Friday, January 31, 2014

Random 5 Friday

It's Friday and time for Nancy's Random 5 Friday at A Rural Journal where we post 5 facts about ourselves, our pets, our kids, our day, whatever you want to share!

~male Cardinal~

1.  I have yet to figure out why the font size won't stay the same after clicking on the size I want.  Often it will suddenly change to a different size.  There are a few other gripes I have about Blog.ger, but I'll stop now.  You're welcome.
~Blue Jay ~

2.  I've gone to the archives for some bird shots.  I've yet to get very many good shots this year.  Not that I haven't tried, but they fly off the minute they spot me at the window.

~Dark-eyed Junco or Snowbird~ 

3.  We have hot water!  BG got the water heater installed, finishing up Wednesday evening.  After a few trips to get the right sized fittings, it was up and running just in time for showers before dinner and, best of all, I got to run the dishwasher!  For those of you who may not have read my last post, our water heater gave out Tuesday night.  

~female Downy Woodpecker~

4.  Wednesday was a busy day.   A couple of men from the foundation crew came by and finished up their work and put back our front yard as best they could, seeded it and put straw down.  It was so windy yesterday that the straw looks like it's been windrowed.  It will probably have to be redone, but at least they are done and I can't tell you how glad I am!  Of course, the phone line was off while they were here which meant no internet connection. 

 ~White-breasted Nuthatch~

5.  Is anyone sorry to be turning the page over on the calendar tomorrow?  This is the last day of January and I, for one, am not the least sorry.  I'm not trying to rush things, but this has been one of those months that I'm happy to see come to an end.  Spring is less than 2 months away!!

Linking to Random 5 Friday 

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Comfort Food ~ Giveaway

No, I'm not giving away comfort food!  I suppose my post title might give that impression.  Haha!   

Most of my cooking these days falls into the "quick and easy" category, and this recipe and another for chili that I will share definitely qualify.  If you are a fan of Ree Drummond's blog, then you may have seen this recipe on her blog.  It's called Cherry Cheesecake Shooters.  This is my version of her recipe and my photo.  You can find the compete recipe here with step by step photos showing how to put this together.  It's a really simple yet tasty little dessert to serve your family or guests.  Best of all, if you use canned pie filling, it is very quick to put together.  Enjoy!

Cherry Cheesecake Shooters

 1-8 ounce package cream cheese
1 can (14 ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 sleeve (8 whole) Graham Crackers, crushed
1 can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional

Crush the graham crackers and spoon into the bottom of
small wine glasses.  If not using almonds,
reserve a few graham cracker crumbs for garnish.

Mix cream cheese and approximately 3/4 of the can of
sweetened condensed milk in a medium bowl with an
electric mixer until fluffy.

Carefully spoon the filling mixture onto the crumbs in each
of the wine glasses.

Top with a large spoonful of the cherry pie filling and then top
with a few sliced almonds, if desired.  (I used a few reserved
crumbs for garnish.)

This is a smaller version of Ree's recipe and it made enough for about 6 servings, depending on the size of the wine glasses.  My glasses are of average size.

Next up...Chili!

Also on the menu was my Quick and Easy Chili.  I made quite a large pot so that we would have enough for anyone who might drop in and it is good the next day, too, if you like leftovers.  Now there are a gazillion chili recipes out there and I've shared a little more involved chili recipe here that we like, but my Quick and Easy version is our favorite.

Quick and Easy Chili
1-30 oz can chili-style beans
1-30 oz can red kidney beans
1-30 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 med. onion, diced  (I used dried onion flakes)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef

Place first five items in a large pan like a dutch oven.  
Brown ground beef and diced onion, drain.
Add browned ground beef and onion to bean mixture and heat through.  

Serves 8 more or less, depending on how many bowls they want!

Note:  I often make a similar recipe for just BG and I using two 15 ounce cans of beans and one can diced tomatoes and 1 pound of ground beef.  I add a small can of tomato sauce, and onion flakes, but omit the chili powder.  It's good, too!

How is your week going?  Our water heater conked out again last night and BG decided that it was time for a new one.  He's taking the day off so he can go pick one out and get it installed.  In the meantime, we are roughing it without hot water!  Have you ever washed your hair in really cold water?  That will wake you up!!

My Giveaway:  I have added a couple of pairs of handcrafted earrings to the gift card in my giveaway.  There may be another surprise or two, I haven't decided yet.  The drawing will be on February 15, according to the GYB guidelines, so be sure to sign up soon if you haven't already done so.  You don't have to be a participant in the Grow Your Blog party to enter!  
I'll be giving moral support helping BG with the water heater as best I can, so if I don't get around to your blog today, you know we are hard at work so we'll have hot water!!  Happy Wednesday to you!  And enjoy having hot water, too.  :)

Until next time...

