June 29, 2009


I know that living in the country is not for everyone, especially people like my mother-in-law but it's for me. It fits me perfectly. There's no other place I would rather "hang my hat", "put up my feet" or just plain "hunker down" at. I woke up this morning, poured a cup of coffee, kissed my husband bye when he left for work, peeked in at my sleeping boys, slipped on my Crocs and slipped out the front door still in nightgown...coffee in hand. I made my rounds past the garden that got watered yesterday. After about 3 weeks with no rain we decided to switch the county line over to the well line and run the sprinklers all night. Everything looks green and fresh this morning. Made my way passed the fruit trees, said good morning to the purple martins and found myself at the barn. Of course that meant feeding all the hungry critters. I love my morning walks. As I walked back from the barn, I thought about both of my grandmothers and how the love for farming, gardening, everything country was passed down through their generation to my mom and dad and then to me. My Dad's mom died when I was 10 and I lost my very best friend in the world. It was my first experience with the death of someone close to me and the memory of her passing still makes my heart ache but I have so many wonderful memories of her. I know she would be so proud of my boys. She would have them outside teaching them to churn butter, pluck chickens, can beets...all those things she taught me while I was tagging around hanging onto her dress tail. I remember when a favorite hen of mine got hit by a car...she made splints from Popsicle sticks and splinted her broken leg...she lived and laid many more eggs. She was every little girls dream of a good ole country Mamaw. My mom's says I got my love for animals from her. There are very few photos of my Dad's mom but my mother surprised me a few years ago with this 8 x 10 that I will always cherish....yes, that's me with my Mamaw!
For those of you who have won my cookbook, you know the back story of my Mom's mother and her life with my grandfather. She is a wonderful woman. She lost my grandfather last October after 65 years of marriage. She misses him dearly but she knows he would have wanted her to continue to enjoy life and she's doing just that. My grandfather loved to fish and she was always right by his side. My mom took her fishing last weekend and she caught this 10lb. catfish. I am so blessed to still have her in my life and I think she is just one of the cutest little ladies at the age of 85 that I've ever seen holding a big ole catfish.

I am thankful for 2 grandmothers who have taught me so many things over the years.

June 27, 2009

I Did The First Workout!

This is all Lins fault over at Goodbye, Martha! I went to her awesome blog and read about how she is doing the 5K Friday and how wonderful she feels and how amazing it is to be doing it and I caught the bug! I decided (after having gained some weight back recently) that I needed to do this too and what better way than with the support of fellow bloggers!

So, I am officially starting on Monday so I can set up a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule but I did a test workout today and I actually completed it. I thought about stopping at 10 minutes when my calves and thighs were screaming at my to please JUST SIT DOWN but I didn't and eventually everything went numb and I jogged/briskly walked/jogged/briskly walked my way through to the 20 minute mark on the treadmill while listening to Billie Jean and Beat It on the weekend Michael Jackson tribute. When the temp drops below 1,029,000 degrees I'll do this outside.

I can do this and you can too! Thanks Lins for being my inspiration! You can find the link to 5K Friday anytime by clicking this button in my sidebar!
5K Friday button

June 26, 2009

The Critters

While I was out taking pics of the farm bounty yesterday, I snapped a few of the critters. The baby chicks are growing fast. These are the ones that hatched right before we went on vacation.

These are the guineas that hatched at the same time. Don't tell Bootsie and Stud that these are not chicks. They are very protective parents! Of course the guinea chicks are almost as big as they are. I need to clean their little coop out. They are a messy bunch!

This is Nanny! Notice her belly! We're getting a baby (or babies)! I'm not sure about Nellie yet. She always looks like she's going to have a baby!

Of course, I can't leave out Hickory, Dickory and Doc! They are always ready to pose for me.

And when I got back to the house I found lazy Dirt Cat sleeping in the heat. He woke up enough to pose for a pic and get his belly scratched. Then right back to sleep!

That's the critter tour for the day. I hope you enjoyed it!

Don't forget to comment on my Patriotic Give Away to enter! I will be choosing a winner at 8:00 Central time tomorrow morning!

June 25, 2009

Farm Bounty

After J's ear appointment, I dropped him off at school and came home to do some much needed cleaning before I head back to work tomorrow. Before I started cleaning, I decided to take a stroll through the garden, which is growing quite nicely, even in this nasty heat and I found these guys, the 1st of the year!

The corn is also starting to tassel and I have several zucchini that will be ready to pick tomorrow. The tomatoes are growing but still green. The beans will be ready soon if the deer will leave them alone. I came inside and checked the big pot of white beans and ham hocks I had cooking and put a skillet of cornbread in the oven.

