Monday, January 23, 2012


The BEST BLT's EVER made!

Our pigs have made it back the freezer. My husband may just love this pork more than he loves me. We have had some sort of pork product every day since Friday. The result? I love homegrown beef, and I love homegrown pork too.   I was woken up at 5am yesterday to the smell of bacon. Jacob decided to cook him up some before he went coyote hunting.

So far we have tried ham steak, pork chops, bacon..lots and lots of bacon, and mild sausage. The bacon I was worried about, because it "looked different" then the stuff in the store. But--thats because the stuff in the store is junk.  The flavor is wonderful and perfect. There isn't that over powering smack of sodium you get with a lot of bacon you buy at the store.  And considering its bacon, I was very impressed with how little grease there was in the pan! I haven't gotten splattered with bacon grease once!

This is what was in the pan after cooking a lb of bacon.

We will now be doing this regularly. Danny already has plans to build a new lean to, so his next batch will have even more space to root around in. 

I had a few moments of sadness. I loved those cute little smiling pigs. Danny was quick to remind me that they were raised in the manner we believe in, which is the big reason we did this.  They rooted around like pigs are suppose to, were not pumped full of medications, they were respected, they got treats, and came to get excited when they saw Danny...basically, they lived the good life, with just "one bad day" at the end.

Farm raised ROCKS!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Great Egg Drop

Jacob recently had a very fun school project. The goal was to build something to keep an egg from breaking from a drop off the school roof.
Jake built a wooden cube, and suspended the egg, which was enclosed in foam from an egg carton and wrapped in a cloth pouch, from rubber bands. I was immediately impressed with this, as the rubber bands were very tight, and the egg pouch didn't move hardly at all when the cube was turned up and over or bounced around.

Here it is, almost done! Jacobs just adding the rubber bands and testing how tight they will be.

The finished product, getting ready to head up on the roof.

BUT--would it survive a trip off the school roof?

To slow down the cube he made a parachute out of a trash bag.  It slowed the cube down just enough not to slam into the ground.

The result? IT WORKED!! EVERY TIME he tested it resulted in a nice and cozy, crack free, egg in the end.

I was pretty impressed--and HE was excited as when lots of his class mates were heading the internet for ideas, he used his noggin.

It finally feels like winter here in Ks. I know we've been really lucky with a really mild winter so far, but it sure doesn't stop me from whining about the cold!  60 days until spring!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I am one of the people who believe "if its too good to be true, it probably is."  Danny has instilled in my brain not to play any games on the internet, or to click on the "You've won! Click here to claim your prize." so much, that I usually do not pay any attention to junk that like anymore.
However, the last week or December, everyone was talking about a game on Nescafe Dolce Gusto's Facebook page, where if you won at a game, they would send you a free coffee maker.  SURE, I thought...when pigs fly.  I got a text message from my cousins wife...I WON, she said. So I popped over to their page. It LOOKED real. What the heck, I thought. I'll try to play. So I "liked" their page, and played for once a day for 2 days, both times ending up not being a winner. One the last day of the contest, at 6am in the morning,  I WON!  All I had to do was type in my shipping info, and push submit. LOOKS legit. But surely not.  I get a confirmation email, and then I get a SHIPPING confirmation email, and THEN, MONDAY, A PACKAGE shows up, with THIS inside:

Holy Moly. I really won something. This machine retails for $99.99. The only drawback is that the capsules are a bit pricey--$9.49 for 16, so this sure won't be used every day, or probably even once a week.  My husband likes to point out that even though I FEEL like I got the machine for free, it's the company who really is winning, since I will be buying the capsules now. He's such a sour puss, isn't he? His realistic thinking sometimes gets on my nerves. ;)

Oh well--Free machine, expensive capsules and DOES make a MEAN cup of Cappuccino!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Hallway Makeover

About 6 months ago, I announced that I hated one of our hallways and it was time for a makeover.  So ugly. I look at it every day coming down our stairs.   When I mentioned this to my husband, he was in "a mood", quickly agreed, and immediately started ripping the wood work off from the door way from around our stair way...and there is sat for 6 months. So not only was it still ugly, it was now REALLY ugly with parts of the woodwork pulled out and exposing bits of the old lath and plaster.

(It WAS REALLY ugly. I seriously don't want to show you the before picture. Ok. Here goes. *gulp* Don't judge, ok?)

This is looking down from upstairs, AFTER I had peeled most of the wallpaper off, and Danny had removed the top door frames for me, but this is what I look at coming down the stairs every morning.

 I had been waiting on him to bring me a piece of bead board..have I ever mentioned my hubs is a procrastinator?.... until I realized that the existing paneling might look really neat painted  black. ..oil based, so it would look like glass!  And it would be free, since we wouldn't have to buy the bead board.

