Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winter is Here

Weather is still pretty cold here and there is a very heavy frost on everything.  Some sun is peaking through the clouds.

Christmas is over and we had a good visit and dinner and now  all is quiet on the home front......not a bad thing for this old girl!  We still have to dismantle the tree but DH will do that.

We had a near slight emergency before Christmas.  We decided to  finally buy new living room furniture after 30 some years and my requisite with the sales person was that there were to be no special orders.....I wanted  it delivered asap in time for the holidays (we had already given away our old pieces and the living room was bare).  I was promised delivery the very next week before the 25th." no problem" was his exact statement.  Cutting to the chase:  The following week, I called and was told  the chair and ottoman and new cocktail (coffee table to me) table  would be delivered but the sofa would be delayed for over a week from Christmas Day!  I shared my opinion of the sales man telling me differently and suggested that they better train staff if they wanted repeat customers or good word of mouth advertising.  He called me back within minutes and said they would bring me the floor sample to use until the new one was delivered (this Friday).  They did and we were very pleased with that arrangement.

Surprisingly, we both liked it very much in our living room.  I am always so worried about that.  Usually I wish I had picked another style......this time, I was happy.  I think it fits our style in that room nicely.

The pictures were taken before any finishing touches.  The delivery people had just left and I took some quick shots.

 It is now December 31, maybe I can finally finish this post.....

I am still getting my kitchen back to normal and emptying out the refrigerator of leftovers. 


DH is in winter mode of hay feeding and has moved the cows to another section of the farm.  Sometimes if it is very cold, he uses the truck to check cattle.  All is well so far.


Some changes have been  made (after chasing puppies two and three times a day when they escaped their building).  We now have Sugar loose.  She is currently laying by the heater in the kitchen.  She is huge, makes me  think of a Great Dane.  The puppies and their mama now reside in Sugars large pen. They are growing rapidly and are almost impossible to catch once they get out. 


They are keeping us in eggs but not laying heavily.  They still haven't lost all their feathers....maybe these hybrids don't. 

To Do

Make a batch of mincemeat for my Sis and me.

Clean the back porch (got to get ready for using the plant light stand for seed starting).  This will include getting rid of the tall file  cabinet that is filled  with papers that should just be burned. 

Organize and list all my seeds. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday on the Farm

Another gray day is looming.

We have only seen the sun for a few hours the last week or so. I don't like these kinds of days.
I think they are even talking snow. Well, it is December.

It has been a slow, normal week here. Daily farm chores and errands.
I finally was able to get out and do the chickens and puppies (morning only) yesterday. Then navigated Walmart for dog,cat  and people food.

Speaking of errands......we are  loosing our Dillons/Kroger store that I went to for all my baking supplies.  They carried a varied and extensive line.  I got all my King Arthur Flours there; Walmart carries only KA's regular unbleached flour.  I think the Bolivar, Mo. stores carries all of their products.  We will be checking them out next week when DH has to get his driver's  license renewed.


The puppies are now being confined with just a small pen for sunshine. Mama B. wants to lead them to the road to go exploring. We haven't made permanent plans for them yet.

The two brown ones are very friendly; the black one (with a black roof of mouth) isn't, with me anyway. I am wondering Chow mix?


Carolyn at Krazo Acres got me thinking about my chickens and molt. I know mine are not laying well and I just assumed they would be as naked and pitiful looking as her flock. I made a point this morning when letting them out to really take a look and take a few pictures. Mine are looking very good. I don't know if the molt is coming and they are not laying due to reduced daylight hours only or what. You should visit Krazo Acres; that title might give you a hint.  I love her writing and her sense of humor.

Here they are in all their delightful Hyline splendor:

I gathered my two morning eggs.  We will get a couple more later but one of the girls eats an egg now and then so I try to defeat her by taking them early. 


Last year  I lost both my seed orders.....ridiculous, I know but I did.  I found one order earlier this fall and while cleaning my storage shelves where I keep all things computer, I found the other order.  I picked up a bubble envelope and heard it rattle.

Still I ordered a few more non-hybrid  things from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds yesterday.  I still forgot the Long Cheese squash seeds.  I brought in my old seeds and will check through them and then pitch everything else.  I am starting new!

Forgive the varied size and style of type.  I copied and pasted from Open Office Document and have failed  to correct it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Puppies and a New Recipe

No point in doing a catch up post.  All my good intentions of blogging regularly have failed.

So I  will just do a post when opportunity and desire meet head on.

Our weather has been fairly typical of the Ozarks.  Warmer  than normal one week and colder and wetter the next.  We are in a cool period now with the highs expected to be low 40's.  The rains have stayed better than usual which is very good for the pastures.

We are now feeding hay but the cows can also graze.

The puppies are growing rapidly.

They are coming outside now and beginning to wander after Mama  Beagle.  In fact, Tito (the tan one with a blaze face) followed her all the way back to the barn lot where old straw  is stored.  DH couldn't find them so I went out out and began calling....soon Mama B came toward me and I could hear Tito howling and saw him back in the straw.  He came to me  as I got closer and I carried him back to the shed with the others.  We are worried they will follow mama out to the road so have to decide what to do.

Here she has drug up an old piece of stiff hide and they are fascinated with it.  I can watch out the kitchen window and see her 'training' sessions with them.


I made a new recipe yesterday and we really liked it.  It was  from my Iowa Sis.  I forgot to take pictures drat it.

This could be modified by leaving out the wine but I included it even though mine was semi-sweet.  It did not hurt the taste of the sauce.  I also used dried parsley.

I served mine over brown rice with a plain green salad on the side.  I think the cheese toast would be very good too.

French Onion Salisbury Steak
Makes 4 steaks-total time 45 min.

For the Steak:
1 1/4 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 T. minced fresh scallions
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 T. all-purpose flour
For the Sauce:
1 T. olive oil
2 cups sliced onions
1 t. sugar
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. tomato paste
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. dried thyme
Cheese toasts
Minced fresh parsley
Shredded parmesan cheese
Combine ground beef, 1/4 cup parsley, scallions, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly and shape into 3/4 to 1 in. thick oval patties. Place 2 T. flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 t. flour.

Heat oil in a saute` pan over med. high heat. Add patties and saute` 3 min. on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.

Add onions and sugar to pan; saute` 5 min.. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; saute` until paste begins to brown, about 1 min.
Sprinkle mixture with reserved flour; cook 1 min.; stir in broth, wine, salt and thyme.
Return meat to pan and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to med. low, cover and simmer 10 min.

Serve steaks on Cheese toasts with onion sauce ladled over. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

Cheese Toasts:
4 slices Italian bread cut diagonally 1/2 in. thick
2 T. butter at room temp.
1/2 t. minced garlic
Pinch of paprika
1/4 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1 T. shredded Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread on a baking sheet. Combine butter, garlic and paprika; spread on bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly. (10-15 min.)

P.S.  On a personal note.  My knee is much better!  I am so delighted I am browsing Seed Catalogs again.