I went back out to check on the critters and noticed that the apple tree is absolutely loaded this year. I still have lots of frozen apples and applesauce from last year! Looks like lots of fresh pies this year!

I made my way on to the barn where I found these gifts from the nice ladies of the coop. Thank you ladies!

and on the way back I had to make a pass by the blackberry bushes and look what I found. Almost enough for a cobbler. Just might have to bake one tomorrow night.

Hopefully, within the next few years our new fruit trees, raspberries and grapevines will do well. I didn't get much cleaning done but I enjoyed my afternoon strolling around admiring the fruits of our labor. I love the fresh farm bounty that out little farm produces each year.

June 23, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

It must be a day for games! This is the second one for me today. I was awarded the Honest Scrap Award by Kritter Keeper. This is an award given to bloggers who post from their heart! Thank you! You can find her over at her awesome blog, Farm Tails.

Rules of the game.....tell 10 honest things about yourself that most people don't know, tag 10 new people to confess their 10 things and link back to the person who tagged you! I love these little games because #1. Your readers learn things about you that might not normally come up in regular blog posts. #2. Your link gets shared on other blogs, which leads to more readers/followers/friends.

Ok, here goes....
  1. I sleep with one foot out from under the covers at night.
  2. I've been known to wet my pants if I laugh too hard (you're not the only one Curley!)
  3. I once weighed 250 pounds.
  4. I was terrified of heights as a child, yet I spent 2 years rock climbing and repelling back in my 20's and LOVED it.
  5. I studied my butt off through nursing school graduated with a 3.9, passed the RN N-Clex exam 8 years ago then stayed at home and had babies!
  6. We had an outhouse and no running water (my mom drew water from a well) until I was 9 years old and I'm only 36 (that's KY for ya!)
  7. I could beat all the boys on my bus at arm wrestling and mercy (remember mercy?) in high school (even the football players). Please don't tell any of them I wet my pants when I laugh too hard!
  8. I cannot raise my right eyebrow...I can raise my left and I can raise them together but not my right one alone!
  9. If it's supposed to snow, I cannot sleep (at all)...good thing I don't live in Canada (or Alaska!) I also put my shoes on during T-storms - I think I do this because my parents always made us do it (I wonder if it was for our safety or to keep 4 kids occupied instead of scared of the thunder - either way I still do it).
  10. I have lived several different places (even Nashville, TN) but never felt "at home" until we bought this house and farm and moved in 1.5 miles from where I grew up without running water or a bathroom. There are some things I just could not live without now! Those are 2 of them!
And I pass this award on to 10 randomly picked followers/bloggers and they are...
  1. Table for Nine
  2. The Ramblings at Chippewa Creek
  3. Mary's Blog: Living Country in the City
  4. Country Whispers
  5. Fit and Flabless
  6. Prairie Flower Farm
  7. The Self-Sufficient Life
  8. This Kuntry Girl
  9. Life on a Southern Farm
  10. Farming Friends
If you've already been awarded and I missed it, just ignore me!

Tag...You're It!

I got tagged by Chicken Momma over at Hen House Diaries!
Here's my photo....

This photo was taken during the Kentucky Ice Storm 2009 back in January. The trees are still trying to recover from it. We got over 2 inches of ice with snow on top and were without power for 16 days. Thank God for generators!

The Rules:

1) Go to your photo files…Select the 6th photo folder

2) Select the 6th photo in that folder

3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.

4) Then, challenge 5 blog friends to do the same!

I tag...
1. Manitoba Musings
2. The Secret Flower Garden
3. Schmoopywood
4. Prairie Flower Farm
5. Tiny Farm Blog

Don't forget about my Patriotic Give Away. You still have time to enter and tell your friends about it!

June 21, 2009

My Dad

I know it's a little late in the day to start a Father's Day post but I had to go all the way to my sisters tonight to get my camera just for these pic that I knew were on there. She forgot to bring my camera to mom's this morning before she left on a business trip to Chicago. We had a nice backroads drive and saw lots of deer, plus I got my camera back!

Anyway, this is about my Dad, not my camera. I love my Dad because.....he's the perfect Dad (and grandfather). My children adore their Papaw. He's that Dad who takes care of my critters while I am gone on vacation because I ask him to and who picks my cherries so they won't be too ripe when I get back and who tills my entire garden and pulls every last weed because he wants to. Because he loves me. He's the Dad who has always gone out of his way to do the big (and little) things that make him extra special. He has 4 children (2 girls and 2 boys), I'm the oldest, then my brother, then the twins. I can say without a doubt in my mind that we all 4 agree, we have the best Dad in the world!

