Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Canine Contentment

Take one enthusiastic Labrador Retriever....

Add one long river....

Toss in a couple of adoring young ladies...

Make sure a copious amount of sticks are involved.... 

Scanning for sticks and/or fish is a must....

Don't forget the shake-shake.....

  Mix all together to get one supremely happy dog. 

"Heaven goes by favor.  If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in." 

Mark Twain 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

Please take a moment this Memorial Day, 

to thank a member of our armed forces,

for their service to our country. 

Without them, it wouldn't be what it is today. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Makin' Hay

A lot of farmers in my area are getting their first cut of hay accomplished for this season. That means a lot of sweet smells as I am driving along these country roads. 

We are headed for a hot one this Memorial Day Weekend.  Mid-to-upper 90 degree temps expected, so I see a dip in the pool in my future. 

Stay cool my friends. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jack of All Trades

It just so happened that Secret Agent Man could not make it to trap shooting practice last night. So, this left me as the lone family representative. That wouldn't be so bad, except that Secret Agent Man has taken up some of the coaching duties. 

I don't even care to shoot a gun, much less use one strictly for sport.  Once again, I had to enter into man territory.  Signs were everywhere at the sportsman's club.  

They even had special ones on the restroom doors. 

These almost leave me speechless.

The Deerslayer introduced me to the concept of loading the thrower,

and then setting up the speakers. 

I have to say that the view was beautiful while we went about our work. 

Soon the shooters arrived and practice began. 

I made it out of there alive without any of that manliness rubbing off on me.  

And, The Deerslayer shot a 99/100.  

That's some good shootin', as the old-timers like to say.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gettin' My Bake On

I haven't had a working oven for about two weeks. To you this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was close to a national tragedy. So, that sweet, little appliance fixin' man finally made it to my house and the oven now works better than it ever did. How about that? In honor of this prestigious event, I decided to make some ever so delectable cookie bars. 

You know, the kind with peanut butter, heath bar chips and REAL butter.  Oh yes....yes, I did. 

I made an enormous batch.  I also decided to share with the rest of my family.  That's just the kind of Farmchick I am, you know. 

Copious amounts of milk are required to eat this delightful concoction. 

Here is the recipe, straight from the Magnolia Bakery itself.  

Peanut Butter Heath Bar Brownies

1/1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter 
2 1/2 cups sugar 
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract 
3 cups self-rising flour 

1 cups peanut butter chips 
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 coarsely chopped heath Bars or chocolate covered toffee bars ( about 1 cup) 
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees 
Grease and flour a 12x18 - inch jelly roll pan 
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and mix well.  Add the flour and beat until well incorporated.  Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Cool to room temperature. 

To prepare the topping:   In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips and the cream, stirring until smooth.  Drizzle the peanut butter mixture decoratively over the cooled blondies.  Sprinkle the Heath Bars and the peanuts on top.  

Allow to cool to room temperature, or over night, before cutting and serving. 

**Yes, I cheated!  I took the baked blondies out of the over, sprinkled the peanut butter ships on top and allowed them to melt.  Then, I sprinkled the Heath Bar chips on top.  I didn't even add the peanuts.  Still, totally awesome.  **  

Bake them
Eat them
It's an order!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Week in Review

This week has been an extra busy one. School is finally out for summer, but not without a lot of activities/work/craziness. 

The boy is finished with his freshman year of high school and the girl is on her way to middle school next year. I completed my week with a luncheon including my fine coworkers that involved a lot of eating, talking, and laughing.  

 Next week starts the summer sports practice schedule and some relaxation time in there somewhere. 

I am going to take a cue from my good, furry friend here..... 

and hang out just to watch the sunset tonight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roll On Summer

This week the chiclets and I get out of school for the summer. This is the earliest end to a school year in recent memory. It's time for flip flops everywhere. 

A little relaxing in an old porch chair. 

A little time spent lounging under the pool umbrella. 

Perhaps I might even catch a farmette sunset or two. 

"Summer Afternoon ..... Summer Afternoon;  to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."  

Henry James  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all of you Mom's out there a wonderful Mother's Day! 

And, a special thanks to my own Mom for raising me during the good times and bad.  For always being there with advice and encouragement that only a Mother can give.  

I love you Mom!!  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Words are Things

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, 

falling like dew, upon a thought, 

produces that which makes thousands, 

perhaps millions, 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

B is for Buzzard

I see them everywhere out here in the country. Usually dining on the side of the road, they fly away and seem to miss my car by a mere millimeter. This day I spied these Vultures, or Turkey Buzzards, catching some rays on the top of a tin barn roof. I discovered that they love warmth and will ride thermal air drafts high in the sky for fun, not necessarily waiting for something to die. Buzzards can glide for over six miles and their wing span, that one that barely misses my windshield, can stretch up to six feet. 

Though I see them as somewhat ugly and frightening creatures, they cannot kill their own food. Their claws are far too weak and therefore rely on eating deceased herbivores. Buzzards have a digestive tract that kills all virus and bacterial organisms. They essentially, "clean", that roadside grub by devouring it and ridding the said roadside of germs. 

They have strong family ties that allow them to occupy the same roost for over one hundred years. Aviary specialists report that they are playful birds that can form strong bonds with their caregivers. 

Southern folklore states that if you see the shadow of a buzzard on the ground without seeing the bird, you will soon have company. 

They like to give me the up close view, so I don't think I will have any problem with this one. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

When It Rains It Floods

*Warning* The following photographs have nothing to do with this post. Please enjoy them anyway. 

 When it rains here it doesn't just pour, it comes a complete monsoon. Our internet service has been out for the past few days and we didn't realize how much we rely on it out here in the boondocks. Movies, ipods, e-mail, and the instant weather report have all become essential. 

Also, the oven quite working, the pool hose sprung a gargantuan leak, and the hydraulic lever on the tractor doesn't work. 

While moving a piece of man furniture into the house, the guys tore off the kitchen cabinet door. 

It has been quite the weekend! On the flip side of this craziness the bees seem to be thriving as well as the two kids who reside at the farmette. Yes, and the adults have survived as well.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Sa-wing Batter!

 It used to be all about the social event.  Sometimes it still can be, if only for a small moment. 

Now it is serious 

Now winning has become a bit of a factor.

But, it's all good on the diamond. 

Someone is growing up just a bit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Real Deal

When she arrived in this world in 1916, a postage stamp cost 2 cents, unemployment was 5.1%, and Woodrow Wilson was President of these United States. Coke had introduced its new drink formula to the public and a man named Albert Einstein had completed his mathematical formula of general relativity.   She was born to a homemaker mother and a blacksmith father.  A blacksmith who had his shop a modern day ten minute drive from my farm.  She bears the middle name of Bird and has dipped powdered snuff since she was a child.  

She had eight children at home, three of which died in infancy.  She lived in a home without regular plumbing until the late 1970's.  Yes, I can remember visits to the outhouse when I stayed with her as a kid.  She raised her food, canned and/or froze all of it.  She lived on little and wasted nothing.  She has fed myself and our entire extended family many, many a time.  I have never known her to complain. 

This weekend our family met to celebrate her 96th birthday.  Though she has trouble getting around physically, her mind is just as sharp as it ever was....and then some.  

She is The Real Deal, if there ever was such a thing.