Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back and at 'em

We made it through the Christmas.

It wasn't bad, it just a busy time. With lots of traveling and and eating...

I enjoy the eating part.

I am happy to say we are back on the farm here in Kansas and boy am I glad.

My once clean house is now a disaster once again, so I will be spending most of the afternoon cleaning and taking down all my Christmas decorations.

But before I started on all that I wanted to stop in and say HI and share with ya'll one of my most favorite pics from the Holiday time.


You met him back in June when he was just born, and now at 7 months old is has changed a lot. I also have a lot of pictures of him from this weekend.

I have many more picture of our crazy good time, but right now I need to get back to putting things away.

Lots of Love

Janet

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Vacation

 So I hope all ya'll got all your presents wrapped, cause Christmas eve is tomorrow which means you don't have all that much time.


And because of that

And because we are suppose to get some nasty weather tonight and tomorrow....


and because we have cattle calving....


and because we will be spending time with the family a lot over the next few days....
  

I most likely won't be back to post anything till some time next week.

So I hope you all are able to Celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, cause if it wasn't for Him then you wouldn't be you and I wouldn't be me and without us this world wouldn't be as wonderful.

So a Very Merry Christmas to you all!

Love,

Janet

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Presents

One crazy thing about me is that I love wrapping presents. If I live close to a big city store where I could get payed for doing it, then I would be a happy camper.

When I get back from shopping on black Friday, I am soo ready to start wrapping...but  usually I take a nap first.

Actually I don't start wrapping them until I get the tree up first. but once it's up I am a wrapping fool!

I have had all my presents wrapped for a couple weeks now...

well all that I could get wrapped....


I am still working on a couple of presents but as soon as I'm finished with them they will be sitting under my tree.

Since I have a couple of different family's to buy for and I don't want to get everybody's presents all mixed up....



I give each family their own wrapping paper. The great thing about the wrapping paper I use is it's reversible, so you get two for the price of one! I get my wrapping paper from Sam's Club cause it has this reversible stuff and the rolls have 200 or better sq ft, so they last forever!!!


Another thing I do is buy matching ribbon to go with each roll, cause I like pretty bows!

After people open their presents I will save and re-use the ribbons. Now if someone really wanted to keep it I would let them but if not I will take it back and use it the next year.


The green wrapping paper with the big red bows are for Caleb and I....

ok really just for Caleb cause as of yet there is nothing under the tree for me....

I guess I was just a bad girl this past year and I'm on the naughty list, oh well there is always next year...

This year the blue presents were for Caleb's family and as of yesterday, they are no more, but they were pretty while they were here.

Now my rule has always been that Caleb and I get the prettiest wrapped packages and as of last year that was the green ans red ones and I thought that would still be the same thing this year.

I did buy some new gold paper and ribbon this year, but I really didn't think I would like it all that much but then...



I wrapped my first one and well they are just beautiful. O-well I guess my side of the family will get the prettiest ones this year, but next year this will be mine and Caleb's cause I just love it!!


If you don't have all your presents bought or wrapped just yet don't worry you still have 4 1/2 days left.

I'm now gonna go work on making and eating some Christmas Candy!!

Lot-of-Love

JP

Friday, December 17, 2010

Feeding an Addiction

I have a few different recipes that I make that call for bacon bits, and I love fryin' up the fresh ones cause they are soo much better and they are soo easy to do.

I use a pair a kitchen shears to do the cutin' and...


....then throw them into the skillet and cook them on medium heat and that's all there is too it. I usually use a slotted kitchen spoon to do the stirring and removal of them and then Caleb and I gobble them up!!

YUMMY!!

I ran into a slight problem the last time I went to buy some bacon. Ya see I usually get the 3lb package of bacon cause we will go through it and I really like the thick sliced bacon.

I had been buying the 3lb package for around $10. I wasn't thrilled with that price, but it was cheaper than buying 3 - 1lb packages. Well when I went to buy bacon again this last time the price went from $10 to $14....in a relatively short time.

4 bucks....seriously

Well my jaw dropped.

That's just expensive. A $4 jump on something that was only $10 to start with is a lot!

