Friday, January 29, 2016
The trees I often use as silhouettes in my sunrise photos likely weren't there. Many of them were probably planted as part of the timber claims by Kansas settlers. But as men and women left their humble houses on a vast Kansas prairie and ventured out to feed or milk cattle on a brisk January morning, did they watch the clouds illuminated as the sun made its way toward the horizon? Did they appreciate the beauty of a new day, a day that would become an important part of their heritage?
On my Dad's side, Kentuckian James T. Moore (my dad's great-grandfather) came to Kansas in the late 1860s, spending a brief time as a helper to a buffalo hunter. He was impressed with the potential of Kansas for cattle grazing and went home to tell his wife, Chalista, that "the grass stood as high as the stirrups on a horse."
In 1876, he and Chalista brought their family to Kansas in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. They arrived in December of 1876 in Sodtown, Kansas, later known as Stafford. (And isn't it ironic that his great-great-granddaughter ended up later calling Stafford home!)
A hotel proprietor there mentioned to J.T. that he might do well to homestead in Pratt County. And so he did, 15 years after Kansas became a state.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
By the end of the week, our long-time farm employee will be moving on. Jake has been with us for 13.5 years. We wish him and his family the absolute best. Interviewing potential new employees is stressful. And no matter who we choose, we know there's a learning curve for everyone -- including us.
About the same time Jake resigned, we had a water leak going out to the corral. We have self-waterers there so the cattle can drink as they please. It's also a convenience for us, since it's one location where we don't have to haul water or break ice.
No, I can't always wear my rose-colored glasses. But, I'm still thankful every day for the beauty all around me ...
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Randy doesn't need a gym membership. He got both cardio and weight training in as he carried two of the three calves to the shed. Naturally, one of them was about as far away as it could have been. (In the photo below, you can see it lying beside the fence behind Randy.) The little black-white face was a bit closer - but not a lot. Only one of the three walked the distance ... with a little nudging along the way.
|My farmer had his eyes shut, so his face got cropped out.|
So, on our third trip out to check on them, we got the mama in the head gate and Randy tried his skills as a milkman.
By the next morning, the calf had nursed on its own. And even though they were both new to their respective roles, they got them figured out. Nature is a miraculous thing.
Friday, January 22, 2016
|Image from www.pandawhale.com from Google Images|
The falling star winked at me and was gone in the wintery, dark sky just as suddenly as it appeared. I was driving home from church choir a week ago. The star fell into my vision just after I turned onto the Zenith Road.
As usual, I was scanning the road, right to left and back again, trying to avoid a nighttime collision with a deer. And, yes, just a half mile later, a doe with eyes glowing in my headlights stood in the right-hand ditch.
The star had glided from the top of my windshield to the middle at just the right moment. If I'd still been driving east, I wouldn't have seen it. If I hadn't spent time visiting with my good friends after choir, the timing would have been different. I wouldn't have been at the right place at the right time.
A falling star isn't something that can be captured in the single click of a camera shutter without benefit of a tripod and timer ... and even then, there are no guarantees. In reality, the star's path into my field of vision began and ended in the same breath.
Randy asked me later, "Did you make a wish?"
"No," I told him. "But I did say, 'Thank you, Lord.' "
The next day or so, this quote appeared in my daily devotional email from Guideposts. And I again thought of that elusive falling star.
Too often, we're too busy to find the miraculous in the ordinary. Do I really want to go outside in the cold and take a photo of a sunset? But, after day after day of gloomy, cloud-covered skies, it was a treat to see color appear in the western sky one evening this week.
But it's definitely worth opening my eyes to the beauty that's there ... however fleeting.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
sudan and wheat fields where they'd been grazing.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Yeah, well, that's not what this is. But maybe you can just pretend that this is the cattle version of one of those shows. OK, it's not fancy. It's not that big. But that doesn't mean my farmer isn't happy to have you along on the tour.
"Tinkertoy" assembly parts arrived December 31.
By 2:30 PM the very same day, they had packed up their tools and were gone.
calving pen out of the barn and into the new shed. They also installed fencing to keep the cattle from rubbing on the insulated walls.
Friday, January 15, 2016
But even with me trying to mix things up with the toppings, it can feel like we're in a rut. So when I saw a salad with red cabbage on my Facebook feed, I decided it was just the thing to shake up my ho-hum salad choices.
Feta cheese often makes its way into the fruit-based salads I make. Dates are not an ingredient I usually have on my salad radar, though I have them on hand for quick breads and muffins. But I loved the combo of the salty feta and the sweet dates along with the lime-infused cabbage.
This week, I served the salad alongside grilled steak and baked potatoes. The cabbage would be a natural with pork, but since beef is what's for dinner for this cow-calf-raising Kansas farm, beef it is! It made a colorful and tasty side dish that will be making encore appearances on the County Line!
|I served the salad with steak and baked potatoes - a colorful, tasty addition!|
Red Cabbage, Date & Feta Salad
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen1 to 1 1/4 lbs. red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. honey
Salt to taste
Pepper (or red pepper flakes) to taste
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Shred or thinly slice cabbage. (I used the grating blade on my food processor.) Combine oil, lime juice and honey, blending well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over red cabbage. Toss to coat. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper, if needed. Toss dressed cabbage with half of dates and half of feta; stir. Sprinkle with remaining dates, feta and toasted sesame seeds. Serve.
The whole salad can be assembled and sit for at least an hour. (But leftovers are good, too. The cabbage just isn't as crisp.) You can prepare the parts separately to assemble right before serving, if doing this for a potluck, church dinner, holiday meal, etc.
The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaf parsley. Since I didn't have that, I omitted it, and it was still tasty.
***I'm linked today to the Weekend Potluck. Click on the link to find more tasty recipes from bloggers. Thanks to the potluck hostesses: