Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Music Monday (Tuesday): Coldplay's Scientist

A few days late for a white Christmas

I woke up this morning to a "light dusting of snow", according to the weathergirl, which was actually about an inch of accumulation. A little slick getting from the farm to the first town, but pretty smooth driving to work otherwise. I was the first person out of our county road this morning, so I didn't have any tracks to follow in!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Master's Call

You know how they say that sheep follow their shepherd's voice? Cows are smart like that too.
Sunday I helped Dad separate out the calves that needed to be weaned from the cows.

I stood at the barnlot gate calling "sook sook" and the cows just looked at me and stood still. Dad did the same call and was answered by a chorus of moos, and our cows meandering toward the barn.

That was the first time we brought all the cows and calves into the barnlot. Then a calf escaped back into the field and the cows got stubborn. Dad had to entice them with a round bale and a promise of greener pastures. See below for enticement photos...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie baking

For the last couple weeks I've been wanting to bake Christmas cookies. I'm not a grinch about cookies like I am about Christmas music.

Grandma and I finally got my cousin to come out and help bake cookies. We baked:
- a "store-bought" package of peanut butter cookies
- a batch of Grandma Ettling's oatmeal cookies, which we split in half and made half oatmeal raisin and half oatmeal chocolate chip pecan
- a batch of Aunt Patty's sugar cookies
- and a batch of Molasses cookies, that Grandma Fluegge has been talking about making for the last month.

Instead of typing out the recipe I took a picture of it because I thought the method of its presentation was interesting. It's on the back of a "Vote for this guy" card from who knows how long ago. Grandma said if more of them would put recipes on their ad material, maybe they'd get more votes. Ha!

I will tell you this batter is not stiff like it claims to be. If you follow the recipe above, it will need extra flour otherwise you'll end up with cookies that are all spread out, like we had.

Notice I'm not even showing a photo of these cookies because I was embarrassed of their looks. But they taste mighty good. We substituted pecans for the walnuts. Excellent choice.

And I crumbled them up and put them on top of my Cream of Wheat this morning instead of adding brown sugar. Probably would be good on oatmeal as well.

I love living with Grandma and being on the farm and home again, but a few things I know: I'm ready for my upright Kitchenaid mixer, my mini-ice cream scoop cookie scoop, my cookie sheets, my cooling racks, my oven, and my husband's loving complaints, "You made all these cookies and force fed them to me."

Of course I did, and I forced him to drink a gallon of milk, too.

Number of times my office has moved since I started my job: once, and I'm moving again on Tuesday
Number of days until I see the Hubs: Four
Number of weeks I've been at my new job: tomorrow starts 8 weeks

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why I love my new job

1. Jeans Fridays.
2. I can wear my boots everyday and no one says a peep. Most people here wear boots anyway.

That's my fancy schmancy new architect stamp!

3. I'm respected. Something about the credential "Architect" makes people more respectful.

4. The view outside my window is 1) The rose garden behind City Hall, 2) the "new" Emerson Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River to Illinois. Even now in the dead of winter, the bridge is still beautiful.

5. I got a box of Christmas chocolates and mixed nuts. For the first time ever, they weren't sent to my boss or to my office in general, but hand delivered to me! (I shared with coworkers of course...)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hauling Haybales

It was a dry summer. Which means we didn't get as many haybales as usual. Which means we had to buy some.
 At some point in the last couple years, we changed from being a Chevy family to a Dodge family. I missed the memo and bought a Mazda (which is made by Ford). Above, my brother's truck is on the left and my Dad's is on the right.
 My cousin Troylee helped out, too.
In each trip, we were able to get 12 bales.
 Talking to the farmer.
P.S. Frost in the early morning at 27 degrees, quickly turns into a muddy barnlot. And 50 haybales crowds the barnlot pretty well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Music Monday: Foxworthy's 12 Days of Christmas

I'm a pretty big grinch when it comes to Christmas music. I can only hear the same song sung by two different artists before I go crazy. However, the Redneck 12 Days of Christmas makes me laugh everytime. Maybe because I can see family members asking for these items. Like 5 flannel shirts or 4 muddin tires.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blocking Out

This week I started blocking out the doilies I made.
Half a can of spray starch later, all the doilies that are finished are starched.
 For some scale on these last two, I put a highlighter in the photo. They are huge after being blocked!
I have one in the works right now that is almost done, and then I think I'll do one more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Music Monday - Adele "Set Fire to the Rain"

From her new album "21". Can't wait for the next one.