Well while I was standing there trying to decide what to do I saw this package....



of bacon end pieces. It is a 3lb package too, but it was only $3.50. I was a little hesitant about this at first but I thought I would give them a try for bacon bits. And if I didn't like them then they were only $3.50 and not $14.

Well I love them!! They work great for bacon bits or for putting in green beans....they are wonderful.

Now if we are going to have eggs and bacon I use the "good stuff" but for all the rest I use these end pieces and Caleb and I can keep feeding our bacon addiction and not feel to bad about it.

So if you see these in the store don't be afraid to use them cause for a 1/4 of the price they are defiantly worth it. Especially if you have a love affair with bacon and can't always afford it.

*I got a good question from Mama Koch about where I got these end pieces and here's the skinny....I got them at Wal-Mart they were sittin' right there next to the bacon. They are the Wright Brand, which is the same brand of the bacon that I buy.

Good Luck...

JP

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vegitable Soup (aka: Vegetable Beef Soup or Vegetable Beef Stew)

If you are married to a meat and potatoes man like I am this is a recipe for you.  I have always grown up calling it Vegetable Soup, but there is actually meat in it too!

When I first said something to Caleb about making Vegetable Soup he about died of discussed.

Ya see Caleb detests vegetables except for green beans, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes.

I informed him that those were all in this as well as some good ol' roast, but he still kept saying YUCK.

That was until I made it and now he loves it.

It is a very delicious and hardy mean, and it really easy too.


Here's what ya need for the Meat: 1-1.5 lb roast, herbs, and 2-3 Cups of Water.


If you want to use beef stock to cook the meat in that's ok too. Either will work just fine so whatever floats your boat.


For the herbs / spices I use 2-3 bay leaves and half a dozen or so whole balls of allspice. I really like the flavor that these give it, but you can use whatever you have in you cupboard.


Now all ya have to do is put these into a crock pot and turn it on high and let it cook for 3-5 hours or until it is really tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.

You can also put it in first thing in the morning and set your crock pot to low and let it cook all day and by the time you are home from work it will be done.

You can also use a dutch oven in the oven if you don't have a crock pot.
 
Once the meat is nice and tender put the meat on a plate or in a bowl and allow it to cool, then pull it a apart into bite size chunks.

If you are impatient like me you can grab a couple of forks and pull it apart instead.


This is one of those meals that my mom loves because everything I am putting in this was produced on the farm.

Minus the salt and pepper....but seriously they don't count.

Ok here's what ya need: 1-1.5 lb Beef Roast Cooked and pulled into pieces, 1 quart Tomato Juice, 1 quart Green Beans, 1 quart Frozen Sweet Corn, and Salt ans pepper to taste.

*This recipe also works really good with leftover pot roast.

You can also use potatoes, just dice them into 1" - 1/2" cube and cook them until they are soft, but not mushy.  I'll be honest I was just to lazy to cook them when I did this, so that's why I don't have them in there.

Other ideas might be some carrots that are pre-cooked, celery, onions...whatever other veggies you might want to use. I personally like the simplicity of it with just these few and I love the way it tastes but to each their own.


Turn your burner to med/med-high heat

Now in a medium to large pan pour the tomato juice.


Next add the green beans...


the corn...


..and the meat.

You can add as much meat an veggies that you would like if you need too just add more tomato juice.

If you don't like as much meat, then don't add as much. As for Caleb and I we like it meaty so I use it all!


Now cook it till it's hot all the way through and is bubbling some. If you want it a little thicker you can cook it longer till it cooks down more.


Now spoon it into a bowl and enjoy.  I like to have some saltine crackers with butter on top of them with mine.

That brings up a question I have and long standing argument in my family...

Which side of the cracker do you butter or put spread on...the flat side or the bumpy side?

With colder temps setting in this is a great meal to come in a warm up with, so enjoy.

