Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

From my front porch to yours, best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Many thanks to all of you who read, comment, or refer to my blog.  I appreciate the time you take out of your day to pay me a visit.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Post Roast Sliders

At the present moment I seem to be drowning in beef products. Really, there are worse problems I could be having. I have been trolling the internet, and my beloved Pinterest, in search of new recipes for beef. You know, the type of recipes that make my family say, "Wow Mom, you are the best cook ever."  Or....something similar.  

So, I took out my beloved crock pot and placed a three pound roast inside of it with the following recipe: 

1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped 

I let it cook all day on low and had a very successful roast for the supper hour.  And, this prompted me to save the leftover liquid,and beef,  for sliders.....I love them.  

After skimming off the congealed fat, (icky), I mixed a small amount of the liquid with cornstarch to thicken my mixture.  Then, I added it to the rest of the liquid in my pan.  

I added the shredded beef to the warming liquid and allowed it to come to a low boil. 

And then, I plated myself up a little slider....or two, since no one else was home :)

Yes, it was good and I offered to share when everyone else came home.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dirty, Dirty Jobs

I am all for women's liberation and all of that, but I have to say that there are times when I have the excuse of doing laundry. 

Typically, in our household, the chores are somewhat divided.  I do laundry, cooking, etc..., and Secret Agent Man does a lot of the farm chores. 

After catching him working on the fence, with a sideways hat and distressed face, I was even more than glad that I had, "household", chores to do. 

I am glad to say that he has The Deerslayer to help him out at times like these. 

Does this mean that when The Deerslayer moves out I will have to hold the post/use the drill?  

Oh dear....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Ahhhhhhh.......nothing like Christmas in the tropics.  Okay, so it was just the Sunshine State, but it was in the seventies, warm, and delightful.  

Time spent with family during the holidays makes me feel blessed beyond measure.  Add safe travels on top of that and seems very excellent. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

I will be scarce in the blogging world for the next few days as I spend time with family and friends.  

I would like to take a moment and wish all of you the best that Christmas has to offer.  


Friday, December 21, 2012

Here We Are

If you are reading this, you survived the end of the world prophecy made by the Mayans. 

I made it through the entire day with the prophecy hanging over my head and the winter solstice shortening the day.  

It's all good here in the farmette neighborhood. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nothin' But Gray Skies Do I See

Gray skies are everywhere today. Maybe not so unusual for December, but they seem to produce nothing but rain. Heavy downpours, thunder, lightning, and darkness permeated the day. 

Having just read, Flight Behavior, it reminded me of the main character's dilemma with the weather.  The constant rain in Appalachian, in months when winter should have taken hold. 

Weather that plays with the delicate balance of life in all areas. 

The afternoon found some wet dogs around the farmette. 

The rains did cease with an afternoon of golden light.  Just for the briefest of moments. 

I even caught a friend posing. 

For an even briefer moment. 

"On the fifth day, which was Sunday, It rained very hard.  I like it when it rains hard.  It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence, but not empty."  

Mark Haddon 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Race Is On

Only three days of work this week.  Already I am wondering what my students will have to say about Friday's tragedy. 

Last minute shopping this weekend for family Christmas celebrations.  

Made a batch of my homemade hot chocolate mix as gifts for friends. 

I also made this cake last night.  Mennonite Ladies really can cook.  

If you have any little ones, the Reindeer Cam is a lot of fun.  Santa even shows up to feed them :) 

Stay merry my friends.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Taking a Moment

The events of today have shocked me beyond belief and given me pause to be enormously thankful for my family and all I have in life. 

I hope you will join me and send up prayers for those affected by the school shooting.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Though this church was erected in 1890, its congregation first requested a preacher in the year 1795.  And, this congregation still remains strong.  It sits on a corner lot on Main Street and the Neo-Colonial house to the right came on the scene in 1904.  

"This town of churches and dreams; this town I thought I would lose myself in, with its backward ways and winding roads leading to nowhere; but, I found myself instead." 
Magic in the Backyard~excerpt from American Honey
Kellie Elmore 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where Is Your Christmas Spirit?

This gentleman has enough Christmas spirit for all of us and then some.   We should all have such a positive attitude toward our job.  I hope this puts a smile on your face today.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Simple Sunday

Today was a simple Sunday here at the farmette. No errands to run and just a couple of afternoon items to complete. Rainy, dreary, and a tad chilly, it was the perfect day for staying inside. 

Cooking and baking ruled the late afternoon. 

And, I was glad for it. 

"Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week."  