This is a great driving song. Crank it up and sing along.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running Update

Wow. It's been 6 weeks since I last ran. Last night I went to the Shawnee Rec Center here in town. It is not nearly as busy as the other gym, Osage. There are a lot of after school programs for elementary kids at Shawnee, but I was the only person in the weight/cardio room, except for the guy who works in there.

I wasn't sure how well I would do because it was a different treadmill than I'm used to, and because it had been so long. But I did really well:
Walk at 3.3 mph for 3 minutes
Walk at 3.5 mph for 2 minutes
Ran at 4.6 mph for 10 minutes
Walk at 3.5 mph for 5 minutes

I probably could have ran for a couple more minutes.

Definitely will be going back to Shawnee in the future. But I think I might change into my workout clothes here at the office. For some reason, the Shawnee Center doesn't have locker rooms, so I changed in one of the handicapped accessible stalls. But there also wasn't a shelf to put my clothes on or a bench to sit on while putting on my tennis shoes. Strange. (and bad design!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

House repair

This weekend, my parents and brother came out to Springfield with me to help me and the Hubs work on the house. There was cosmetic work that needed to be done outside (painting the siding, removing the huge unused antenna, and replacing the siding on the back porch).
Mom painting!
The weekend turned out to be pretty nice. Thursday afternoon, after stuffing ourselves with ham and all the fixin's, we painted and demo'd the existing siding on the back porch.

Dad removing the huge antenna and patching the holes.

Dad and Daniel measuring siding

The Hubs and Dad formulating a plan of attack for the window

Having beer and desserts with my BFF Melissa and my parents at Farmers Gastropub
 There's still some interior work to do, but we got some of the big items off the list this weekend. Hopefully the house will be on the market by January 1 and will sell quickly once people get their tax returns in!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Memories

My favorite part of being back home again is making memories with family.

Take, for example, Saturday night's Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt's house. We had a cake to celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday, my Great Aunt's 76th birthday, and my cousin-in law's 35th birthday. It was exciting to be a part of this. Grandma had no idea (or at least claimed to have no idea) that there was a cake coming for her. To top it all off, this is the first Thanksgiving I've been home for since 2006. I've hosted my parents out in Springfield since then.
 Last night we got snow. Not ver much mind you, but enough to leave a dusting when I woke up this morning.

 And, Grandma and I were crazy enough to can another 21 pints of pear jam. Sunday afternoon, Dad and I picked a five gallon bucket of pears and Grandma and I spent Sunday afternoon peeling. We made 10 jars of jam with Splenda on Sunday night, then ran out of pectin and Splenda.
So I picked up pectin and Splenda last night and we canned 7 jars of Splenda jam and 4 without any sweetener or sugar at all. It's kind of like pear sauce (the pear version of apple sauce). Even though it was hot in the kitchen, my hands were cramped from peeling, and my feet hurt from standing over the stove for several hours, I know I'll look back in 20 years at this time that I spent making jam with Grandma.

