Thursday, October 31, 2013
I'm back at home after a week at Grandma and Grandpa Fritzemeier's farm on the County Line. I'm telling you: They kept me busy. I had to go home just to rest up.
One of our excursions was to the Bethany Church of the Nazarene's Pumpkin Patch in Hutchinson. It was the only pumpkin patch that Grandma could find open on a weekday. (We had the K-State ballgame to go to on Saturday. Priorities, you know.)
As you know, today is Halloween. I will have to wait all day long to go trick or treating. Bummer!
Until next time,
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My gift to him is an 8-by-10 print of a photo I took on the Number 5 hole at Colbert Hills in Manhattan. In 2011, the course substituted purple sand in the five bunkers that form the 'Cat's paw guarding the front right portion of the green. Pretty appropriate for the course that's home to the K-State golf teams, don't you think?
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
|Kinley - Fall 2013
Toddlers are busy. We crammed a lot of living into the five days we had Kinley here on the County Line. But, just in case you're counting, I am about 23 years older than I was the last time I had a toddler around here. It's taking me a bit of readjusting to return to life without a little helper.
Kinley is her own little person. But I guess it's just natural that I see some of Jill in her. I wanted to recreate a photo I'd taken of Jill when she was close to Kinley's age. My current model didn't want to sit. (And I didn't really want her to, since we were dressed for the K-State game.) The vine on the house is no longer as lush as it was back in 1987.
|Jill - Fall 1987
Monday, October 21, 2013
|At the Stafford Oktoberfest Parade, October 4, 2013
I have a feeling my blog posts may be few and far between. I may be lucky to get a photo or two posted so her Mommy and Daddy know she is doing A-OK with Grandma and Grandpa on the farm.
Here we go! Things are going to be a little different around the County Line. Grandma may need a vacation next week. But we can't wait!
Friday, October 18, 2013
This beautiful place we call Kansas is our only model. No other states need apply. This week, one of the site administrators issued a new challenge, and Mike will give us an optional Tuesday Task. For this first week, the challenge was to shoot the nearest grain elevator in a creative way.
When I left home Wednesday evening to head to town for church choir, I was watching the sun sink in the western sky and was betting myself whether I'd get to Zenith (5 1/2 miles away) in time. After braking rather quickly to avoid a mama deer and her twin babies, I made it.
I've tried before to capture the image of the elevator silhouetted against the sunset sky and also reflected in the co-op's pond by the Zenith Road. I was never happy with it ... until Wednesday night. It sure didn't hurt that it was a beautiful sunset (not that those are in short commodity)!
If you like photography and love the beauty of Kansas, check out Snapshot Kansas on Facebook.
I took a couple of other elevator photos last month because I liked the sky. I love these sentinels of the Kansas prairie, so I didn't need a Tuesday Task to prompt me to click away. Big surprise, right?
|Taken 9-23-13 - Kanza Co-op, Stafford South Branch, Stafford, KS.
|Taken 9-23-13 - Kanza Co-op, Stafford North Branch, Stafford, KS.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
|File photos from children's time at church.
"He's in heaven," said one of the children gathered at Pastor Ben's feet.
"Yes, that's right," Ben affirmed. "Where else is He?"
And one little girl took her pointer finger, gestured to her side, and said, "He's right here."
I was sitting in the choir loft. And shivers went down my spine as I watched her finger point to her side, just as if God were sitting there, cross-legged beside her, on the green carpet in the front of a church in Stafford, America.
I've remembered it every day since." (See why I'm a fan of children's time? I love Pastor Ben's messages, but he got a little help last Sunday from an 8-year-old, brown-eyed beauty.)
I thought about it again yesterday morning, as I read more of the book, "Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?" by Philip Yancy:
"Let the imagination roam, placing yourself in the presence of God, affirming that since God is everywhere, He is here now. Think of Christ as standing at your side, sharing your experience."That little girl didn't need a book to tell her a truth she's already discovering in her life: God is right here ... right by my side.
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The calendar is quickly moving into soup weather. I'm all for that. I love homemade soup on a chilly fall day. In fact, I made this season's first pot of Vegetable Beef Soup this past drizzly Monday.
But I also love salads all year 'round. A few weeks ago, Jill told me she'd tried an Autumn Chopped Salad from the blog, Iowa Girl Eats. (Jill's father-in-law, Alan, steered both of us toward this blog awhile back. Good advice!)
