double rainbow

double rainbow

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Class Photos

Remember school photos? After my first grade year, I'm pretty sure my Mom sent me to school on picture day with instructions not to touch my hair with the free comb provided by the photographer.

Lovely, wasn't it?

This Class of 2012 calf crop has some real cuties. Only five heifers are holdouts in introducing us to their first babies.

The cows are doing their part to add to the class roster as well. With 90 calves on the ground, more than 3/4 of the mamas have calved. With the mild winter, the calving season has been fairly uneventful and that's a good thing.


Sometimes you need a little sustenance before a photo session.


But these fellas were ready for their closeups.


In every class, there are always the photogenic ones.

And some shy ones, too.

The end ... literally and figuratively.

***
I'm linked today to Wordless Wednesday at Project Alicia.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


This chicken dinner was a winner.

Jill found the recipe on Pinterest. We collaborated on making it when I was at Jill and Eric's a few weeks ago. I haven't figured out how Pinterest works for sure, but I'm fairly confident Crispy Cheddar Chicken will stay pinned on Jill's board so she can make it again. (And I'm trying to figure out whether I want to switch to the Facebook timeline so I can be on Pinterest, too. Any thoughts? I'm admittedly change challenged.)

Randy prefers beef. It's "What's for dinner," you know. But he did think this recipe was good ... for chicken.

By the way, do you know where the phrase, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" comes from? Years ago, every Las Vegas casino had a 3-piece chicken dinner with potato and veggie for $1.79. A standard bet back then was $2.00, hence when you won a bet you had enough for a chicken dinner. So now you know the rest of the story.

Enjoy!

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
Recipe from the blog, Jamie Cooks It Up!
4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. dried parsley

Sauce:
1 14-ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter

Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks. In a small food processor grind up the Ritz crackers. (Or use a rolling pin.)

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. Cover the pan with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil; bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.

For sauce: Into a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. (The photo doesn't show the sauce. We did make it, but my photos didn't turn out. It made a good topping for both the chicken and the potatoes.)

(If you want step-by-step photos of the process and beautiful photos, click on the Jamie Cooks It Up! link right under the name of the recipe.)

Notes: I had a lot of cracker crumbs leftover. You may want to try the recipe with just 1 to 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers. Same goes for the cheese. Start with 2 cups of cheese and then add more to the bowl, if needed. Once the raw chicken has touched the cheese, you have to throw out anything that's left.

Time: 15 minute prep + 45 minutes baking
Yield: 7 servings

***
I'm linked today to several food blog hops. Check them out at Made from Scratch Tuesday at Mess Hall to Bistro; Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace; Two Maids A Milking Tuesday recipe link; and at Naptime Creations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Control Freak

KMEA All-State Choir, 2012

The lyrics to one of the songs said it all:

Listen to a jubilant song
Our spirit sings a jubilant song
A life full of music
A life full of harmony



(This is Listen to a Jubilant Song by Tim Sarsany. It's not the KMEA choir, but a similar honor choir in New England. I guess everyone in the KMEA audience followed the directions and didn't record the concert ... or at least it's not posted to youtube yet!)

The 256 voices in the Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Choir found that "life of music and harmony" during a performance on Saturday.

They came together from all corners of Kansas. Some were from tiny 1A schools. For those students, the 256 people in the choir represented more people than their entire student body (and maybe double or triple!). Others were from 6A schools and may have had 256 students or more in just the junior class.

But regardless of zip code, they came together last Thursday and practiced 15 hours with clinician Kenneth Fulton, a music professor at Louisiana State University, before giving the Saturday afternoon concert.

It was simply amazing - one goosebump experience after another. I was there to watch my niece, Madison, but it would have been amazing even if I hadn't known a single singer.

(My brother, Kent, niece Madi and sister-in-law Suzanne after the concert.)

As I sat in the darkened Century II Concert Hall, I scanned the faces of those 256 teenagers on the stage. All eyes were focused on center stage and their director, Dr. Fulton. With his hands, his body and his facial expressions, he brought together all the moving parts into a united whole.

Yesterday morning, I listened to Pastor Amy's first sermon in a Lenten series. She's talking about things to "give up" during Lent. And she doesn't mean chocolate or television. While those things might be tough, the characteristics of human nature that she's addressing are more complex than giving up a Dove bar.

