Sunday, February 3, 2013

An Empty Barn

So, it's been a while.
So many reasons,
 my camera and my computer aren't speaking,
I didn't have much to share,
was it time to press the big delete button on the blog?

Tomorrow, for the third time...the barn will be empty.
A cattle barn without cows.
Dairy farmers without jobs.
There are just so many of those these days.

The language of farmers, so bittersweet.
He's shutting it down.
He's hanging it up.
They're selling out.
Where will the cows go?
What's he gonna do?
Will they stay on the farm?
Can they keep the place?
Did they get out in time?
Do they have a buyer?

Our barns are tired.
The roof leaks, parts of it remind me of a kitchen colander.
Maybe it's time.
Yesterday, when my farmer hubby told me -
that we will need to look for a new renter,
and he won't have a job pretty soon....his words...
"Well....are you ready for the next big adventure?"
Bless his heart for putting so much thought into the presentation.
I didn't freak,
of course I cried...but I've always worn  my heart on my sleeve.

For thirty three years this farm has been our adventure,
a never-ending project...
often overwhelming, too much work, a money pit.
For a girl with imagination it was a playland,
room for everything.
I remember the obsession with perennials,
then it was fruit trees, and a fish pond -
or two - or - three - or four - or five.
How about some roses?  How about twenty rose bushes?
Espalier?  Wow, that takes some maintenance,
Boxwood hedges...I think I've burned up eight hedge trimmers.
When that pasture north of the house was empty,
we dug a hole and built a funky pool.
When the calves left we turned their nursery into a project studio.
When The Farmer turned 50 I built a bar in the old heifer barn so
we could throw him a big party.

I could probably stay here forever, because my brain is full of projects.
I have 85 Pinterest boards, not to mention the pinboards in my brain.
But maybe it's time.
Time to pare down, clear out and clean up.
Imagine the garage sale...
Imagine the adventure.

I can do that...
I think,
I hope,
I pray.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Skinny Soup

Okie dokie...the holidays were fun and all but it's time to stop the party already! In a desperate attempt to drop those party pounds I came up with this soup recipe. I shared it with a friend who stopped over the other day and she really liked it. I told another friend what I'd been eating for lunch and she wanted the recipe... I guess we're all thinking along the same lines. My recipe collection is getting a little out of control and I can't seem to locate them in a hurry, the blog is a pretty safe place to keep it...and to share it of course.

Skinny Soup

4# Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or thighs for more calories)

3 large Yellow Onions, quartered and sliced

2 Red Bell Peppers, diced

4 stalks Celery, diced

4 tsp dried Rosemary, crushed

2 tsp Kosher Salt

1 tsp Crushed Dried Red Pepper

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Black Pepper

4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth

Steamed Broccoli, about 8 cups

Put the chicken in the bottom of a crock pot, cover with the onions, red bell pepper and celery. Grind the crushed red pepper in a mortar and pestle to break them up a bit, add the crushed red pepper and the rest of the herbs and spices to a food processer and grind them up a bit...then add to the crock pot, add the chicken broth - you want it to cover all of the ingredients - you may add more chicken broth or use water if you need to. Cook for 10 hours on low, or high for 4-5 hours, I plug it in when I go to bed and it's done in the morning. Remove the cooked chicken from the crock pot to cool, then shred or dice. I steam the broccoli after the soup is ready to go, then I put 1/2+ cup of the shredded chicken into individual containers, top with 1/2 to 1 cup of broccoli - then top it off with the veggie broth.

Label and pop into the fridge or freezer, this really helps me stay on track when I'm trying to think thin - half the battle of dieting is having healthy options ready to go. I've been having this for lunch, just pop it into the microwave and add some sliced green onion or's good and good for ya!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wax and Water Woes

Who takes a flood to get a lazy blogger to get back on track. I'm not is good...messy...but good.
The Party Barn was a gigantic kiddie pool yesterday, the blowing snow clogged the ditch and all that water had to go somewhere - the path of least resistance was the field, then the back yard and right through the Party Barn.
Oh my.
I don't want to go out there and sift through my soggy icy belongings...whatever is gone is just that...gone. I know there are books and pictures and Christmas decorations that are dumpster bound. I told myself this morning that there will be no sadness over any of it...but cherished case of 8-track tapes was bobbing in my barn/lake! Go ahead and laugh...granted, I no longer listen to them, but it was always fun to pop open that case because it brought back a flood of memories of high school, dates with my hubby and grand adventures with old friends. I shall bid a fond farewell to Carly Simon, Dan Fogelberg, the Guess Who. We've had a lot of laughs over the years about those tapes...why can't we get rid of them? It's time to move on...seriously.

While I've been avoiding the barn today I've been working on a couple of paint projects. A lot of the project girls out there are having fun with the Annie Sloan paints...of course I had to jump in and try them.