I've now made this Autumn Chopped Salad three times, including once as a side dish for a ladies' luncheon, where it got great reviews. The last time I made it, I served it as a main dish salad by adding seasoned grilled steak. Randy is glad to eat salad as long as he gets some protein to go along with it. Even though the original recipe had bacon and it provided good flavor, that's not enough protein to make it a main dish at our Kansas-beef-raising house.
Pears and apples are favorite fruits for the fall. Throw in some dried cranberries, feta cheese and, of course, that bacon, and it's a winning combination. The dressing is a blend of purchased poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar. Yummy - no matter the season!
Autumn Chopped Salad with Marinated Steak
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats blog6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 slices center-cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 pear, chopped, with skin on
1 apple, chopped, with skin on
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Poppy Seed Salad Dressing (more or less)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less)
Grilled seasoned steak (about 3 ounces per person)
Cook bacon until crisp (I used the microwave.) Cool and chop. Grill seasoned steak to desired doneness. Set aside to rest.
Combine romaine lettuce, pear, apple, peanuts, dried cranberries, cooled bacon and feta cheese into a very large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar to taste. Toss salad dressing with salad, coating well.
For main dish salad, put dressed, chopped salad onto serving plates. Top with sliced grilled steak. Serve immediately.
This generously serves 2 for a main dish salad. As a side, it serves a big crowd.
- Even though I'm a vinegar lover, Randy is not. And we both preferred the dressing with only 1 tablespoon of the balsamic.
- Next time I make it, I might try this homemade dressing, Orange Vinaigrette, which I've used on other main dish salads.
- I've used peanuts every time, but it would be great with walnuts or pecans, too.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
|The flag continues to fly at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, in spite of the government shutdown.
My kids undoubtedly got tired of hearing my oft-repeated phrase: "Be the bigger person." But I also know for a fact that at least one of them has now appropriated the phrase on occasion.
I'd like to know when the words "negotiate" and "compromise" became dirty words. I am not a fan of the extreme left. But I'm also not a fan of the extreme right. Can't we find a little middle ground?
As the government neared a shutdown a couple of weeks ago, Kansas Big First District Republican Congressman Tim Huelskamp had this to say:
“I’m from a district that pretty much ignores Washington. If you say government is going to shut down, they say, ‘OK, which part can we shut down?’ ” Tim HuelskampI also heard Huelkamp on a newscast, saying that no one in Kansas would notice if the government shut down. I didn't think he was right then. And I don't think he's right today.
Let's ask federal employees in Kansas whether they miss their pay checks. Let's ask the towns where they spend those paychecks whether or not they'll notice an impact if those families curtail their shopping for necessities and entertainment. Will their churches notice if they can no longer put anything in the offering plate?
Does it matter to Kansas farmers that there's no current Farm Bill on the table? Yes, I'd say it matters a lot for decisions about crops and marketing.
As a Kansas Association of Wheatgrowers E-update said last Friday:
Two weeks into the government shutdown, effects are beginning to become noticeable and notable across the agriculture industry. USDA remains virtually shuttered, with only minimal staff. The Department is not issuing regular reports on crop production and exports that are considered essential to the continued functioning of ag markets. Negotiations with European countries on a much-anticipated trade agreement have been put on hold. The shutdown is having a particularly harsh impact on USDA wheat research. Research test plots are unable to be planted and greenhouse work has come to a standstill.It may not be the Grand Canyon or the World War II Memorial, but the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is closed here in my own backyard. The people who work there haven't been paid for two weeks. (They are certainly not alone. But they are some of the people with whom I can put a name and a face to this government shutdown and its impact on communities all over the country.)
Monday, October 14, 2013
Even if the farmer has hay down.
We heard a sprinkle on the roof during the night, but it didn't last long. We're hoping that wasn't our only shot for rain today. With the 2014 wheat crop in the ground, we could use a nice, gentle rain right about now.
Yes, we do have some hay down. Its quality is adversely affected when it's rained upon. But this bonus fourth cutting of alfalfa will survive getting wet. Some well-timed moisture is much more critical for the emerging wheat crop.
After finishing up with wheat last Wednesday, Randy swathed some alfalfa fields on Friday.
This is the first year since 2010 that we've been able to swath a fourth cutting. For the past two summers, we were in an exceptional drought, so there wasn't much hay to swath for a first or second cutting, much less a fourth cutting. It already feels like a bonus.
"Make hay while the sun shines."
The past two years, we've sold off our feeder calves before the winter because we didn't have enough hay or feed to nourish both the mama cows and the feeder cattle.