Yesterday's topic was Giving Up Control. That hits a little close to home for a firstborn perfectionist who just might like to be in control. She spoke from Genesis 2, where Adam and Eve disobey God, thinking that they knew better than Him. She also used Scripture from Matthew 4: 1-11. While Jesus is tempted in the wilderness, he denies his own impulses and follows God's will.

As I listened to the sermon, I thought back to the Saturday choir concert. Those 256 singers gave up control to the conductor. These kids are individually talented. They are undoubtedly the best vocalists in their schools. They are probably talented soloists who are also used to performing and excelling individually.

But from Thursday through Saturday, they gave up control to a director. The goal wasn't standing out as a soloist. The goal was to blend together into the best group possible.

They gave up their cell phones. They neglected Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they turned their attention to a single man who taught them concepts they'd never experienced before. And the results were simply amazing.

Maybe it's a stretch to compare a conductor to God. But wouldn't our lives be more jubilant and harmonious if we gave up control to the Master Conductor?



Another of the songs from KMEA on Saturday was The Word Was God by Rosephanye Powell. This particular version was performed by the Florida Music Educators Association honor choir.


***
Today I am linked to Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday at Michelle's blog, Graceful: Faith in the Everyday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Calm: A Photo Challenge

February 15, 2012

I can get distracted by looking too far ahead. I have this deadline or that. I have this obligation, and oh yes, don't forget the one two weeks from now. I need to write that note. I must send that card. If only I could get just "one more thing" done before I leave for school to accompany choir.

I need to cook this. Clean that closet. (OK, I don't listen to the cleaning the closet "voice" too often.) But you get the idea. I can look so far down the road that I get overwhelmed with the enormity of it all.

It doesn't sound too calming, does it? And calm is what the Poetic Beauty of Winter Photo Challenge is this week.

But a foggy morning last week served as a reminder. It was a day that seemed more like spring than winter until I stepped outside. The temperature was warm enough to keep the fog from freezing, but it wasn't the sauna-like fog of a late spring day.

I had to drive to Great Bend that morning for a doctor's appointment. The fog was dense enough that I wasn't comfortable passing anyone. I was forced to look only at the area right in front of me.

And maybe there's a lesson there. Being in the moment and being fully present in the moment would certainly calm my sometimes anxious heart. Multi-tasking can be a valuable thing, but sometimes it's just too overwhelming.

I'll never throw out my to-do list entirely. But, like a foggy winter morning in Kansas, I need to focus on the important things right in front of me. I need to make time for the people in my life. I need to notice the beauty all around me.

Now that would be calming.

A foggy day, March 27, 2011, Coronado Heights

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.

You can only see as far as your headlights,
but you can make the whole trip that way.
--E.L. Doctorow
***



Today I'm linked to Poetic Winter Photography challenge at Project Alicia, Live and Love Outloud, Bumbles and Light and Sweet Violet. It's been such fun to link to this challenge, and I thank them for sponsoring it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the Award Goes To ...

And the award goes to ...

The Oscars are Sunday night. I know there are people who get really excited about watching the Academy Awards, but when you've only seen three of the movies nominated for Best Picture, it's not necessarily a priority.

Still, I'll look for just about any excuse to make popcorn. And on a special night, why not do more than throw microwave popcorn in a bowl and call it good?

This week, our Supporters of Stafford women's group (formerly Nu Lambda) tried to watch The Help, one of the Best Picture nominees. (I've also seen Moneyball and War Horse.) The DVD player we were using definitely needed some "help." We watched the Cliff Notes version of the film when the DVD player rocketed us through a 2 1/2-hour movie in just under an hour. I'd seen the film in a theater and read the book. But it was more than a little confusing for anybody who'd never seen it. (I recommend both the movie and the book, by the way.)

For our movie night, I contributed both caramel and cheese popcorn. I've been making the same caramel popcorn recipe since high school, and I will put it up against any gourmet popcorn shop's version. The cheese popcorn is not going to rival Topsy's Cheese Popcorn any time soon. But it was a nice counterpoint to the sweet caramel corn when mixed together.

So, if you're turning on the TV to watch the fancy ballgowns and the hoopla, the popcorn award could very well go to you ... if you break out these recipes.

And speaking of awards, I was honored to have been given The Versatile Blogger award by South Dakota rancher and blogger Robyn at The Ranch Wife Chronicles.

When you are given the award, you are then to choose 15 other bloggers to honor. So, here are my 15, in random order.