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  


Friday, December 7, 2012


Against the advice of my teenage son, I decorated a bit outside of this old farmhouse.  In his wise words, "Why do you want to decorate outside?  No one comes down our road to see it."  Now, it seems a wreath is resting on the front lawn.  A wreath that I placed on a second story window by hanging outside said window.  Now, I find myself thinking, "I could just leave it off the one comes down here to see it missing."  

The cows from yesterday's post belong to my neighbor.  Ours went to...."market".  That is the delicate way to put it.  Secret Agent Man picked up the beef from the butcher and brought it all home in a black hefty bag.  Oh....the charming ways of country life.  

I would like to think that after all these years I am acclimating to country life, but maybe not.  While putting the beef in the deep freeze, I came across mystery items wrapped in paper dishes.  After inquiring Secret Agent Man let me know that they were hearts....or kidneys....or maybe tongue.  

I like 'ta died.  

They are now in the deep freeze of people who appreciate that sort of thing.  Not this city country girl.  

Peace out my friends.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"There's nothing like sitting back and talking to your cows."  

Russell Crowe 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cold Blows the Wind

"Cold blows the wind, the frozen rain and fleecy snow descend;  for, freezing winter's come again, and so the year does end."  

So says the current Farmer's Almanac, but seriously it felt like a pleasant spring day here at the farmette.  With temps in the seventies, it was really hard to believe that December had arrived.  
The almanac forecast for my, "zone", describes my weather as turning, "unsettled", starting tomorrow.

We shall see.

If it were not for the weather, what would I blog about at times?



Sunday, December 2, 2012


Before I head out to observe a three hour softball practice, (seriously), my canine friend and I would like to wish you a great Sunday afternoon and a marvelous week ahead. 

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." 

Oprah Winfrey

Friday, November 30, 2012


'Tis the season here at the farmette.  Outside decorations are going up with abandon.  However, I can't seem to get any help with the inside decor....hmmmmmmm.  

Playlist totally deserted my blog and then I started over with a Mixpod playlist.  Now, they have disappeared from the blog-o-sphere.  Sad times, my friends.  

I am in need of book suggestions, as I have finished with Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Flight Behavior.  Any suggestions.......anyone......Bueller........

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  
Ferris Bueller

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

She Ain't That Kind of Girl

So, maybe it isn't entirely true that I didn't shop this past weekend. After the parade, on Saturday, I made the family walk across the street to our Smalltownland antique mall. 

I adore this place.  It housed a hardware store back in the day.  As in 1900, back in the day.  It remains in near original condition.  I can remember visiting this building when I was a child and it still sold hardware and furnishings. 

It is true that I have purchased many an item from this facility.  It is even true that I am such a good customer that I am known by name and....when I walk in the store they have recommendations for me.  

While walking around I spied this beauty.  Although beautiful, she made it clear that she wasn't putting up with any funny business. 

The sign on her made it clear to all of those who came close to her. 

She ain't that kind of girl.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Start of the Season

With Thanksgiving officially over, the Christmas season has begun here in Smalltownland. 

Christmas on the Square was celebrated with the town's populace counting down for the lights to be turned on throughout the square. 

Santa made his appearance during the parade and set up camp in our historic courthouse. 

Now, I think we just need a little snow to complete the season.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday at the Farmette

Black Friday at the Farmette is a casual affair. It involves Secret Agent Man waking up early to clean out a fence row on the far end of our property. 

I take photos and he does the work.  

I also enjoy the scenery and propose leftover turkey for lunch. 

No lines, no shopping, no crowds.  A book to read for the afternoon, a nap by the wood stove, and more turkey leftovers for supper. 

Life in the fast lane.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gearing Up

Today I am gearing up for the family gathering here at the farmette this Thursday. Lots of food, laughter, and let us all pray for a well done turkey. 

Perhaps, through this barn photograph,  I am channeling thoughts of an empty turkey carcass after everyone has declared it delicious.  Perhaps.....

"He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part; 
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart."

J.A. Shedd 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Frost on the Bottle Tree


Cold weather is here to stay.

Jack Frost leaves his mark each and every morning. 

We do have frost on our pumpkins,

but the frost on the bottle tree is just more beautiful. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Signs, Signs

They are out there in Smalltownland giving me all kinds of signals. 

Summer is over. 


Cattle farms abound. 

Horse hay anyone?

A country ham sounds good for the holidays. 

A small, country grocery store fading away. 

A pointless arrow showing me the way, everyday.

Yes, The Lord is here too. 

"Life is one big road with lots of signs.  So when you are riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind.  Flee from hate, mischief, and jealousy.  Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.  Wake up and Live!" 

Bob Marley