Sunday, September 27, 2009

One Year Ago....

As of today Caleb and I have been's crazy how fast time flies. It has been an amazing first year and I can't wait for the next 50 years!!! I am the luckiest woman alive to be married to and in love with my very best friend!!! I couldn't ask for more and and I'm so thankful that God gave such an amazing man!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Door

Fall is finally here so I thought that it was time to give my front door a little face lift. Just because I don't have any grass in my front yard doesn't mean that it has to look bad!!!

So I the ribbon I got after the season last year, went a stole some corn stalks from the field and set my pumpkins and the gourds I got from a friend out and when it was all said and done this is what I have.....

Even though fall is not my favorite season I absolutely love all the decorations for this time of the year. I think it is because it is based around farming. This is the time of the year that all farmers can't wait for. The time when they get to collect the fruits of their labor.

What to do when you have tomatoes coming out your ears......

So this year I was finally somewhere that I could plant my first solo garden. I really haven't done much in a garden since the summer right after my freshman year of college when I moved back to mom and dad's and helped with my mom's garden it's only been seven years. So after we finally got moved into our house and I finally got the ground tilled up where I was gonna put my garden, I could start planting my veggies. When I got to planting my tomatoes I did what I have always done....plant two full rows through the garden. That's what your suppose to do right??? I mean that's what we always did going up. The main difference between now and then is....back then there were six people in that house and five of them loved eating tomatoes....and now there are two people living in this house and only one of them loves eating tomatoes and it's not me. So you are probably asking yourself....if she doesn't like tomatoes then why is she growing so many?? If you think like my dad then, first I'm sorry ;) and second you would tell me I'm un-American since I don't like eating a fresh garden tomato with salt on it. The thing is I will try a bite of a tomato every year and every year I think they are gross. Now if you were to take that same tomato, cook it and and some other ingredients into it I would love to eat's just those fresh raw tomatoes that I can't stand to eat.....yet I still plant enough to feed a small country. O-well I love to grow the nasty things and then make all kinds of good things out of them.....especially yummy salsa!!!

This is just part of one plant that as you can see is fully loaded with some good ol' maters!!

Here is some of the first tomatoes that I picked. That is a box that I got about 26 lbs of peaches in and it worked great for tomatoes.....I guessed that I would have 20-25 lbs each time I would fill it and I have filled it at least five maybe six time so you do the math.....that's a few tomatoes!!!

The first ones I got to picked were soo pretty.....the ones got a lot of rain on them and they started to crack more.....but when you are making tomato juice and salsa does it really matter what they look like...not really!!

So with most of my tomatoes I have been making salsa....cause I really like salsa. I have been trying to find the best recipe for it and well I think I know what all to put in to's the different amounts of each where I have the problems cause I really don't measure but I will try to give you the recipe as best as I can!

You start off will a lot of tomatoes.....and this is for a big batch of salsa.....enough to do a canner full of 9 pint jars.....I used about half of my peach 10-13lbs of tomatoes. I really just started cutting the cores out of them and when I thought I had enough I stopped. You need to remove skin from all the tomatoes....and the easiest way to do that is by blanching them....and for those who don't know what that is is when you take the tomato and place it into boiling hot water for about 30sec or until the skin starts cracking....and then you take it out with a slotted spoon and place it into ice cold water. After that the skin will pretty much just fall off. This process can also be used with peaches.....which is great when you are wanting to do a batch for frozen sliced peaches.....yum yum.....the best with a little sugar on top.....if you were are mine and Caleb's wedding last year then you would know what I was talking about!!! Anyways back to the need to take the core out of the tomatoes and take the skin doesn't matter which order but it's a lot easier before they are skinned cause they are not as slimy!!

After you have the skin off you need to get all the seeds out....the only reason for this so your salsa isn't super runny and juicy. If you leave the seeds in it will be more like tomato juice than chunky salsa. this would have to be the worst part of takes put the radio on a good station or put a good CD in and get to work!! The way that I get the seeds out is by cutting the tomatoes in to quarters and then use a spoon and dig out the seeds.