Kansas Farm/Ranch Blogs include Vickie at Life on the Farm; Debbie at Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch; and a couple of new Kansas farm wives - Katie at New to the Farm and Kim at Alive and Well in Kansas; and Indiana farm partner Jent at From My Front Porch who I discovered at The Real Farmwives of America and Friends (check out a whole group of farm bloggers there!)

Cooking/Baking: None of these people need me promoting them. They do just fine on their own. But, I do love to look at the recipes and amazing photos of food. (And, for the record, any recipe I post on my blog I have personally tried and deemed it blog worthy. Some recipes don't make the cut. I had someone ask about that recently). The cooking blogs are: Shelly at Cookies and Cups; Gina at Skinny Taste; Jamie at Jamie Cooks It Up and Nicole at Heat Oven to 350.

Faith: Emily at Chatting at the Sky and Michelle at Graceful: Faith in the Everyday

Other random ones: Mrs. E at Easy Street (It was one of the first blogs I began reading since it was on my sister's blog roll. I've never met her, but I feel like I have, and she's a new grandma, too!) Also to encourage them to post more, I'm including my sister, Lisa, at Bauer Banter, who started blogging before I did, and her friend and co-teacher Kelly at The Hays Crew (I have to thank Kelly because I still get a lot of traffic from her blog!)

Thanks again to Robyn for the honor! Check out the other blogs on Robyn's list because a few of hers are also blog favorites for me, and I didn't want to repeat them. (For the Versatile Blogger Award, I'm also supposed to tell you 7 "random things" about me, but because this is so long, I'll save it for another day. And honestly, I tell you random things about me all the time.

So, with no further ado, here are the popcorn recipes. Enjoy!

Baked Caramel Corn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
6 qts. popped popcorn

Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over popped corn, mixing well. Turn into a large, deep roasting pan. Bake in 250-degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn out onto waxed or parchment paper. Cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly-covered containers or freeze.

Note: If you use microwave popcorn, leave out the salt.

Easy Cheesy Popcorn
Modified from www.bestpopcorn.info

8 cups plain popped popcorn
3 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder
Salt, as desired

Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn while stirring or tossing gently. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese powder again while stirring or gently shaking. Season with salt to taste while stirring or shaking. Serve and enjoy.

Note: I used a packet of cheese from a macaroni and cheese box because I didn't have access to a can of powdered cheese. It worked fine, but it was really salty, so I didn't use any extra salt. And, in the end, I tossed in some plain popcorn to make it less salty. As I said, this doesn't compare with gourmet popcorn store cheese popcorn, but it does provide a little change of pace from plain popcorn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dirt Road Prayer

And I go where the green grass grows
The weeds are high and the sun hangs low
Look to the sky and I say, 'Hello'
Like it’s the very first time
It doesn’t matter how long it’s been
I can talk to God like He’s my best friend
Take my heart lay it down again right there
In a dirt road prayer
Chorus to Dirt Road Prayer by Nicolle Galyon

I was going to be a composer. It was one of the pronouncements I made as a budding 8-year-old pianist and singer.

We all have these dreams about what we're going to be when we grow up. That particular dream didn't come true for me. I'm certainly not complaining about the gifts and talents God has given me. Song writing just didn't turn out to be one of them.

So maybe that's why Nicolle Galyon fascinates me so much. I'd never even heard her name until this week. She was a little Kansas girl who took piano lessons, like lots of other little girls from Kansas. In fact, she was probably taking piano lessons about the same time as I was hauling my own kids to piano lessons.

But Nicolle's music took her to Nashville, TN. And Monday night, music landed her on the NBC television show, The Voice. She will be working with one of the four vocal coaches, Adam Levine of Maroon 5.

Nicolle grew up in Sterling, just a hop, skip and a jump from here. She graduated from high school a couple of years before Jill did.

In the past year, two of her original songs were recorded by Lauren Alaina, the runner-up to last season's American Idol. Two of the songs on Alaina's album, Dirt Road Prayer and Growing Her Wings, were inspired by Nicolle's growing-up years in Rice County, Kansas.

Jill was at Vanderbilt in Nashville three years ago to do her dietetics internship. We loved visiting her. Twice, we went to the Bluebird Cafe, an intimate (read small!) restaurant/bar where song writers come and perform their original songs. From my browsing on youtube.com yesterday, I discovered that Nicolle has performed at the Bluebird Cafe.