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Weekend...Short and Sweet

~Yesterday's sunset~
Did you have a nice weekend?  Ours was good, as our son came home for a weekend visit.  I did a lot bit of cooking and when we weren't visiting or playing card games, I was  The Grow Your Blog party was a lot of fun and I want to welcome my new followers.  I'd like to follow everyone back, but a few didn't leave a comment and I can't find a link back for some of you from your GFC photo.  

There were around 600 who signed up for this party and I still have many to visit yet.  Many of the bloggers that participated in this party are mainly into needlework, quilting, etc., as well as other interests.  My hope is to gather enough inspiration from talented bloggers to get back into a little crafting.  And, I am planning on dusting off my sewing machine which has been sitting unused for too long and make a few pillow covers and valances for starters.  Surely I can still sew a straight line!

I made a quick and easy sweet treat yesterday that was a hit.  I'll share the recipe with you in my next post.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time... 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog 2014 and A Giveaway

Hello and welcome to those who are visiting from Vickie's party at
 Grow Your Blog 2014!

For those of you who are first timers here, my name is Cheryl and I love blogging!   I grew up on a farm, thus my blog name "The Farmer's Daughter".   I'm married to BG and we have 2 terrific adult children, a son and a daughter.  I'm a stay-at-home wife and reading, gardening, and taking photos are at the top of the list of my many interests.  In my blog, I share my photos as well as musings of everyday life and a few of my memories plus the occasional recipe.    

                          Some of my favorite photos of each month last year starting with January in the top left corner.

My furbabies inside and my feathered friends outside are all well fed and get a lot of my attention.  I love to point my camera at them and snap away!   Sunsets, flowers, and old barns are also frequent targets for my camera.

My sewing machine has been gathering dust in recent years, but I want to put it to use soon.  We are in the middle of several projects, but when they are completed, I hope to have room for a work area for sewing and other interests.  Visiting flea markets and thrift shops are also high on my list of things I love to do, and most of all I love to visit my favorite weekend (or longer) getaway, Branson, MO.

I look forward to visiting as many of you as I can through this fun party and making new friends!  Thanks for visiting and I hope you will come back again.   If you sign up to follow, let me know in a comment and I will gladly follow you back.  Thanks to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for hosting this fun party!

The Giveaway - I will be having a drawing and the details will be announced the first of the week.  Be sure to come back to enter the drawing!  One of my prizes will be a gift card and other gifts yet to be determined.  If you would like to go ahead and enter now, please let me know in a comment that you want to be entered in the drawing.   This drawing is open for everyone!

Until next time...

Random 5 Friday

How can it be that it's Friday already???  That means it's time for Random 5 Friday hosted by Nancy from A Rural Journal where we select 5 facts about ourselves, our children, our pets, our lives or whatever.  Here we go:  

1.  Do you remember when you used to spell certain words around your children when they were very young and you didn't want them to know what you were talking about?  Well, we have to spell the word "ice cream" when my kitty, Stormy, is within earshot.  She loves it.  

2.  I didn't have to bake cookies after all.  I presented the idea to BG of fixing up a wall unit of a couple of bookcases on either side of a new tv and he was all for it!

3.  I've been thinking about comfort food the last few days of this very cold weather.  On the menu tonight will be my favorite potato soup.  What is your favorite soup?


4.  The birds are loving the seeds from the sunflowers I grew last year.  I will plant more this year.  I won't tell you how I long for seed planting weather.  

Brett, who needs a haircut, and Kim
5.  My last random is from the past.  Those are my two kids feeding our new little colt.  We had horses until we moved to this house and they were sold.  It's been many years since I've been horseback riding, but I used to enjoy it very much.  Now that I'm older I think I'll keep my feet on the ground, but the fact is that I still love horses.

Note:  I called the baby foal a colt because it was a boy.  A female foal is also referred to as a filly. 

Linking to Nancy's A Rural Journal.

Until next time...  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

He's Back and A New Idea

Look who is back at my house!  Little Sox came back home yesterday because it was discovered that a member of his new family was violently allergic to cats!  I felt really sorry for their young son who had already fallen in love with Sox and cried when he had to give him up, but we assured him that Sox would have a good home again.  Small comfort that, I know.  I have to confess to having teared up a bit myself when we told him goodbye.  As hard as goodbyes are, we're hoping to find another forever home for him because we already have enough kitties. 

