Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Photo Album

What a busy November we had.  We traveled thru the edge of the Great Plains on our way home, enjoying the sights as we headed south.

"Come A Longs" for closing wire gates.

Love that old truck sitting on the hill.

One of the ba-zillion lakes we went past.

Tractor track from the underside.

Grasshoppers were plentiful.

Personally I think that speed limit is a bit excessive!  LOL  

An abandoned homestead.

We passed so many granaries with corn piled high.  Notice the semi truck on the left side of the corn pile to give a size reference.

His mate had just taken off and he was watching what she was doing.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Weaning Experiment

Once again we were there for the weaning of Whisperer's calves.  She did a couple new things this time.  

First, the pens and squeeze chute were put in the arena.  Much warmer! 

It was pretty easy to move them into the small pen.

Whatever bunch came around to that corner were 'next'!

The side of the squeeze chute was pushed in to move them forward.

And their head was caught in the head bale.

Then as quick as a wink, the second new thing happened!

A 'nose flap' was popped on.  This little device gets in the way when the calf tries to nurse but doesn't interfer with eating or drinking water.  So the calf can stay with its mama... causing less stress, less illnesses from stress, and less bawling in the barnyard.

Next they are weighed and wormed.

And released to go back out to the waiting herd.

Mama cow is all like "WHAT is that thing in your nose?"

Everything is good until someone tries to get a little lunch from the milk bar...

... and it doesn't work.

Hmmmm... maybe that corn doesn't look so bad after all...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Skye Rider

An amazing bike rider taking on the mountains on the Island of Skye.  Well worth watching both for the scenery and the music.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tying One On... On A Quilt, That Is!

Recently I was invited by a friend (Whisperer) to a multi-generational family tie-quilting bee.  Well you KNOW I jumped on that chance!  My friend's mom (The Quiltress) is well known for her beautiful quilts.

The first tool of the trade is her home-made quilt frame.  Many quilts have been put together on this simple rig.

Here the frame is being set up to hold a throw size quilt top.

After the size was set, the backing was pinned in.

Then the batting was cut.

And the top was tacked down to finish the 'quilt sandwich'.

The tacks keep it evenly taunt.

Then Whisperer's daughter-in-law picked out the yarn she wanted it tied with.

Then the tying began...




Repeat a million times!

Then start on the second quilt!

I had a lot of fun!

Didn't know I'd be getting in my Pilate's in... quilter style!

Couldn't resist this view!  LOL

The Quiltress showed me how to bind the quilt edge to finish.  I really think I can do it now.  And if not, I've been invited to call the Quiltress if I have any problems.

Here's a little something else I wanted to show you.  The Quiltress has been keeping count the number of quilts that have been done on this frame... by type.  

The first throw size of this year... and the first quilt made by D-I-L.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Improv Cooking Challenge: Sour Cream Apple Pie recipe

This month's challenge at Improv Cooking was "Apples and Cinnamon".  What a perfect use for those apples I brought back from Minnesota!


2 Tablespoon flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, unbeaten
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups diced tart apples
1 - 9 inch deep dish pie pastry

Crumb topping mixture:
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Sift together flour, sugar, and salt. 

Add unbeaten egg, sour cream, vanilla, and nutmeg, and beat to a smooth thin bat¬ter.  Stir in diced apples and pour into pie pastry. 

Bake in 400 oven for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 for 30 minutes.  

While baking, mix together all ingredients for crumb topping.   Remove from oven and top with crumb mix.   Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jetting In

Time is 'jetting' by.  Soon it will be Thanksgiving... then into the Christmas season!

Here at The Sticks we're getting settled back in after our long trip.  Soon there will be decorating for Christmas, cooking, parties & get togethers, working in my studio, and all sorts of other fun things.

What do you have planned through the end of the year?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

343 Boxes of Joy (Update - 351 boxes!)

Sunday was the dedication of the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes at our church.  They were all across the front of the church leaving just enough room for folks to get up front without tripping over them.

Our pastor spoke about the program and how it works.

Then our deacons came forward to pray while the rest of the congregation also prayed for the children who will receive these boxes.

Then on Monday it was time to take them to the local drop-off point so they can be shipped to the distribution center in Atlanta, GA.   Our friends "Bugman" and "Mama Nick" were the leaders of the project and we helped them load and carry the boxes to the drop-off.

That table holds 88 shoe boxes.

How many shoe boxes do you think I can get loaded in our Sentra?

The answer would be....


Our total was 343 boxes of joy!

(One of the ladies at the drop-off point said I get the prize for the most stuffed full car!)

And meanwhile back at the ranch...

We were still working on our shoe boxes!  Having just recently gotten back from our trip, we were still getting things put together.

Himself took care of the boxes for our 4 older boys (ages 10-14).  Years ago the regional representative for Operation Christmas Child told us that the least boxes were prepared for the older boys.  That is still true today.  So our boxes have always been for the older boys.

And yes, you see teddy bears.  Many of the boxes go to places that are war torn or disaster struck.  And a 10 to 14 year old is still a child that needs a soft lovie to hold.

Once the babies came along, we started doing a box in honor of each of them.  Last year, the babies came with us for the shopping for the shoe boxes.

We went shopping with them again this year too.  And this year they were much more involved; with definite ideas of their own on what to put in the boxes.  As you can see, Little Bird is sure that 'her poor baby' needs a lot of pink!

If you go online to pay for the box's handling, your label will include a bar code that will be scanned at shipping.  You'll then get an email telling you where your box(es) are going.  (To get a unique bar code for each box you have to use different email addresses.)

We will be dropping our boxes off this week... adding to the total from our church.

I wonder where our boxes will go...