Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I am also in love with my Christmas present from my mom. Check out The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond and her wild ranch life in Oklahoma. http://thepioneerwoman.com/
Her recipes are simple ranch fare and admittedly high calorie. I am looking forward to giving some of her dishes a try over break and going over and over her delightful book. She does her own photography and the pictures from her working ranch are just as beautiful as the pictures of food.
My next food adventure is preparing the quail and pheasant in my freezer. Jeremy, my dad, and my father-in-law went hunting this fall and brought back several birds. I was feeling very confident and dreamy after reading Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously and accepted all of the harvest. (Note: Does anyone else have a requirement of reading the books before seeing the movies? This is a must for me.) If a non-chef can master French cooking a la Julia Childs, I can at least cook some game birds. So, here is my plea...send me your best recipes for pheasant and quail. Let me confess that I love great tasting food that is simple, takes few ingredients, and does not create a million dishes. I want it all! Post them in comments on the blog and I promise to give updates on my progress and the results.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
We tried to make quick work of the outside chores, fed hay in the barn, shoveled a path to the water tub, and brought Cy inside to warm up. We also said several prayers of thanks for the water tank heaters. Breaking ice several times a day would not add to our winter weather fun.
We are also pleased that our chickens are still producing eggs, despite the cold temperatures. We are hopeful that warmer weather is coming soon. It will make things so much easier for everyone.
Even though we were freezing while we hurried through chores, this sweet birds nest in our Korean lilac bush was such a wonder. I had to snap a quick picture.
Travel safe, friends!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We share a lot of interests in eating well, gardening, organic foods, vintage finds, baking/cooking, and more! We met up on Saturday to sample a little bit of everything.
Our first stop was Good JuJu, www.goodjujukc.com. This vintage store is my find of 2010! Great variety, great prices, and good people. We found some lovely glass blocks embellished with a stained glass design and some great antique spools in a galvanized bucket. Too cute!
We went to The Planters Seed and Spice Company, http://www.plantersseed.com/. They have an amazing selection of seeds, spices, tea, garden supplies, and a bunch of other stuff we could not even get through.
Dinner was at Jerusalem Cafe a Middle Eastern restaurant in Westport. Great portions, excellent food, and a really great time. Tammy Jo picked an excellent spot. We followed the delicious baklava with take out cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory on The Plaza.
The best part of the day was talking with Tammy Jo about her future and our shared interests. What a special day.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Jonni's story was one that started out of necessity - as most creative, determined womens' stories begin. She and her husband had to transition to living on one income. She was determined to find ways to save on her food budget, which included reducing or eliminating pre-packaged, pre-fab foods. She began to keep a notebook of cost savings ideas, recipes, price comparison information and more. Her friends started catching on and wanted to borrow her notebook. Fast forward a bit and she had a book deal.
Her story inspired me to think about our own food budget, including a few of our favorite (and expensive) grocery items. We love an organic pumpkin seed granola. It is pricey! A student told me last summer that her roommate made granola all the time - it was easy to make in great quantities and made their apartment smell wonderful. With those encouraging thoughts, we added a few ingredients to our grocery list and made granola last weekend.
The result: we left it in the oven a little too long, but lesson learned. It still tasted good and our house did smell wonderful.
Low Fat Granola Recipe
Makes 15 servings
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup almonds (or pecans or walnuts)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix oats, wheat bran, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds in large bowl. In small bowl mix honey, brown sugar, orange juice, butter, and cinnamon. Pour honey mixture onto oats mixture and stir well. Bake in a 275º oven for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
One particular win was to use our conventional cleaning products and begin making our own. I am very much a fan of the homemade disinfectant with tea tree oil. It has a very clean scent that is not overpowering and everything I have read about tea tree oil leads me to believe it a safe alternative to disinfecting with bleach.
This website has been really helpful for inspiration: http://www.mormonchic.com/dealdiva/homemade_cleaners.asp
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I am most proud of starting a project and finishing it! I have a quilt that has slowly been inching towards finished - just a few hours of binding left. There is the scrapbook that needs some journaling, page protectors, and bound. Let's see...the pile of stuff that needs to be sold or donated. And, boxes and piles of supplies for aspirational projects, like the zipper flowers I saw on an episode of Martha Stewart. But, one project is finished!
I am on my second week of making a hat. Stay tuned!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Spring is winding down and I am just now getting my spring pictures organized.
We had beautiful spring flowers - irises, peonies, and a beautiful clementis!
We were so pleased that our peonies finally bloomed. We planted them years ago and was just about to give up on them. Finally, we had two bushes loaded with blooms! I thought they looked spectacular under great-great grandpa Heinrich's (Henry) and grandma Katarina's portraits. The black and white picture on the left is of my dad's family when he was around five. The cake plate on the right is great-great grandma Katarina by way of Cousin Betty.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Several weeks ago the packet from the Great Sunflower Project arrived. The packet had the Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds, instructions for planting, and the data collection sheet.