~We've had a few sunny days here and there!~

 I can't tell you how many projects are started but not finished in and outside my house.  But, I just happened upon another sort of project that I want to tackle and it will be a bit easier than the others that are on the waiting list.  And this is one I want to start on right now!

We have a flat screen tv downstairs in the family room, actually it is really the man-cave, and in the living room we have an oldie but goodie tv in an oak entertainment center.  I don't watch tv much, but when my son comes home to visit, the men gather around the tv in the living room instead of downstairs if there is a ballgame on or to watch a movie.  Reason?  It is closer to the cook, of course!  My son, who has a huge flat screen tv, hates our little oldie but goodie and loves to remind us that we need a bigger tv upstairs.  I never really thought much about it until I saw a photo of a wall arrangement at bj's and asked myself why didn't I ever think of this?  Sometimes, the simplest solutions seem to escape me.  

In the photo I saw, there is a nice flat screen tv with a table under it and flanked by a bookcase on each side!  Bingo!  I have always wanted and needed more bookcases!  I'd have room for books, photos, and maybe baskets for storage for the DVDs.  To be honest, I'm more excited about the idea of getting bookcases than I am about a new tv!   I might have to move a couple pieces of furniture downstairs, but I could make it work.  Now here comes the hardest sell this plan to BG, who is probably just a wee bit tired of hearing about my ideas.  What do you think?  Should I make cookies first before asking??

Until next time...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!  Did you have a nice weekend?  We had a very nice warm and sunny day yesterday and drove up the interstate about half way between our home and our son's to meet him for lunch.  It is always good to see him and have a meal and good conversation.  His job often takes him out of state and his investigative work and management of others in his field doesn't allow for him to tell too many details, but we always get to hear about the traveling end of the job.  One of his latest trips for work took him to California for meetings where his group got to tour Alcatraz and the next week saw him in Orlando for yet more meetings where he got to visit Epcot Center.  BG and I have never been to either place.  We did visit Disney World when the kids were young, but Epcot wasn't finished at that time. 

Yesterday, January 19, was the date of my mother's birth.  I always think of her on this date, and to honor her memory, I made myself a cup of tea using a cup from a set of china she bought for me as a wedding gift over 40 years ago.  It isn't Spode or Wedgewood, but a simple set of china that my mother collected a few pieces at a time from a grocery store promotion that offered a different piece each week.  She collected enough for a service for 12 along with a platter, covered casserole, and serving bowls.
Christmas 1983
  This china is as special to me as any fine china as it holds a lot of memories for me.  Not only do I think of my mother painstakingly collecting each piece, but I think of those who used to sit around my table for special occasions and holidays.   These days I don't often use the china, preferring to use my favorite Pfaltzgraff Winterberry for Christmas and Mikasa's French Countryside for other occasions.  For everyday meals, I am more likely to just use my white Corelle and even the occasional paper plate.  

I love looking at beautiful tables, but I also know it's not the quality or pattern of the dishes that make a table sparkle.  It's the love and laughter in the faces gathered there to share a meal, such as the meal we shared yesterday with our son in a little ordinary cafe.  My holiday tables are now minus many place settings with my parents, grandmother, and brothers now gone, but their faces and laughter have never been forgotten, especially my sweet mother who dearly loved holidays.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Until next time...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Random 5 Friday

Missouri River
It's Friday!  And that means it's time for Random 5 Friday at Nancy's A Rural Journal.  This is where you share 5 facts about you, your day, your pets, your kids, or whatever you want!  

1.  I admit I'm a night owl and stay up way too late most nights.  If you see me commenting on your blog late at night, that's usually the best time for me to do so.

2.  I haven't turned on the tv for a couple of weeks at least.  Have I been missing anything?  I think I read that Pioneer Woman's cooking show will have a new segment tomorrow, so I might try to watch it if I don't forget.  

3.  I stopped in at a Flea Market the other day and there was a new booth being set up.  I have an oak front cabinet just like the one in this photo.  I saw a couple of things I'd like to have.  Isn't that white table next to the cabinet cute?  I also like the old school desk.

4.  BG is taking the day off work today.  I'm not sure what he has in mind to do, we have so many projects to finish that I'm sure we'll find something to keep us busy.  It's very cold outside this morning and we had a little bit of snow last night.  I think the high today is supposed to be 10 degrees.   Brrrr.

5.  Remember our little kitten that was abandoned by his mother and we coaxed him inside and took care of him and found him a home?  Some of you wondered why his mama would leave him.  Well, I forgot to tell you that she left a note behind to explain.  See below. 

