any seeds.  Then the melon had to sit with a sugar and lemon juice mixture.  An interesting recipe that yielded jam so sweet that it reminded me of a Sweet Tart Candy.  

If you are feeling adventurous, the recipe is below.  

Watermelon Jam

1 1/2 cups watermelon, chopped and seeded
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package (1.75 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
3/4 cup water

Sterilize 2 (1-pint) jars with lids according to package directions. ( I used small jars without a problem.)   Set aside.  In large bowl, stir together melon, sugar, and lemon juice.  Set aside 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In small saucepan, blend pectin and water.  Boil mixture over high heat 1 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour pectin mixture into watermelon and stir 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Quickly pour jam into sterilized jars and seal.  Boil jars in water 12-15 minutes.  Let stand at room temperature 24 hours to set Opened jars may be stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Random Five Friday

This is a shot of a farm I pass on my way to work.  Yes, I have a lovely drive to work.  

I drove around yesterday with a very large branch stuck underneath the Suburban.  Dragging it around looking awesome in the family bus.  

My dad introduced me to these very talented young men and I have been listening to their music nightly.  Check them out, if you have the chance. 

It's a back to school, "Block Party", on our old town square this evening.  Fun, games, and food.  Make sure to attend.  The football team will be serving up pizza :) 

Just an FYI for those of you who have asked....there can only be one queen bee per hive.  If a new one is born while the old one still lingers the other bees will, "take care", of the old one.  And, I don't mean put her in a nursing home.  

Linking up with Nancy at a Rural Journal.  Pay her a visit!  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

I am earnestly enjoying the moment in which I am composing this post.  It is morning and the children of the house are sleeping late.  It is silent, except for the ceiling fan whirring in the background.  

When I drive to the neighboring town for a big grocery trip, I pass this car on the back roads.  It has resided in this shed for as long as I have lived in this old farmhouse, and much longer than that I suppose.  A treasure in red.  

Enjoy your Thursday, my friends.