From the tiny stage at the Bluebird Cafe to a television audience of millions on The Voice, Nicolle is living her dream, but she hasn't forgotten her roots, which appear to be fixed deeply in her love of Kansas and small towns.

i'm nicolle. from Nicolle Galyon on Vimeo.


As I listened to her songs, I especially liked Dirt Road Prayer. I suppose it's because I've said my share of "dirt road prayers" during walks down our country roads.

If you're interested, have a listen. And if you want to hear more of Nicolle's songs, just go to youtube and type in her name (Yes, there are two "L's" in Nicolle.) I listened to a bunch of them yesterday, and I love the references to small town life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Flip for Pancakes!

It's Pancake Day today in Liberal, Kansas, and Olney, England. So I thought I'd celebrate with them.

For the past 60 years, the women of the two communities have raced down the streets of their respective communities, flipping pancakes and running against the clock and each other. The race is always on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. It's the only race of its kind in the world.

In Olney, the Pancake Race tradition dates back to 1445. Legend has it that a woman was busy making pancakes and using up cooking fats, which were forbidden during Lent at that time. Hearing the church bells ring to announce the Shrove Tuesday service, she grabbed her head scarf and ran to the church, with pancake-filled skillet in hand. In following years, neighbors joined the race to the church. The first to arrive collected a Kiss of Peace from the bell ringer.

The international race with Liberal began in 1950, when Liberal Jaycee President R.J. Leete saw a photo of the English race in Time magazine and then contacted Olney, challenging their women to race against the women of Liberal.

Racers must still wear a head scarf and apron. Each runner must flip her pancake at the starting signal and again as she crosses the finish line to prove she still has her pancake after running the 415-yard course.

Image from International Pancake Day website,
2011 Liberal winner Nicole Schowengerdt


This year, the Liberal women will again be defending the international title. The overall record stands at 35 wins for Liberal to Olney's 25.

According to the book, America Celebrates! A Patchwork of Weird & Wonderful Holiday Lore, some superstitions have evolved among Liberal racers:
  • It is considered good luck to carry a past winner's skillet in the race or wear a past winner's apron.
  • One year, the stack of concrete pancakes marking the starting point of the race was stolen. This was considered a bad omen, but the stack was later returned.
  • Although the women practice running 415 yards, it is considered bad luck to run the official race course during the practice sessions.
I flip for pancakes anytime, not just on International Pancake Day. So I decided to try out a new recipe in honor of today's festivities, though I actually made the pancakes on Sunday to make sure they were blog worthy. They were.

I'm an advocate of breakfast-for-supper, so if you want to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in a way that's been a tradition since 1455, here's the recipe. And you don't even have to wear a head scarf or run a race to enjoy them!

Whether you make pancakes today or not, I'll leave you with the traditional blessing bestowed upon the winner - whether it be in Liberal or Olney:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.


Whole Wheat Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Butter for frying

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until there are no dry spots. Don't overmix. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle or skillet and cook each side 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.

***
I served the pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter.

Cinnamon Brown Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Don't burn! Add maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove heat. Stir in nuts. Serve over pancakes, waffles or French toast.

***

Looking for another pancake recipe? Try Pumpkin Pancakes, also delicious with the Cinnamon Brown Butter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Transformed

How does it change things to look at sunrise through a frosty windshield? The light has a prism-like quality through the starbursts of frost. The colors are there, but the true scene is obscured into a modern-art print. Beautiful, to be sure, but very different.

Step outside the car and the art evolves to realism.

The scene changes again as I drive a mile and a half away. The sun creeps closer to the horizon, and the blue of night gives way to the fiery dawn of the day.

To see, we need to look. To hear, we need to listen. To experience, we need to open our hearts and minds to the possibilities. Sometimes that means looking at something in a new way.

What must it have been like for Peter, James and John to trudge up to the top of a mountain with Jesus (Mark 9: 2-9)? This was their friend with whom they'd been traveling as he went from village to village, preaching to crowds and healing the sick.

But when they got to the top of the mountain, Jesus was revealed to them in a whole new way.
3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

Mark 9: 3-10

Yesterday, on Transfiguration Sunday, Pastor Amy's sermon was titled "Dancing on the Mountaintop, Living in the Valley."

We all like the mountaintop experiences of life. Who wouldn't want to be filled with wonder, awe and surprise? Who doesn't like the highs of life?

But life is meant to be lived and that means going back down to the valley. The valley is where we grow and learn. It's where we raise our families. It's where we do the work we're meant to do. We are called to be engaged in the world. We are called to love God and then love our neighbors. We are called to let the light of Christ shine through us.

