Sunday, October 30, 2011


 Oh, the bane and temptation of my existence! Why is our world so interconnected now? Thank the invention of the interwebs. The source for all the great gossip, coot kittehs, pop culture sensations, annoying ditties, stalking your friends and staying up to date on just about everything else going on in the world at that very moment that you had never really paid much attention to anyway.

I've had enough. My brain is loud enough without all the extra distractions. Honestly, it's really noisy in there all the time; my 'mindless' thing to do is listen to music. I have plenty going on and don't need to fill any extra time blocks. Those have been taken already. My brain is on overload, and things need to quiet down even just a little bit.

So, that's why I'm seriously cutting back on facebook, gchat, etc. Cutting back even more than once a day. I'm too ADD to handle all this. I don't hate you; I'm not avoiding you. If I feel a need to electronically connect with friends, I will log on. I'm realizing how much I relish the opportunity to have a real face-to-face conversation with someone. I won't be deleting accounts because that's how I'm able to get a hold of people about events, pictures and such. Email is still a viable form of correspondence as well. I'm still going to there in your computer, there will just be much less of me haunting the pages and connections of your world.

I'm also realizing how much privacy has become a nostalgic word. There is none of it in this overly-connected world. I can be having a private email conversation, and the ads pertain to what is in the email. Doesn't that raise some red flags? That annoying 'ticker' thing in the upper right-hand corner on Facebook? Do you really need to be able to see how your friends are interacting with their friends. You don't even know who they are, and you can see their lives per Facebook  Viruses, hackers, malware are all out there to get personal information and make your (electronic) life miserable.

Laptop, you are hereby exiled from my room. No more sitting there ever so slyly on my desk right next to my bed. No more shall you annoy me with your 3 AM installations of the latest Windows updates that you decided that I needed. Text speak? Puhlease... Use correct grammar and punctuation in all forms of communication - your future employers will thank ye.

No, I won't shoot the computer - yet. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Milkshake

Note: When it comes to the spices, you will want to do it to taste. Since the pumpkin mixture is going to be very diluted once it is in the milkshake, be sure to put a little more than tastes good at the moment. You can always add some in the blender, but you can't take it away. 

You will need:
1 ½ cups of pureed pumpkin
Pinch of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice to taste
Vanilla ice cream and some milk

First, put your pureed pumpkin into a small mixing bowl. Then add just a slight dash of sugar, and the various spices to taste. Be careful with the ginger and cloves though! They are quite potent. Then you will mix the pumpkin mixture so that there aren’t any clumps of spices or sugar left in the mixture – those don’t make good eats. Now put the ice cream in the blender along with the pumpkin mixture and some milk. Blend until completely mixed. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

This recipe is by Sarah G; it was inspired by Burgerville’s seasonal shake that she can never get enough of. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall and Friends

Some refer to us as sisters. Others say that we were triplets separated at birth. Three peas in a pod. All I can say is that I have some awesome friends. And a brisk walk in the Hoyt Arboretum is the perfect place for some fun pictures of us together! 

If we look strange in this picture, it's because we had quite the laugh fest trying to get the picture. :)

So many pretty trees! I love fall.

And if you want to eat Dave's Killer Sin Dog, you have to make a face. :P Love you, Sonia!

We're sitting in a tree if you can't quite tell from this picture

Can you tell now? ;)

Oh, Hai. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Changing of Seasons

God's provision, grace and blessings are clearly seen in all the seasons. Winter is a time of quiet - a time of rest after the craziness of all the other seasons. It's a time of getting ready for the next year. In Spring, we see rebirth. Emerging from once lifeless ground, sprouts push towards the sky with all their might. The most vivacious, vivid green is everywhere you look; the first blooms are preparing to greet you. Babies are everywhere it seems - baby plants, sheep, goats, birds, cows, deer, coyotes, chickens, etc. Summer is a time of golden hues, growing, maturing, bare feet, weeding, gardening, fresh fruits, veggies, fields of wheat gently swaying in the breeze, a refreshing drink of lemonade, a siesta in the hammock, and watching the long, lazy sunsets, each custom painted by the Creator.

