Friday, February 28, 2014

Random Five Friday

This slightly out of focus shot features my favorite mailbox item of the week.  Diamonds in a packet, just waiting to be planted!!  

I am seriously considering creating a few potato towers this spring.  No weeds and no digging make them very appealing to me.  You can check out a video clip of how to make one right here.  

NPR online has a Cabin Fever Playlist that you need.  If you are not a member, just sign is free, as all the best things in life are.  It will prompt you to download a  Spotifiy music player on your computer.  Not to worry, that is also free.  

Sugar free flavored coffee creamer is about the grossest thing I have ever tasted.  Just sayin'.  

I see a future fashion designer here.  

Linking up with Nancy today!  Y'all go forth and have a fantastic day!  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I am not sure what intrigues me more in this photo, the rusty signs or the apparent sunshine.  Thankful this Thursday that more snow passed us by, springtime is that much closer, and I found a mate for every sock in the dryer.  Amen.  

"Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things." 

Frank A. Clark    

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Dog and a Gate

I might need a new gate, but I sure don't need to replace this sweet dog.  

I don't need to replace my Jack Russell Terrier either, but I almost could have yesterday.  After smooching her extensively, I soon realized she had been rubbing her head on a dead mole in the yard.

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. 
When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; 
then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat.  
For the Good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, 
but never a friend like that.  

W. Dayton Wedgefarth 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Treasure Trove

We have our fair share of Sycamore Trees here on the farmette.  As lovely as trees are, Sycamores have the terrible distinction of dropping prickly orbs all over the place.  While I know they are just trying to secure their lineage, they are also a bit annoying.  

I am just thankful that the trees are not located in the front yard.  

And, who knew they could be sold as craft supplies?  

I could be a millionaire. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random Five Friday

Getting your chainsaw stuck in a tree is what happens when you shouldn't have been working on this large tree yourself......Secret Agent Man I am talking to you.  

If you need a good laugh, then please check out this link of Brian Williams and Lester Holt working on Rapper's Delight.  

Looking to move to a small town?  Here is a nice list to start with.  

If you are a fan of Rick Bragg, as am I, then you just might enjoy this story he wrote for G&G magazine.

Might anyone out there know how much I am looking forward to not hearing an alarm clock Saturday morning?  

Linking up with Nancy on this fine Friday.  


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Once again I am thankful for this young lady, who turns thirteen today.  Not even three years ago, this photo shows her sweet smile and fun loving spirit.  

On this day, all those years ago, I remember the nursery calling into the OR to let everyone know that her official weight was barely shy of ten pounds.  Everyone cheered and went into a round of applause.  Even those poor students who came in to, "observe"!  

"What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky."  

Helen Claes 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This Really is My House

I had a couple of comments on Friday about the picture I posted of my old house.  

She has many facets, but they are all beautiful to me.  This is the view when I drive into our property each day.  Okay, maybe not in the winter, but you get the picture.  

She was designed, in what is described, as a Folk Victorian.  

Several years ago I wrote a post about her and you can read it here.  

I still love her, but she really makes my husband roll his eyes at her needs....a lot.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What is Country

Years ago, before I moved to the country, I had some preconceived notions about living in the back woods.  I think most of those thoughts were fueled by magazine articles that depicted country life as clean, robust, and not a speck of dirt anywhere.  

Whoever wrote/photographed those articles had no idea what they were doing.  

Living in the country means that your Jack Russell Terrier will bring in the corn cob, that you put into the compost pile, and hide it in a blanket.  The precise blanket that you use while reading in front of the wood stove........

Living in the country means that your daughter will invite a friend over who will regale you with the tale of her dad, who works for a local vet, that went to a farm to inseminate some cows and spilled the tank of, "material", in the back of his truck.....

Living in the country means that on Valentine's Day you might think that when your husband tells you he picked out a great gift, there is a donkey waiting in the barn......

Those magazine people.......what do they know?      

Friday, February 14, 2014

Random Five Friday

My very old house peeking through the trees. 

Many schools are posting funny videos/phone recordings of closing reports, but this one takes the cake.  

Kentucky is covered with sinkholes, but one swallowed part of the famous Corvette Museum this past week.  

Fancy some fun Bluegrass?  Click here 

Maybe another winter weather blast for my area today.  *sigh*  

Linking up with Nancy today!  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful this Thursday for a sweet girl, better weather in the extended forecast, and all the little things in between.  

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but live by them."  

John F. Kennedy  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate Amaretto Bundt Cake

Ask and you shall receive.......