Sometimes we have to "burn through" the frost of life's disappointments and challenges. But when we do, we get a glimpse of something much better.

Awesome God, confronted by the dazzling light of Your glory, we want to stay on the mountaintop and worship You. But You call us to do more than worship. You call us into action as Your disciples. May we shine the transforming light of Your love into all the world. Use our worship, use our gifts, use our lives, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

It was a corporate prayer from yesterday, but I think it's a good prayer to start the week, especially as we journey toward Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Don't you?

***
Today, I'm linked to "Hear It on Sunday, Use it on Monday" at Michelle's blog, Graceful: Faith in the Everyday.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Passion: A Photo Challenge


Passion is a strong word, isn't it? It conjures up images that may not be suitable for G-rated blogs, I suppose.

Nope, I'm not thinking about anything featured on a daytime soap opera. Instead, I'm talking about the things that stir our souls. It's different for each of us. And isn't that what makes the world such a fascinating place?

Math doesn't stir me. I can't get excited about statistics. I have no desire to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

We get caught up in the "have to's" sometimes. But what are the things which allow our souls to breathe in the hectic pace of the world? What makes our lives buzz with fervor, ardor, excitement, zeal and delight?

I find my passion in family and in the bonds that link generation to generation.


I find it in music. It may be hymns. It could be in the four-part harmony of a church choir anthem. I find it in songs on a Christian radio station, in the old standards and in Broadway tunes. I may even find it in the chaos of middle school choir on a day when a preteen girl finds her voice and lets it soar past her timidity.


I find it in God's creation all around me on our Kansas farm.

I find it in cooking and baking.

How can you help but find passion in sunrises and fresh starts?

Or in sunsets after a well-lived day?

Photography helps me see things around me with new perspective ... whether it's the big picture ...

Or discovered in the tiniest details.

And I find it in writing. Thanks to those of you who stop by and visit the County Line and read the words, see the photos and look at life through my eyes. May you find your passions all around you, too.

***



Today I'm linked to Poetic Winter Photography challenge at Project Alicia, Live and Love Outloud, Bumbles and Light and Sweet Violet. Today's challenge was "Passion." Could you tell?!

I'm also linked to Fresh from the Farm: Farm Photo Friday.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Souped Up Meal

I'm not opposed to Campbell's tomato soup in a pinch. But the canned version just can't compare to homemade tomato soups. A Cream of Tomato and Rice Soup has become a favorite in the County Line kitchen. Pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich, and it's the perfect winter lunch or supper.

I now have another tomato soup to add to the winter arsenal - Lentil-Tomato Soup. It packs a punch of nutrition with the lentils and all the vegetables. I'd never used lentils before. Unlike dried beans, you don't have to soak them ahead of time, and they cooked within 30 minutes, making it an easy soup to throw together quickly.

The original recipe didn't call for meat, but suggested sausage as a way to punch up the protein for meat lovers. There's no question how Randy would vote on that option. So I added Italian sausage.

Enjoy!

Lentil-Tomato Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home magazine, November 2011
4 1/2 cups water
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained
3 cups kale, chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the water, carrots, onion and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients (except kale); return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

If you prefer a creamy tomato soup, try this Cream of Tomato and Rice. The new soup will join it in the menu line-up, but it definitely won't replace it for those days when I want a creamier version.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What a Difference A Day Makes

The big old cottonwood at the front drive appeared to be reaching its cold winter arms out to trap us this week. But winter didn't wear out its welcome after all.

The gray skies and dusting of snow from Monday gave way again yesterday to unseasonable temperatures. Miraculously, we didn't have a single baby calf over the wintry weekend. Each evening, Randy & I bundled up and trudged out to the lot to put some heifers in the barn overnight, figuring that the weather change would precipitate a baby boom.

But no babies arrived along with the cold north winds. However, the babies who'd already arrived hunkered down in the bedding hay to stay warm.

One smart mama had her baby nestled in the hay behind a northern windbreak.

The sunshine and warmer temperatures came back on Tuesday. And so did six new babies!

Fair weather babies on the farm ... now that's a novel idea!

And cute babies have been a theme lately on the County Line. Miss Kinley found her smile this week. I wish I were there to see it in person.


***


I'm linked today to Project Alicia's Wordless Wednesday. (You know I'm not so good at wordless, but she gives us wordy people an out by also adding "or not so wordless.")