He is sweet, but so ornery and into everything.  If you open the refrigerator door, he tries to crawl inside.  In fact, he tries to get into everything!  He also has very sharp little teeth.  Ouch!!  He'll be going to his new home this weekend and we really will miss him.  We wish we could keep him, but we already have 4 in the house and that is more than I ever thought to have inside!  I must say that the others sleep most of the day and aren't any trouble.  

That's a wrap, as they say.  Please drop in at Nancy's A Rural Journal to see what others have on their list.  Better yet, join in the fun!  Happy Friday and thanks for stopping by!

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Note Card Party

It's the third Wednesday of the month and that means it's time once again for the Note Card Party at A Haven for Vee.  January is usually a long, cold and dreary month at my house and my thoughts are never far from nature and wondering how the birds and wildlife are faring or thinking of the beauty of past seasons.  I'm choosing nature scenes for my cards this month.  I believe I've shown all of these photos in previous posts.

Thanks to Vee for hosting this fun party!

Please be sure to drop by A Haven For Vee  to see many delightful photos made into note cards! 

Happy Wednesday to you...thanks for stopping by!

Until next time... 

*edited to add that I do know it's not Wednesday as I post this, but I am writing this post with tomorrow in mind!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our New Houseguest


It was a week ago when we heard a kitten outside meowing very early that Sunday morning.  Snow had fallen throughout the night and we had around 4 inches of snow and the temperature was rapidly falling.  We found that the Mama Kitty had moved the other 4 kittens out of our storage building and were nowhere to be found.  She somehow left this little one behind.

We tried to catch him off and on all day and after 12 hours of crying and running around looking for his mama, he was finally coaxed to the back door of our basement by our daughter who grabbed him and brought him inside out of the bitter cold which would be -35 with the wind chill the next morning.  He spent the night wandering around downstairs crying, but by Monday evening my daughter had him pretty tame.  The schools were closed because of the snow and bitter cold that Monday so I was glad she was here and had time to work with him.  I call her the cat whisperer because she's even better than I am at taming kitties.

He has very quickly made himself at home and used a litter box from the first day, so he's really been no trouble at all.  We've fallen in love with him as he's so sweet and cute with his 4 white feet and the white chin and a little patch of white between the eyes.  We're happy that he has a good home to go to next weekend, but we'll sure miss him.  They can certainly work their way into your heart in a short amount of time, can't they?  Mama came back with her other kittens, all safe and sound, a few days ago but we didn't think it would be wise to let this kitten see them because he'll be leaving for his new home very soon.

I am slowly trying to get around to visiting everyone that I've missed lately due to the internet being off several times during the foundation work last week.  And, I was a bit under the weather yesterday.  I'm posting today instead of Monday, as I anticipate being busy most of tomorrow.   Enjoy your day, we have sunshine!  Yay!

Until next time...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random 5 Friday

1.  The birds have been keeping us busy filling the feeders lately.  It's been so cold and they are very hungry.  It's not been very good weather for picture taking from my kitchen window.  The birds and I are both hoping for some sunshine and better weather soon.
2.   My burning question for the day.  Why can't the media be as relentless in their questioning and probing for answers for both political parties?  That's all I'll say about that. 

3.  Our outside foundation work being done will be finished today.  I can't tell you how happy our kitties will be to have the noisy backhoe and bobcat gone.  Stormy has been the biggest wuss of all and hides all day.  Callie is the only one who isn't afraid of anything.  I think she would face down a grizzly bear.

4.  I can't believe how fast time is going.  Christmas has been over now for a little more than 2 weeks.  I still have a few things to put away.  The house looks so boring after all the lights and things are packed away.  

5.  We're supposed to have temperatures in the 40's today and maybe 50's by Sunday.  Strange after the bone chilling weather we've been having, but I'll take it.  Surely the sun will shine, it seems like a long time since we've seen it.  

I need to hurry this post up.  They are going to be unhooking my phone line any minute to finish up in front where they are working so that means no internet and it may be awhile before I can visit my blog friends.  Have a great weekend!  

Linking up with A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cranky, Cranky, Cranky

(I do get up occasionally to see the sun rise!)

Yesterday was just one of those days.  And, yes, I have to admit that it made me more than a little cranky.  The last several days it seems like it was just something all the time.  A new kitten in the house crying constantly was annoying.  I'll explain that one in another post.  The jackhammering that went on for 2 straight days was annoying.  The very cold temps of minus 35 degrees with the wind chill that made my olden body hurt was annoying.  The water heater quit heating water just as I started to shower and wash my hair.  There's more, but I'll just say this morning when I sat down in my recliner with the laptop and my cup of hot chocolate to relax and work on my blog only to hear a few minutes later that our phone would be shut off for the rest of the day, well, I got very cranky.   No one told me that the foundation crew was going to have to disconnect the phone line.  And that means no internet connection.   Arrggh!!!