Nasty!  Old paneling, with no trim, scratched and torn up wallpaper.

 Yesterday, I looked at it, got mad, and just did it.

I  peeled off the old wallpaper, which took me no more than 5 minutes. It was so old it just came right off with no effort. I patched and repaired the cracks in the walls, primed and painted the paneling, Danny cut me a piece of wood  to use as trim, and I painted the walls .  A while back, we were strolling though Walmart and found gallons of white paint on sale for $8. I quickly picked a color I liked, ( Heritage Oiled Teak) and had the guy mix it for us. Score! Cheap paint!

TA-DA! The finished result. And just so you know--those pictures in that frame?? I have no idea who they are. They came with the frame!! I have pictures I want to print off to stick in there, but wanted  it to look finished so I hung the frame up anyway!! My dork level may have just reached an all time high.
Much better.
Its about 95% done. Dan still has to get the wood for around our doorway and paint it, but its MUCH easier for me to look at now.
And he assures me he will have the rest of it done in just a few weeks. Right, Danny?  ...Danny?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things that go HOOT in the night

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”

This morning, as I was deciding if I REALLY wanted to get out of bed, my eyes flew open as I heard a very close hoooo-hoooo-hoooo-hoooot.  There was an owl outside. RIGHT OUTSIDE.  I sat and listened  until I just HAD to get out of bed, or I was going to be greeting daycare kids in my pj's. As I was starting coffee, Tristen came flying out of his room to tell me about them and how they had woken him up.It was right outside his window. I was afraid he was a bit freaked out, becuase when I say they were RIGHT outside his bedroom window, THAT'S what I mean. RIGHT outside.   So we went and sat on his bed for a few minutes and just listened. There were actually 2 of them and it was pretty obvious they were talking to each other. I told T I was pretty sure it was a wife and a husband, and that the wife sounded irrated with her husband. I'm sure she was ready to head home and go to bed, and she just couldn't get her hubby to leave. ;)

Anyway,  after a comment made to me on Facebook this morning about an owl myth, it got me curious. So, I googled OWL MYTHS.

- If an owl lands on the roof of your house, it is an omen of death.(GULP!) Constant hooting near your house also foretells death.
-- If an owl hoots at the moment of childbirth, the child will have an unhappy life.

-- The Irish believe that if an owl flies into a house it must be killed immediately. If it escapes, it will take the luck of the house with it.

-- If an owl nests in an abandoned house, then the dwelling must be haunted. An owl is the only creature who can abide a ghost.

-- By eating salted owl, a person can be cured of gout.

-- If an owl hoots during a burial service, the deceased is bound to rise from the grave and haunt the living.

-- An owl living in the attic of a house will cause a pregnant woman to miscarry.

-- If a pregnant woman hears the shriek of an owl, her child will be a girl.

Pretty icky, huh?  All this dark dreary nonsense seems funny to me, because since I was a little girl, owls have reminded me of my Grandmother, who collected them. I associate them with, wisdom, happiness.

BUT!! I also found THIS on the net, which I like MUCH better! =)

Throughout many cultures, the symbolic meaning of owl deals with:
  • intelligence
  • brilliance
  • perspective
  • intuition
  • quick-wit
  • independence
  • wisdom
  • protection
  • mystery
  • power
Native American tribes (primarily plains’ Indians) viewed the owl as a protector against harm and their feathers  were ritually worn to ward of evil spirits.
Ancient Athenians made the owl an emblem of wisdom and even emblazoned the image of the owl on their coinage.  To the ancient Greeks, the owl is a symbol of Athene who is goddess of foresight & knowledge.
Taking symbolism from the owl directly, it is noteworthy that it is a creature of the night.   Nocturnal creatures are symbolic of inner-knowing, psychic ability, and intuition – so too is the owl.
If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed.  Also, keep in mind that animals are only called to those who share the same energy.  In other words, you hold within you some of the very same symbolic attributes the owl represents.

Personally, I think they are beautiful and always get excited when I spot on sitting in the tree or when I hear one.

A few years back, probably a year or so after my granddad died, there were a pair that got stuck in the farm house. They had been nesting for years and years and years up in the roof and we thought we had plugged (at dark when they were suppose to be out hunting!) the hole they were using. There was part of the living room ceiling that caved in due to a roof leak by a picture window after a rain storm, and they ended up coming IN to the house, since we, apparently had trapped them INSIDE the roof.  The poor babies were upstairs, trying to get out one of the windows. Dad lovingly wrapped them up in towels, and set them free outside.