Here's the first one...a close up of a little drop front desk that I bought for forty bucks back in the eighties...yikes...that's a long time ago. I remember the day I bought it and that I crammed the thing into the back of a corvette...heck..who needs eight track tapes to remember stuff?!?
The big selling point of the paint is that you don't have to prime, but I'm not really sold on that - I put two coats of the color Old White on this desk and I could throw on a third... I'm not going to but it sure could use it. Next up I put on the wax that they sell to seal the paint, I used the clear wax and it changed up the color quite a bit...lots of yellowing but that's fine. I bought the dark wax but I don't think I'll use it on this one.
Sorry for the poor photo quality but I wanted to show how two coats doesn't really cover.Here's the little desk, not quite finished but it has a couple coats of wax and I'm thinking I can start putting a few things away - too bad I can't find the hinges for the lower shelf door, they'll turn up eventually....I'll just make sure that whatever I put on the bottom shelf looks could be months before I find 'em.

The next project is a lingerie chest that I'm painting in Annie Sloan Graphite, so far I've waxed the drawers with cheesecloth instead of the waxing brush that they recommend...that was dumb. I read somewhere on somebodys blog that cheesecloth was a great way to apply the wax, uhhh - not so much.
Now my grey drawers have little white fuzzies stuck in the wax, do not do as I do...spend the 35 bucks and buy the brush. ;-(

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gone Huntin'

Deer hunting season is over...phew. Unfortunately those dastardly hunters always leave a few bits and pieces scattered around the property. An arrow here, a few other things there...and legs...Bergie always seems to think that she needs to bring legs back to the cabin to show me what a good little hunter she is.
I tell her what a good girl she is, and then I encourage her to bury it...
wish those hunters were as neat and tidy as my dog.
Oh well...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Tami

Just a little note to my dear friend Tami.

Hey girl,
Garden party was a-ma-zinnggg.
This is the only picture I have of my table.
Ya, remnants of a yummy appetizer course if I do say so myself.
Will you share your photos?
Cuz I got nothin'...


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rhubarb Dream Bars

The last few years I've been on the lookout for a good rhubarb recipe, and I've tried out a whole lot of them. Goofy concoctions with cake mixes and packages of jello....not exactly my cup of tea.
When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen website I figured what the heck, I thought it was just too easy to be good, but goodness gracious was I ever wrong!
In a word, yum.
Ya, the kind of yum that makes a girl sorry she ever tried the recipe because when she's out in the garden she wants to sneak into the kitchen and grab a fork. Not such a great idea with summer approaching, that whole short sleeve, bare arms, why didn't she go on a diet, can't she just stay home in her baggy clothes issue....
It happens, I'll admit it.
But right now I need to pass this on to anybody else out there that has a big patch of gotta make these.

Rhubarb Dream Bars

For the crust:
2 cups flour
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter

For the filling:
4 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups diced rhubarb

Preparation instructions:

1. Whisk 2 cups of all-purpose white flour together with 3/4 cup powdered sugar.
2. Cut in 1 cup of butter, until crumbles form.
3. Press into 15 x 10 pan (I used 9 x 13).
4. Bake 15 minutes at 325.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
1. Blend 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of all-purpose white flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
2. Fold in 4 cups of diced rhubarb.
3. Spread over hot crust and bake 45-50 minutes (or until light brown) at 325.

Cool, cut into bars, and enjoy!

So, since we're being all naughty here with white flour and processed sugar...let's just nuke these little goodies for about 25 seconds in the microwave and serve them with a dollop of cool whip.
Just an really ramp up the yummy factor.

I'm off to the store to buy more cool whip.

Next up on the rhubarb list?
Rhubarb Cosmos!
Hmmm...I wonder if Rhubarb Dream Bars and Rhubarb Cosmos go together,
we'll soon find out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"You need to blog"

"You need to blog".
That's what a longtime friend told me yesterday, but the old Bloggie Buzzard seems to have landed here at this old farm. Nearly every day I think of a topic to blog about but they get dismissed as too negative, too close to ranting, or dull... then something pretty pops into my line of sight and I think I should turn into a little post about the pretty thing but it gets dismissed. Blogland is overflowing with people who do pretty so very well, there is truly a plethora of pretty out there in the Bloggerville.
So, I'll just carry on here with my projects...none of which seem blog-worthy. I'm truly loving my new kitchen, even though there is still a fair amount of finish work to do. The old cabinets will get a fresh coat of paint and we'll install them in the party barn, that will be like another kitchen remodel!
The weeds are growing, the seeds are purchased for the veggie garden...of course this year will once again be "the year" where we truly get a handle on the yard...but of course we all know how that goes - the garden fantasy vs. the gardeners reality...the garden wins - or shall we say the weeds win. When the weeds win we'll smile... again, and once again we'll say "next year"!

Of course it's not all work and no play around here...the photo is one I took at Twin Rocks in Oregon on a great trip with "the girls"...thanks for letting me tag along ladies!

In a couple of days I'll be getting my passport stamped, maybe I'll come back home with a photo or two and a story that's "blog worthy".
Ya just never know.