JP



Vegetable Beef Soup

1-1.5lb Beef Roast cooked and pieced
1 quart Tomato Juice
1 quart Green Beans
1 Quart Frozen Sweet Corn
Salt
Pepper

In a medium to large pan pour all the ingredients in and heat till hot and bubbly. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Farm Eggs (and a Winner)

So yesterday evening Caleb had been out checkin' the cattle and he stopped by his grandparents house where they gave him the eggs their chickens had produced that day.

So Caleb does what he normally does and sticks them in his pocket and then he goes about his business.

When gets home and comes in I hear all this hollering goin' on from his direction.  I'm really not sure what all he said, but somewhere in all of it I get the words "forgot the eggs were in my pocket" and "I smashed them."

Well about this time I am cracking up (pun soo intended) and Caleb is telling me that it's not funny!

Seriously....

it was soo very funny!! 

He was just mam because it was his chore coat and it was cold outside and he was going to need it the next day.

It was then that I informed him that we had a washer and a dryer and I'm sure it can get all the egg nasty out of his pocket and dry his coat by morning.



As he's headed outside to dump the scrambled eggs out of his pocket I did what any good blogger does and I grabbed my camera so you all could see it too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookin' up a Giveaway

So if you have ever been in my kitchen or had some of my cooking you would know that I am a cast iron queen. I was raised cookin' in a cast iron skillet and that's what I still use.

Fact: When I moved into my own place while in college I "stole" a skillet from my mom cause I didn't think I could use a non-cast iron skillet. I still have that skillet and use it more than any other pan in my cupboard.

Fact: My mom collects cast irons and doesn't even miss it.

Fact: I replaced it this year with another cast iron skillet that I picked up at an auction.

Ok now lets get back to why you are all here...

it's for one word...

GIVEAWAY

It's ok, I do the same thing.

Because I have such a strong love for Cast Iron Cookware I am giving away.....



1 - 8" Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet


It's already seasoned and ready to start cookin'.

I wanted to give away a bigger skillet but I figured it would cost me an arm and a leg to ship it and this one was on sale, so there ya go.

But just cause its smaller doesn't mean you still cant use it. I use mine to cook bacon bits for my creamy potato soup ... it works great for this. I also fry potatoes, and toast the bottom side of hamburger bun in it. I love this little beast!


Also 1 Package of Hot Handle Mitts. There is one red one and a one black one in this package.  These are a must for anyone using cast iron skillets.


Here's my skillet my momma GAVE me a few years ago for Christmas as you can see I have put the miles on it too.

Yes that is bacon grease in the pan.

Yes I save my bacon grease and cook with it.

Things just taste better in bacon grease.


My handle mitt has seen some wear and tear too.

Funny thing about this one. A few years back when I was a poor college student, my mom gave me some things she had bought for herself to give her for Christmas. Included in that stuff was a package of the handle mits. Well anybody that knows my mom knows that she loves the color red. It's everywhere in her kitchen, in her house and in her wardrobe. Well among the other things I was to give her was some red Kitchen Aid towels well to continue with the 'red' theme of the gift I thought I should keep the black mitt out of the gift, and since her kitchen was full of red stuff, then I should just keep it in my kitchen instead. Well and as you can see it has been well used in the past 6...7...8 years that I have had it.

OK Back to the GIVEAWAY...

Here's the Rules:

Just leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas tradition or memory or anything that's on your mind

One entry per person

*You can earn a second entry by blogging about my giveaway and then leaving a second comment with a link to you post.

* You can even get a third entry by sharing this contest with your friends via Facebook or Twitter! Be sure to share the link, then come back and let me know you did with another comment.

Entries will close at midnight on Sunday, December 12th and I will announce the winner on Monday morning.

Ok my favorite tradition would have to be going to my grandmas house and making and eating banana splits before we have our dinner.

Good Luck,

JP

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weaning Calves

So I was suppose to have this post done a long time ago and I'm sorry that it hasn't happened. Like I've said before that blogger and I have been having some issue and it probably doesn't help that I have tons of pictures on my computer that are slowing me down.

Weaning calves is something we do around our farm twice a year and it's something I don't have that many pictures of because I am very actively involved with it and it is hard to get many pictures.

The process involves catching all the cattle in a pen and sorting off all the calves from the cows. We then will proceed to "work" all the calves. This involves vaccinating...just like Moms around the country do with their kids everyday.