Then after you get all the seeds out you chop the tomatoes into's at this point that you realize there is not near as much as you thought there would be.

Next I always go to chopping up the onions.....for a batch this big I always use 2 medium red onions. You want to finely chop them.
If you have ever done much with red onions then you know they will make your eyes burn an water like crazy when you start to cut them up.....something that mom and I have figured out is that if you wear contacts while chipping them up they really don't bother you.....but for those that don't wear contacts all I can think of is getting a pair of swimming goggles or some other type of goggles to wear cause it is terrible other wise.....or if you have a food processor...which I don't that would work great for chopping up all these veggies.... and things would go a lot faster too!!
Next I use 7 jalapenos. Cut the tops off and then cut in half. After cutting in half use a spoon to take all the seeds out. If you want a little bit of a kick use the seeds from 1 1/2 peppers and that will give you just the right amount of bite.....but if you are like my mom and husband than you don't want to use any of the seeds and it still tastes great
next you you will want to mince 4-5 cloves of garlic
Next you will want to juice 4 lime and put this in the probably is about a 1/4 c .....I add the pulp too cause it's not gonna hurt anything.
You also need to add in salt....about 3-4-5 teaspoons.....whatever you think tastes good!
After that I will mix all these together and then cook them on medium heat for about 10 min stirring occasionally.
Than after the 10 min I add in about 1/4 - 1/3 c cilantro that has been finally chopped. You will also need to add in about 1 - 2 teaspoons of oregano and about 1-2teaspoons of cumin. You might want to taste along the way to make sure you like what you have.
After you have added everything in then cook it for another 5 min then start putting it into jars and place it in the canner at 5 lbs of pressure for 7min. now if your not going to put it into a canner then you might want to cook it for another 10-15 min after adding the last few ingredients.

Now all that's left to do is get you a bag of good tortilla chips and something good to drink and have you a snack!!

if ya got any question on it just ask me!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I found NEMO!!

Last Thursday Caleb and I headed south to Tulsa to see some of our good friends. Caleb's college roommate Jason and his wife Kelly were in Tulsa for the weekend for a friends wedding. They live out in Denver, CO, so since we hadn't seen them in almost a year and they were so close we thought that we would head down and hang out with them for the afternoon. After eating some delicious burgers at a Red Robin we went over the the Oklahoma State Aquarium and got to see some cool fishies!!
Our first stop when we got there was the shark was feeding time....and we were glad it wasn't us!! I don't know for sure what kind of shark this one but we called it a catfish one cause it had a couple of whisker on the bottom of his mouth and had the color of a channel cat!

After the sharks we found Nemo...who knew he was in Tulsa and not P.Sherman Wallabyway Sydney.....if Disney would have asked we could have told them!! ;)
I don't know what this guy was but it was cool....those are actually fins....the little guy is a terrible swimmer but when moves around it walks around on its fins...its pretty cool to see and the little guy kinda looks like a frog.
I'm not sure what this guys are but the looked cool!

There were a few different kinds of jellies but these were the prettiest!

I think this was either a tiger or lion fish.....kinda ugly and kinda cool lookin'

This was an albino red-eared slider...they are what you usually see out in your ponds and are closely related to a paint turtle...they are also usually mistaken for them too! In one of our ponds we have about 30 of these guys.

These guys are a couple of my favorite kinds of turtles...alligator snappers. The big turtle weighed 120lbs and they said one average the gain about a lb a year so 120 yr old turtle how cool is that!!

After going through the aquarium we went outside and visited while Kelly looked for some place where we could get some ice cream. We finally found a Brahms near buy and got some good ice cream....yummy!!! It wasn't the most beautiful day out side but we had a blast hangin' out with some great friends and hopefully we don't have to wait another year before get to see them again!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It has started!!!!

So last Friday it may ask what 'it' is.....well I'm talking about corn harvest! We have been waiting to start harvest for about a month now. Corn planting was really late last spring and we have had a really cool summer, with a lot of rain here lately, when you add all that together it equals a very late start to harvest!!!