I did manage to get through the day without my computer and I'd like to say that having a sense of humor saved the day, but my sense of humor must have taken flight to a warmer climate.  I couldn't seem to find it anywhere...especially when BG reminded me over delicious hot dogs for dinner that the phone line might have to be disconnected again today.  What???? 

Until next time...

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Wintry Day

What is a girl to do when there is 4 inches of new snow on the ground and the wind chill temperature is in the negative column and it's too cold to go outside and snap photos?  Eat ice cream, of course!  With strawberries.  Oh, I needed it like I need another hole in my head, but it sure was good. 

All afternoon while the winds were raging, I kept glancing at a few of my favorite cookbooks I keep on the old Hoosier cabinet and thought about trying out a new recipe, but ice cream seemed to be calling my name even on a cold, winter day.  Maybe today is the day for baking.  It's certainly a good day for extra warmth from a hot oven! 

I'm anxious to see if the foundation workers will show up today.  I wouldn't blame them if they didn't as it is unbelievably cold today even for Missouri with the wind chill factor.  I listened to the jackhammer for 2 days last week and I'm glad to say that part of the job is finished.  The kitties were all pretty much bummed out about the noise and hid for the biggest part of the day. 

Well, all the kitties except Callie, who is not afraid of anything.  When she wasn't sleeping, she had her head between the curtains at the front window with her little pink nose pressed against the glass watching everything that was going on outside.  A very loud jackhammer wasn't going to faze her one bit!  

It was a fairly nice day Saturday in spite of that snow you see on the ground and I went out to get a few groceries and make a stop at the hardware store for BG for something he needed.  I had left my car in a spot where I thought I could make a getaway if I needed to with all the equipment around.  Picture my jaw dropping open when I first spotted the little man sitting in the chair at the front of the above trailer!  I don't know when they put him there, but I appreciate their sense of humor even if I couldn't decide if he had on ear muffs for the cold or if that was protection from the noise.

Stay safe and warm if you are having this very cold, snowy weather.  My plan is to stay in today and make a big pot of soup and perhaps bake something, sip some tea and get my new Nook out and read while that soup is simmering.  

Until next time...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Random 5 Friday

I already have this sunset in my header, but I love the colors so much that I wanted to show it again in a larger size.  Which brings me to one reason I posted this today.  It's Random 5 Friday at Nancy's and my first random fact is:

1.  I love sunsets.  That is something you've probably noticed if you are a regular reader here.  This sunset was shot from the front of my house.  I'm so blessed to have wonderful views of the sunsets in front of the house and then many awesome sunrises (if I'd get up early enough to catch them!) that I see out my kitchen window.   And just over the hill is a large lake that I can easily drive to if I want a lake sunset.

 2.  I don't like winter weather..  And that's a fact!  We woke up to close to 2 inches of snow yesterday and it was bitterly cold all day.  I know that is nothing for those of you who live further north and out east who are in the path of the heavy snows this week.  Please stay safe and warm!

3.  I saw my first American 
Kestrel several weeks ago.  He
didn't hang around long and I shot this while hanging out my window.  He was a little bigger than a Robin and I wish I'd gotten a shot of his backside but he sat like this for quite a long time before flying away and I haven't seen him since.  I love his colors and the marking on his head.

4.  This is the mess that we have in front of our house at the moment.  Our foundation work will be done as soon as they get the concrete slab we call our front patio/porch broken up and removed.   We have had water getting into our basement when we have the really heavy rains and the work being done will hopefully stop it from coming in.  We won't have to tear up the driveway because the basement doesn't extend that far.  

5.  It seems to be a fact, at least for us, that when one project is started it always leads to another.  We were hopeful that this project would go smoothly, but we have found that behind the part of the slab that was removed against the house that the sill plate has rotted from the moisture.  So here we go...more repairs.  They will remove the rest today, so we'll have a better idea of how much needs to be replaced.  Looking at it from inside the basement, it looks like it was only in one small area and we'd never noticed it before.  I'm hoping it was only confined to that one small area!  

Please click on Random 5 Friday and you'll arrive at Nancy's A Rural Journal where you'll find much more randomness.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Love and Best Wishes for a 
healthy and happy
New Year!!

Until next time...