We do it to the cattle for the very same reason...

to prevent the calves from getting sick.

We will also treat any sickness that we might come across while running the calves through the chute, as well as giving each calf a ear tag. We use these to be able to tell the calves from each other. I give a few of them names, but there are far too many of them to name and a lot of them are just plain black so you can't really tell them apart. So ear tags the get.

Does all this hurt them...

Well you have had shots before...so really just for a bit. As for the ear tags if you've ever gotten your ears pierced then you know the feeling...

me I have 8 holes in my ears so I know all very well the felling and it's not that bad.  

Just like children at the doctors office some cry and scream before they even go into the doctors office and others don't make a sound.

The other thing we do at this time is we will castrate all the male calves.  I'm sure Caleb and every other man out there would say that it's just plain mean, but it is a must so suck it up boys.

After the calves are worked the little ones are sent back out to be with momma and the larger calves are loaded in a trailer and taken to a tightly secured pen...

I say tightly because we had a few issues with that this year, but more on that in a bit...

So a couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of Caleb sortin' some calves into the alley way and my dear friend "The Wife" made a comment about how easily our cattle worked well if only that were true!

First of all the calves in that photo were technically Caleb's grandpa's but it really makes no difference cause his can cause as many problems as ours do.

While getting all the cattle in it never fails that we have to have the 4-wheelers to do some of the chasing. One of the groups ran all over 320 acres being led by one crazy cow...

Like I said before I am actively involved with working the cattle so getting pictures of these events  doesn't get to happen much cause if I'm not on a 4-wheeler or in the truck chaisin' the cattle then I am on foot and the last thing I want to have with me while chasin' cattle is my camera.

So this group was just one problem...

but it lead to others, because of having to chase those cattle all over kingdom come gates got left open and the cow were out not once but twice...

but they are back in and things are better.

so previously I said something about have a tightly secured pen to place the calves in...

Why is this important you may be asking...


Well newly weaned calves will wander all around their new lot. They do a lot of hollering for their mommas...


 and look for any opportunity to escape and try and find her.


For this reason it is a good idea to have the tightly secured.

Well this year we didn't do that all too well. With our first group of weaning calves we placed them in a pen that we had never used since I have been around.

I don't remember the reason but Caleb decided this was the place to put them.

Well the gate for this pen wasn't the best gate in the world and it was only held shut by a small chain that was hooked to some tin on the neighboring shed. 

Well we drop the calves off there and shut ans chain the gate and go home cause these calves came from the group of cattle I talked about earlier that had gone all over the place....

soo needless to say we were tired!!

Well early the next morning we get a call from Caleb's grandpa letting us know that every single calf was out and gone.

It's never a good day when you get a call like this in the morning.

Well we throw on some clothes real quick and head up there....

...by this time the calves have broke down a gate and gone through two fences and are about a 1/2 a mile away in a harvested bean field. Well after a little persuasion we get all the calves we see into one of the connecting pastures.

The worst part about this pasture is that there is also some first calf heifers in this pasture as well and they are full of spunk and energy that day.

I head up and get all the gates opened and while the guys try to wrangle them with the 4-wheelers. after about 30 min to and hour they finally get the calves plus half the group of heifers.

Well once they are back in a lot we sort off all the heifers and do a head count which comes up one calf short. 

Well that's no good!!!

So we put all the calves back into the pen they had escaped from earlier and this time we chain it with that tiny little crappy chain but we also put this glorified twig in front of it to help keep it closed.

this stick probably weighed 10 pounds at most and it's suppose to stop 20+ 600 pound calves from stampeding it....

humm....I had my doubts, but I'm still new to this joint and well I guess I will have to trust them.

Well we head back out to look for this last calf but really didn't have much luck, so while guys are still out there I head back to start filling some sacks with feed so we can go catch another group of cattle to wean and work the calves in their group.

The time frame from when we left to look for the last calf to when I got back was probably 10-15 minutes.

So guess what I find when I get back?!?!

You bet it...all those calves we had just gotten in have stampeded the gate and trampled the twig and were out again.