The corn in this field was doing really's Pop going by with a hopper full

The semi is headin' back as the combine is dumping into the grain cart. We had just started in this field. So we still had a ways to go

Here the grain cart, that we purchased on out last trip up to NE Missouri, hard at work. It takes some getting use to for everyone when you start dumping on the go!

We were really excited about our new grain is big and awesome!!!

When the grain cart is dumping if possible, someone needs to be up on the truck watchin' cause the tractor driver can't see how full the truck is getting very easily.

Here's Caleb with another new toy of ours. I haven't got to drive it yet, but it is awesome!! It makes the trips into the elevator a lot quicker and more worth while.

Here's the crew minus one...well actually minus two...Pop is finishing up the last little bit out in the field and I am taking the picture. That's my truck that's behind the guys. I love driving it, cause it's a piece of cake!! The only thing I don't like about it is that it has a small door in the back and it takes forever to unload!

The semi unloads a lot takes about the same amount of time to unload 900+ bushels from the semi as it does to unload 600 bushels from my truck.

Here's the current pile of corn in the open storage building at the elevator.

We have harvested some corn, but it's just scratching the surface of what we need to we have to wait for all the rain from today to dry back up so we can get back at it! and as soon as we get rolling we won't stop!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Being Lazy!!

So I haven't blogged for awhile...I have been kinda lazy. But there really wasn't anything very interesting happening till this past week, before that all i was doing was canning tomatoes and making salsa.......and all Caleb has been doing is trying to fix my jimmy.... So nothing really exciting. But this week has been crazy busy and a bunch of fun things have happened so there will be more fun reading to come!!!

if the brakes don't work.....then you can't blame me!! ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To market we must go...

Yesterday day we were planning on selling all the calves that we had weined back in the spring as well as the ones that were weined two weeks ago but when the day started I wasn't sure what was gonna's the story...

So the day actually started at about 1 o'clock in the morning when I was woken up by a loud clap of thunder and an bright bolt of lighting. I roll over and nudge Caleb to remind him that the grain truck full of wheat is still out side over at his folks house and someone probably better get it into a shed. So after about 30min of tossing and turning Caleb finally decides he had better call his dad to tell him to get the truck in the shed. So finally after the wheat was takin' care of, we were able to go back to sleep...well kinda, it thundered and lighting all night so not completely restful sleep, but it was sleep! We wake up thinking that it hadn't really rained to find that it actually had rained 6/10th in and was still trying to rain.

Well today is sale day, so we get up and get dressed throw our mud boots on and a rain jacket and head out to get all the calves in. well of course as soon as we walk outside it starts to rain even more. Well we get all but three of the calves in and and at about that time the guy who is hauling the calves to the sale barn for us shows up so we go ahead and load him up with a load...and remember all this time it is still raining. With the first loaded on it's way, we decide to get the 4-wheeler out and go after those other three calves that didn't come in. Two out of the three came in with very little effort...I can't say the same thing for the third one. Caleb takes off chasing it on the 4-wheeler and well that was one crazy calf. I had originally thought that it would go in really quickly that was until we get the calf up there by the gate and he takes off again at lightning speeds across the pasture and nothing was gonna stop him...not even the pond. That calf dove in an swam across in no time at all!! After that Caleb and the calf went all over the pasture....but the happy ending...we finally got the crazy guy in and sold thank goodness!! In the two and 1/2 hours we were out messing with the calves it rained another 4/10th's in and of course when we were all done so was the rain. By then I was soaked to the bone and very cold.....I was so glad to get into some dry clothes.

At the end of the day the calves sold relatively good for the way the markets have been and now we won't be going through near as much feed!!

Here are some of the pics that I have previously taken of our babies.

Caleb is counting the babies to make sure they are all up eating and none have escaped back in with their momma's.......

How about my close up now

good ol' Micky...oh how I will miss this cute guy.

Since I was soo cold yesterday morning I thought a good bowl of chili sounded good for dinner!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh what a weekend!!