 And then I blocked out four of the doilies. There are two left that are finished and ready for blocking, one I'm still crocheting and at least two more I have plans to make for Christmas presents.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday: Settlin by Sugarland

The Hubs and I are looking for a house here in the Cape area. There are a lot of nice houses, but they are in the city limits. Or they don't have 5 acres of land. And there are a lot of houses that are the right size and out of town and have some acres, but are priced way too high. I'm not sure you should really price a house at $140,000 if there are comparable sized houses that price, but that are updated. There was one I looked at online last week with that kind of price on it, but all the finishes were from the 70s and in desperate need of updating. We're talking white bathroom cabinets with gold painted trim, and dark kitchen cabinets. We're talking old bathroom fixtures with toilets that are still 3 gallons per flush. We aren't in a rush to find a house. We still need to sell the one out in Springfield and the Hubs doesn't graduate until May. I have free lodging right now living with Grandma. We're trying to avoid paying two mortgages at once. I like what the Hubs said "We aren't settling" for something less than what we want. The right price. The right size. The right location.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pleased to meet you, I'm Anna the Architect

Look what came while I was out of town! I am officially an architect!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener on the Otherside

And the cows know it.

When the grass is greener, you can see a line on the "other" side of the fence where the cows have stretched over and munched.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Music Monday: Should've Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith

I always sing along with the radio. I remember singing along to this song at the top of my lungs when my Aunt and Uncle were babysitting me (I was elementary school age) and Uncle Collin turning the radio up drown me out... But I just sang louder! haha

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Passing Time: Another Doily

Sorry I can't figure out how to rotate photos in blogger.
I've been working on this doily for the last week or so. It's from a Magic Crochet magazine that dates back to my infant-years.

 Finished size is supposed to be 8-3/4", but mine will probably be closer to 10" after starching.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hauling trees

My cousin sells firewood. The trees he uses are ones that have fallen down on the farm, or have storm damage.
Last weekend I was "helping" Dad haul trees. (In otherwords, I ride on the tractor fender and hand dad the chains.) He wanted to take down a leaning tree in the bottoms (the fields at the bottom of the big hill that our farm is on) that was leaning over the fenceline.

Have you ever wondered what a fence post looks like after a large tree comes down on it?

 No, that fence post isn't broken. Five feet of the six foot post is down in the ground. Along with the finned anchor at the bottom of the post.
 Dad was making fun of me because I was standing about 40' away from the treeline. It's because I didnt' want to end up like the fence post.

This rut was made with the new tractor tires. Deep enough for ya?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our new "Baby"

I know, you probably opened this expecting to see an ultrasound. That is a ways off, my friends!

Last weekend the Hubs sent me a text message (didn't call, mind you, because that wouldn't have been a very friendly call...) telling me he had purchased another Corvair. This is a 67 four door. Our neighbor a couple doors down had a friend who was on the way to the crusher with this gem and asked the Hubs if he wanted it. For $300, we have a new car. 

 I would totally drive this. I don't think the four doors are near as ugly as the two doors. (We have a 68 two door.) But that's opposite what the Hubs thinks. But, this will just be a parts car.

It has a couple dents. A little difficult to see in the above photo, but the rear panel between the rear tire and the back of the car is dented. Also on the passenger side, the rear door has a pretty deep scratch/dent.

 Overall though, it's in pretty decent shape for it's age. It sat in a carport for who knows how long.
 At the moment the trunk is not able to be opened (trunks are in the front on Corvairs since the motor is in the back) because it is locked. For all we know, there's a mummy in there.

 That paper on the front passenger seat is the Owner's manual!
Some critters decided the engine compartment was a nice place to build a nest. They also chewed the wiring harness so we don't know if this motor runs.

Life Cycle

A couple weekends ago as I was waiting for Dad to move hay bales around to accommodate the calves moving into the barn, I was distracted by the lady bugs on the fence posts in the barn lot.

Check out this website for more information on lady bug lifecycles: http://everything-ladybug.com/ladybug-life-cycle.html
Adult and larva


Eggs (upper right) and a freshly molted lady bug. I touched it and it was still a little sticky!

I think the larva look like little alligators. The first time I saw them in my garden, I was afraid they were some kind of pest. Luckily, I looked up the bugs online before I squished any of them!

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