My sunflowers are starting to have a good stand in the garden. The recent rains and some help from my husband with a watering in between, have given them a nice start.
I am looking forward to seeing the first blooms and starting my observation of bees.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Our clementis is loaded with blooms. The side that faces east was especially full where blooms were on top of blooms! I originally planted the clementis with the hopes that it would grow to cover the post holding up our cast iron bell that Jer's parents gave us several years ago. Finally, it looks just like I imagined.
Wes was enjoying a hay snack on a sunny afternoon. It was so funny to watch him eat with such gusto! I really enjoy just being around the alpacas this time of year. The weather is so beautiful and the animals are always up to something.
Manny was lounging one Sunday afternoon and using a pile of hay as a pillow! He looked so comfortable that I couldn't help but take a picture.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
B on Main in Ventura, California was the cutest shop! We made a small purchase and it was packaged in a cute brown lunch bag stamped with their name and a bee on the back with light brown and light blue tulle to close it! What a great idea for simply wrapping a gift.
I loved their merchandise, though I had to resist my compulsion to organize and straighten. It was a tad shuffled - put like things together, people!
A must-see in the cute, historic downtown in Ventura.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunrises are really important to me. I call my Dad on the drive to work to comment on the really pretty ones. Dad is a notoriously early riser. He gets up early as a regular practice and also lives his life in a way that puts an emphasis on the little things - like a beautiful sunrise.
Ok, so everyone was curious about how the two new boys would look without all that fiber. Well, here they are!
All of our alpacas look skinny and gangly after shearning, but Wes and Magellan really look small. They came to us with several years' growth on their front and hindquarters. The fiber from both of these ends is not usable because of the hay and brambles. A farm visitor who grades fiber told us that if it is "crunchy" when you touch it, the cost of cleaning the fiber for processing would be too much. Next year, we will have lots of usable fiber from both of these boys. This year, just the blankets will be used.
We are really anxious to send all of the blankets to Phillipsburg for yarn and roving. New fiber fresh from the mill should be here in about 6-8 weeks.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday, April 5
The Lehning's, 12015 Flush Road
To RSVP on the evite, go to:
We look forward to having our friends join us for an afternoon of just spending time with the animals. We will have yarn and rugs on hand for you to see the finished product. The alpacas will have their shearing on April 14, so this is the best time to see them in full-fiber mode.
Susan left the media industry (producer for CBS) and Angora goats and Cormo sheep. The article tells her story and highlights her beautiful yarns.
There are also six fiction books on knitting that are listed with the article. I have one of the six checked off. For my knitting friends...
- The Friday Night Knitting Club (Berkley, 2008), by Kate Jacobs
- Knit Two (Putnam, 2008), by Kate Jacobs
- The Shop on Blossom Street (Mira, 2005), by Debbie Macomber
- A Good Yarn (Mira, 2006), by Debbie Macomber
- Cast On, Bet's Off (24/7 Publishing Group, 2007), by Jack Olesker
- Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2005), by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Happy reading and happy knitting!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The star variety for this year's effort is Lemon Queen. The Project will send you a packet of seeds to plant and provide growing tips. Go to www.greatsunflower.org to sign up and to learn more.
With the decline in bees, this is a great cause and assistance in the research of natural pollinators.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Danny and Glenna were down to visit and they took a drive out to our house to meet the boys. What a great family! We continue to be impressed by the alpaca community and their kindness.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The following morning, he was laying down, but flat on his side. He did not take food. After calling some alpaca friends, we decided to call K-State. The vet on-call recommended we bring him in to be evaluated.
After some chaos in finding a trailer to borrow and driving half-way to pick up the trailer to remember that we had taken off the ball hitch from the back of the truck, we got on our way to K-State.
The Vet Med Teaching Hospital did an evaluation and thought it might be a hair ball or a mass in his digestive tract. The ultrasound did not show anything conclusive, so we agreed to an exploratory surgery. We had to put a down payment of $1,500 for them to begin the procedure. And, we were told to expect a call in about two hours.
Four and a half hours later, we called them. Scout made it through surgery, but what they found was not operable. He had an impacted colon - gross, I know. They thought the best way to proceed was to treat it medically through IV fluids and exercise.
We got to see him today. He looks ok, but we are still waiting anxiously to see if he'll make it.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We had a farm visit from a very talented knitter from Riley, Kansas. She had purchased some of our first yarn and needed more of Scout's fiber to finish her project. The scarf is a beautiful work in progress! It was fun to show off our newly updated farm scrapbook and to have her shop our yarn. We also spent some time with the animals.