Seriously...

are you kidding me?!?!

So I give Caleb a holler and give him the good news.

By this time they have already gotten back in with the crazy heifers, but one good thing did happen from them getting out a second time...

Because they were once again roaming around bawling the lost calf came back to find them and we were able to get him in too.

Since we had already ran the group all over they cooperated a lot better this time and we got them in and sorted rather quickly, but this time we put them in a different holding pen, that was much more secure!

You might think that was all of the story, but it's not...

About a month later we were finally able to get the rest of our calves worked and weaned, but because of some water issues we were going to have put our calves in the that same pen again, but this time we did some improvements....


First we got a brand new chain that is now wrapped around a big ol' post inside of the building as well as....


Placing a huge tractor tire on the gate to replace the before mentioned twig. Now that's a road block.

Alright, after writing and reliving all of this I am tired and I think I'm gonna call it good for now.

Stay tuned from something exciting tomorrow!

Laters,

JP

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today

Today there was a huge list of things I need to get done, but since it was so beautiful outside, I wanted to do something out there, so I...


...took my fence that looked like this and...


....turned it into this. I was wanting to put lights on the house, but that may not happen this year....

I also did this...


I made some oh so yummy chocolate cupcakes...

And don't worry, I will soon be sharing the recipe with ya'll...

But first I am still working on a post about workin' our calves...

I hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend!

Lots-o-Love,

Janet

Thursday, December 2, 2010

80 Years of Oneryness

So I was suppose to have this posted yesterday, but I had a few issues with uploading all the photos on here...lets just say that I am not very excited about the new uploader. I also was having some problems with my cell phone...I detest that phone, but that's a whole nother story.

Well over the weekend one of my aunts was going to host a Thanksgiving dinner up in KC...

...I always love it when she has dinners at her house, cause I get to see all my family and only have to drive half the distance, it's just great.

Well a week or two before Thanksgiving, my aunt came up with the idea of doing a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandpa, since his birthday was coming up on the 1st of December.


Here he comes...


He has no clue what he's walkin' into.



I think was surprised him!


It's not a party without some good party hats!


Hey Caleb, wheres your hat??

He didn't want to mess his hair up...party pooper!!


So a funny thing about the kazoos...when I got there my sister and a cousin were tryin' to get them to work...I should tell you they are both college grads and my cousin is actually getting her masters...well they couldn't figure them out at all. They kept blowin' through them and there was no noise. I will say that I tried too and had no luck...then my little 5 year old nephew comes walkin' by humming in his kazoo and putting all of us to shame.


Caleb ate his dinner with my cousin Brent (you've met him before) and my uncle Wes...can you tell that Wes has been active in politics...he's got the hand in the air ready to make a point...haha...it makes me laugh!!!



Present time....the theme is 80.


80 hickory nuts...


80 playing cards...that could make for a fun game...


80 black jellybeans...actually 78 black ones and 2 white one, but who's counting...


80 Southeast Kansas black walnuts...


80 pieces of black lickerish...


80 ounces of Buttermilk...


He also got....80 ounces of hominy, 80 sugar cookies, 80 kernels of popcorn....I think I'm forgettin' a couple of things but these were the most of them.



I think my cousin's wife got her Christmas present early. I'm not sure what they decided to call her, but she was pretty! I ready for another trip back to Minnesota to try her out.


Hey that's not your baby.


This is an common happening at my aunts house...

The stairs double as a slide.

I actually have a picture of my cousin who is studin' to be a Doctor doin' this very same thing and few years back...

If I knew where  it was I would have posted it.



There's your baby...

Boy is he gittin' big...


What a cutie...

He gets it from his Aunt Jan...


And before we left I requested that my sister take hold of my camera and get one good shot of Caleb and I for our Christmas card...

It took about 5-6 to get a good one good one....

Not to mention all the ones Caleb sister took on Thanksgiving day.

Well there ya have it...

Happy Birthday Yesterday Papa!!

Now it's time to get to work  doin' some cleaning, cause I don't think there is a clean pan in my kitchen...

How sad is that!

JP