We thought that would be the end of of the owl story, but the eventually found their way BACK into the house, where they hatched many more babies, filling the old empty house with a dead animal smell from the meat they brought back to the nest for their babies and remained there for a few more years, until my brother put a brand new roof on the house.  Several times we would be out in the house and the sudden HIISSSSSSSS of  juvenile owl can make you become alert pretty darn fast when your alone in a big old creaky house, sorting through a box, and verrry slowly make you back up until you hit the doorway, where you turn around and run down the stairs like your life depended on it. 
3 years ago or so, Eric was tearing out the ceiling in the living room and found a nest. I'll never forget that beautiful white down covered chick, all puffed up hissing, thinking he was as big as a Rottweiler and he was going to eat us for lunch.   They got him out, and set him in the old chicken coop, where his mom and dad found him and where he lived until he was old enough to " fly the coop".

Eric still holds a grudge against those owls for all the mess and headache they caused him. I think we were blessed with the memories and for the close up opportunity to get to see these beautiful creatures.  I'm quick to remind him just how much his grandmother, who lived in the house he is now restoring, loved them.  

So, there's a bit of owl knowledge and a story for your Friday. Remember to stop and appreciate the fabulous world around you!! "HOOT" knows what you'll see or hear!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Visitors

I realize this post may just, in fact, put me in a "crazy" category--ex: crazy cat lady, crazy squirrel lady, crazy bunny lady, crazy bird get the picture.

But I just counted 11 different "beings" on the tree in my front yard. Squirrels, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, little red-headed house finches, cute little sparrows.

I was so happy to see everyone back. Those sneaky squirrels broke my plastic bird feeder, and I haven't had one for a good month. Jacob got me a heavy duty metal one for Christmas but was afraid everyone had moved on..  Mom also got me a cute pressed bird seed wreath that I hung on my tree. They love it so much I am going to have to make some of my own.


I know some people think squirrels are pests, and our neighbor hates them so bad he even traps them, but I just adore them. They make me laugh and are fun to watch.

Apparently, squirrels share as well as 2 year olds.

I was most worried about the little Nuthatch never returning. I love that little bird and swear its the same one coming back year after year. Last year there was a pair of them, but I've only seen one so far.  He seems to be the underdog. Everyone chases him off and he patiently waits for the feeder, and sometimes he resorts to picking seed off the ground.

Isn't he adorable?
Now, if I can just lure Mr and Mrs Cardinal back!!

What have YOU seen in YOUR yard today?

*Update: not even an hour after I had posted this, Mrs. Cardinal was dining at the new feeder. I hope she brings her handsome husband back with her soon!

And I also caught THIS on my camera and it makes me I wanted to share. I hope it makes YOU laugh! =)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye to 2011

Didn't I JUST post a "Goodbye to 2010 post? This year has flown by so fast. Overall 2011 was good to us. We lived well, laughed often, loved much!  Here are some of our favorite things from the past year!

Danny raised 2 pigs this year so our family could have farm raised pork in addition to our beef. They were just recently sent to the processor. I found I had to distance my self from them. They have these cute little eyes, they smile when they eat, and Danny spent a lot of time with ours, so they were pretty tame and inquisitive and did things that just made you laugh. It got really hard to think about where they were going. Sometimes its hard to be an meat eater AND an animal lover. BUT--I would much rather eat meat that lived a happy life with "one bad day" than eat meat from factory any day.

We added a new breed to our rabbitry. And have hopes Tristen will do very well with them...just as soon as spring fever hits and we can get everyone to breed!

This past year Jacob had a few really big wins, with 2 of those being a double Best In Show in one day. We saw a lot of growth from him as he stepped up his leadership and volunteered to take comments for judges and does a GREAT job.

Hunters were born in my family this year. I griped a lot about having deer in my freezer, but I've learned it is "ok".  Not something I want to eat every day though. I do love, however, the time is allows the guys to be together, and for that common ground. And if I have to lose freezer space to a bunch of venison for that, that's just fine.

 This past summer was one of the hottest and driest ever for our area. This found us working like mad to keep rabbits alive. I lost a lot of plants, and probably won't know just how many until this spring. The garden, however, did the best we have ever had. Was a good year to be a vegetable at our house, just not a flower! =)  I'm over being frustrated and we have lots of projects waiting for the coming season. Come on spring!

And a whole lotta basketball was watched this year as we cheered Michelle and the Lady T's on at State. I will always remember watching my tough of nails baby sister tear up when they won sub state and realized they were state bound, and therefore causing MY eyes to start leaking. Michelle is a senior this year, so our time watching her play her high school years is almost over, but the memories made from these years will last forever.  And cross your fingers for state again this year!!

Happy New Years!