On this blog anyway, when you request a baking recipe.  Several of you out there requested the recipe I baked from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.  It turned out quite well and, if you are a Kentucky girl, then bourbon makes a fine substitution for Amaretto when you realize you are out of it at the last minute.  

Don't eat too much.....

Chocolate Amaretto Bundt Cake from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook 

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,  softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 cup milk
3 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons amaretto - flavored liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and light flour a 10 - inch Bundt pan.
In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour and the baking soda.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk and the extracts, beating after each addition until smooth.  Add the liqueur and mix well.  Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Simple Scenes

Simple Scenes from my neck of the woods on this Sunday afternoon.  

Taken along the back way to our neighboring town, these shots show our dreary weather.  

Even with the gray skies, Robins were in our yard yesterday.  

I was very surprised to see them, but they did give me a bit of hope for spring.  

More snow in the forecast this afternoon and tonight.  

That means I have time to bake a recipe out of the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.  

I am going to try and enjoy this downtime while it lasts.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random Five Friday

Just a reminder of summer and fresh tomatoes.  And.....sunshine, sweat, and flip flops.  Those times are just around the corner!  I know they are!!! 

If you are a dog person, then don't forget the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show starts on Monday.  

Garden and Gun Magazine has its best photos of 2013 featured here.  

I talked to the husband about getting a couple of donkeys for the farmette.  He told me I could get whatever I wanted, but we needed to talk about who was going to clean out the barn.  Had a conversation about donkeys with one of my farm savvy 2nd grade students and he advised me not to get any.  It's not looking good for the home team.....

Music anyone?  Click here........

Linking up with Nancy today!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday

An old barn, on an old country road, fading into the wooded hillside.

Thankful this Thursday for a pot of decaf after supper on these cold nights,  lunchtime chats with my daughter, and quiet evenings for reading.  

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."  
Eric Hoffer  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Baking Up Memories

 When I was growing up we would take our annual pilgrimage to Kentucky each summer.  Loaded up in a Honda Civic, four of us would make a two day drive from North Dakota.  Spending time with both sets of grandparents was a key factor in this trip and we would take turns staying with each.  My maternal grandmother's house was small and somewhat vintage in nature.  She and my grandfather didn't have indoor plumbing until the late 1970's.  Yes, that meant using the outhouse and washing clothes in the wood shed in a ringer washer.  

She put a full meal on the table three times a day and I fondly remember her making biscuits.  

She would take a large wooden bowl out from underneath the sink.  It was covered with a flour sack converted into a dishtowel.  The bowl was always full of flour.  

In the middle of the flour she would make a well.  A little milk went into the well along with some lard.  There were no measurements.  She would work the lard into the flour and add more milk as necessary.  

In mere moments dough had formed as she worked the ingredients with her long fingers.  The dough was always a perfect, round ball.  She would lift it out onto a board and pat it smooth.  There would be no bits of extraneous dough in the flour bowl.  It was covered with the dishtowel and placed back under the sink.  

She used a small tin can to cut out her biscuits.  There were no fancy tools or stainless steel biscuit cutters. And, there was never a mess.   

The biscuits were placed on a small, black rectangular pan, with their sides touching, so as to give the biscuits soft sides. 

And, if I wasn't up early enough for breakfast, which as a kid I wasn't, these biscuits were always kept warm for me in the oven.  They were always perfect

I have been making more biscuits than usual during our snow days.
 I think of my grandmother each time.  

Michelle's Biscuits as adapted from Better Home and Gardens 

2 cups White Lily self rising flour - sifted
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Add shortening and cut in dry mixture with a pastry cutter until shortening is smaller in size than a pea.  Gently stir in milk until a wet dough is formed.  Place dough on floured surface.  Knead the dough very gently and pat it out to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut with desired biscuit form.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  I use a baking stone with great results.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Little Jaunt

We have had some enjoyable weather recently.  At this point a thirty degree day is enjoyable and makes one want to get outside.  I took one of my canine friends for a walk on the farm, as the other three were too busy napping.  

It also gave me a chance to break in a new pair of muck boots.  

The water was bone chilling cold, but that didn't make any difference to this dog.  It was all about playing in the water.  

He also had to take a walk into the cave.  He always does......

We decided to take the shortcut back to the house and scramble up the hillside.  We won't make that mistake again....

With the leaves everywhere, it seemed like fall.  

Today, however, we are expecting more winter weather, which includes a combination of snow, sleet, and ice.  

Yesterday the temperature was in the sixties.  

I am not even sure I can find an appropriate quote for this kind of craziness.