Autumn seems like a rushed blur after those dog days of summer, but it is a time of storing up for the seemingly harsh winter that is quickly approaching. Bringing in the harvest is simultaneous with school starting again (why do they have to do that?). Cool, crisp air is a relief after the muggy summer atmosphere; heavy dew settles on whatever it touches in the dark of night. The breeze shifts directions, becoming more of a wind instead of a breeze. Trees retreat down to their roots, leaving once green leaves shades of orange, yellow and red. Squirrels are busy hiding their stash only to be forgotten by midwinter; flocks of birds by the thousands are flying in formation to warmer climates. The aroma of baking, canning, and cooking wafts through the house. Crunchy leaves are underfoot and under car - you open the car window just to hear that wonderful sound. The last pieces of produce are brought in from the garden as once healthy, vibrant plants wither back to the ground. 

As much as I love all the seasons, autumn has to be my favorite. Sometimes I wish it could stay this way forever, but if we were stuck in one season all the time, wouldn't it get a bit boring? Now, you'll have to excuse me - I'm going to go jump in that pile of maple leaves. 


The Pumpkin

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

. . . Ah! On Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more.
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! The days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces were carved into its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

The thanks for they present! None sweeter or better
E're smoked from the oven or circles in platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o're its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sewing projects

 One reason why I've been so busy lately - teaching. Another reason - farming. And another reason - sewing. And lots of it! I've been sewing doll dresses, pillow covers, costumes, etc, etc, etc!
Reworking the doll's regency dress pattern from Sense and Sensibility patterns is quite simple and fun! You know, I think I like working with dolls because they don't complain when something doesn't fit them quite right, and they are all a very consistent shape - no tweaking the pattern to make it fit better - and a one size fits all sort of deal. 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I'd see how a pilgrim dress would do in the store. There's a girl's pilgrim hat and apron to match too! 

Now, for the piece-de-resistance! With the Victoria and Albert ball in less than a month, I thought I should probably get my dress started. ;) A friend and I went to the most wonderful fabric store, found the most wonderful fabric, then while we were getting the fabric cut, there were the cutest ribbon flowers that matched the colors perfectly and a jar of peacock feathers. I honestly did not realize that the colors I had chosen for the dress were similar to that of a peacock's. I'll have to figure out some creative way to make it work in my hair. :)

Hope y'all are enjoying your October!

Monday, October 10, 2011

So God Made a Farmer

And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker!" So, God made a farmer!

God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!

I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon...and mean it. So, God made a farmer!

God said "I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And...who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain'n from "tractor back", put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So, God made a farmer!
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets...and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!

It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight...and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed...and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh and then sigh...and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a farmer!

(Author Unknown. Article reproduced from Paul Harvey radio show, but unable to trace the source.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Land

A little bit of land is all I ask, 
Just a small place I can call my own, 
Where I can put down roots so deep,
so deep
Great-grandchildren still
will call it home.

Is it so much to ask?
A lane of trees
bringing birdsong and colored leaves,
a grape arbor, the roses beyond,
sweet lilacs holding in their arms
the lawn.
Tulips and yellow daffodils
spattered up and down the cellar hill.
Sweet gurgling brook, fresh and cool,
the brush beyond
sheltering grouse and sage,
and shy, sweet deer.

A little valley, with a cabin home, 
a bit of garden I can call my own.
I would not bruise the land
or tear it apart,
but keep it blooming 
with a happy, beating heart.

A little bit of land to call my own, 
within its small confines,
a loving home,
a fertile sod,
that needs a gentle hand 
and God. 

By Jennie Klasna, Montana on page 33 in the Oct/Nov 2011 Issue of Mary Janes Farm