Last Thursday I had made a trip over to Joplin to get a few last minute things for the weekend up in Columbia, MO. While over there I saw a guy selling peaches and seeeing as frozen peaches are one of my most favorite things to eat I had to stop and get me a box so I will have a few bags in my freezer. Seeing aswe were gonna be gone for the weekend I needed to get them put up before we left for MO....well I also needed to make some birthday cup cakes and some fruit braids for breakfest. Well while I was finishing up those things Friday morning, I was also trying to get some laundary finished up and get all the packing done.....Caleb came in and said that we needed to leave asap so we could stop and look at a grain cart...I thought we were kinda going on vacation...but not till we finish up some business...but I will say, it was good we looked at it, cause we ended up getting it!

So with all the work out of the way it is time to play!! The original plan for the weekend was to go on a canoe trip for my sister Kim's 30th birthday...but because of some unforeseeable circumstances we had to change plans, so instead we were going to Columbia, MO to hang with Kim up there and do some other things that she wanted to do.

On Friday night when Caleb and I finally made it up there we changed really quick and loaded up Kim, Brandon, and the boys and we headed to Ashland, MO for the annual PRCA rodeo. It was there we met up with our cousin Scott and his wife Natalie and our cousin Jeanna.....and just like the traditions of high school Jeanna and I talked the entire time and really didn't see any of the rodeo. In the middle of the rodeo they had a "calf scramble" for the Kids. Landon and Logan made their way out to try and grab a tag off a calf, but had no such luck.

After the rodeo we met up with my mom and dropped the boys off with Grandma we headed back to Kim and Brandon's house. Caleb was rather wore out from the days' events went to bed not long after we got back, while Kim and I stayed up late planning our route for Saturday morning....garage sales...oh yea!!
So Saturday morning Kim and I make it up really early and head out to find some great deals! Some of mine included a bowel I paid $10 for and is worth at least a couple hundred, a pair of frog lamps and a quilt rack.
After finding a bunch of great deals we head back home and get ready to leave to go to Herman, MO to check out some of the wineries and eat some good German food. Our first stop was Stone Hill Winery....the oldest wineries in Herman, it was started in the 1840's. We ate at their restaurant and it was soo yummy good!!

My yummy quiche and fruit.....those things that look like blueberries are actually grapes, they were sooo good!!!

The birthday girls' food....there was a bratwurst and a knaughtwurst on sour kraut along with warm potato salad and some red cabbage that was sweet and really good.

After we were done eating we went on a tour of the wine cellars and found out some more interesting things about Stone Hill. Before prohibition Stone Hill was the 2nd largest winery in the United States and the 3rd largest in the world. They were also producing 1.2 million gallons of wine a year.This was in the Apostle cellar....that archway behind Caleb use to be filled all the way to the top with a wooden barrel before prohibition. The barrel's had life size carvings of the twelve Apostles on them. It took twelve years to do all the about one year for each one. When prohibition happened the government came out an tore Stone Hill's 700 acres of grapes vines out of the ground, busted all the barrels and dumped all the wine into the Missouri River. It's crazy to think what it could have been today if prohibition hadn't happened.
They said that the Apostles barrel fronts were taken off in secret but when they tried to ship them to somewhere in France they got intercepted by the government and destroyed....that's so sad.

This is the only 5,000 gal barrel that made it through prohibition....that was because it was sent to a Monastery for sacramental wine.

This is the old wine press that was used back back when they were making 1.2 million gallon...can you imagine making that much wine each year by hand!?!?!?!?!
This is what you lookin like when you have had a few too many wine tastings!

The beautiful birthday girl and her husband.
Me and Caleb....the bast thing about this photo is that Brandon was taking this and he was crouching down and sticking his but strait was a pretty funny sight.

So to top off the afternoon, when we got back to Kim and Brandon's house we find a herd of ropin' steers in the yard. The next door neighbor had forgot to shut a gate, so we got to have a little fun and chase these funny looking guys all around the yard. (A little fact about roping steers....they aren't all steers...they are actually full grown cattle...they are called Mexican Roping cattle)

After this Caleb and Brandon left to go to a tractor pull and us girls went out to eat some yummy Shakespeare's Pizza and then did some shopping. It was a long day, but boy did we have fun!!!