I love you Dad! Happy Father's Day!

I'm not even sure what they are doing here but I know one little boy who loves his Papaw!

June 20, 2009

Patriotic Give Away!


AND THE WINNER IS................................ACCORDING TO RANDOMIZER.ORG .......

# 6 - OKBARB!


Please email me with your address (and your cornbread salad recipe please) at mycountryblogofthisandthat@gmail.com.

Thanks for playing everyone! Keep watching for my next giveaway!

In honor of Independence Day, I am giving away one of my light blocks. I am posting this give away a little early so the winner will have time to receive the block before the 4th of July! I became addicted to making these blocks a few years ago and actually made over 300 of the Christmas style ones. This is one of the 4 x 8-inch blocks in the "Sweet Land of Liberty" theme. These come with a 6 foot cord with switch (the kind used for Christmas village display houses.)

To enter the give away, all you have to do is tell me what your favorite summer cookout/barBQ/picnic dish is (and if you win you have to share your recipe with me!) If you blog about this on your blog and leave a link back to it in your comment here, you get two entries!

Update: I had someone ask me about the type of light inside. This is the bulb that can be changed if it blows, not the string of Christmas lights. There is a 1-inch hole in the bottom of the block with one of these light cords and a clear bulb. Makes it easy to turn on/off without having to unplug it each time.

The contest starts today and ends at 9:00 a.m. on June 27th!


June 19, 2009

A Quick Update

I worked yesterday and had to work today. I get my camera back Sunday so my posts should get a lot more interesting after then. I've missed my Canon companion. It's amazing how many things you see that make you think, "if I only had my camera" when you don't have it! The orange lilies that grow along the roadsides (known as ditch lilies around here) are in full bloom right now and they are absolutely beautiful but telling you about them is just not the same without a photo!

I received my prize from Linda over at Prairie Flower Farm and the fabric is absolutely adorable, plus I LOVE snowmen! Thank you so much!

Ga.farmwoman your cookbook is on the way, I sent it out Thursday (a day late, sorry about that!)

Lisa over at shmoopywood is having an awesome giveaway. Be sure to check that out too.

I'll leave you with a pic taken last year of a water lily from my mom's pond.

Oh and I am having a new give away for the 4th of July and it's NOT a cookbook. It's something very patriotic! I'll be listing it soon!

June 17, 2009

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding (Almost)

Ina have always made this with the Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies that Paula Deen's recipe calls for. Well our local super market does not carry Pepperidge Farm cookies so I was stuck with using the old stand-by, Nilla Wafers. Now if I had my choice, I would choose Nilla wafers over Chessman cookies anyway so this worked out well. One of the men in our church passed away and it's tradition to take food for the family for after the funeral so I cooked several dishes this morning and decided to make banana pudding as the dessert. Shhhhhhhhh, I used Nilla Wafers instead of Chessman cookies and you know what.....it is soooo much better, at least I think so. To the point that I keep sticking a spoon in the fridge and sampling it and we haven't even had supper yet!

So here's Paula Deen's awesome banana pudding recipe (using Nilla wafers instead of Chessman cookies).....
Banana Pudding
1 1/2 (12 oz.) boxes of Nilla wafers
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz.) box instant French Vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) package sour cream, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) ctn. Cool Whip, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x2-inch dish with 1 box Nilla wafers. Layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a hand-held mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the wafers and bananas. Crush half a box of Nilla wafers and Sprinkle over the top of pudding mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

June 15, 2009

Cookbook Winner!!!!

is ga.farmwoman!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

She can be found at Life On A Southern Farm where she is hosting an awesome Four-hole Nest Box Give Away that I will definitely be entering! If you have hens, you will want one of these.

Please email me at mycountryblogofthisandthat@gmail.com with your address and I will get your cookbook sent out to you.

Thanks to all of you for entering. I'll have another give away soon!

I won't be blogging much with photos for a few days unless I can go find some old ones I have saved on my computer. My sister borrowed my camera yesterday for Bible school all week. It's a good thing I trust her with it (Hi Ang, I know you're reading this) or I would have to go get it! I feel like I'm missing a child or my right arm or....well you get it! I love my camera!

Okay, I found one...This is a tiger lily I dug out of the flower pic folder. This one is from last year but they are just starting to bloom in my yard this year. I usually get to enjoy them for a day or so then the deer leave me nothing but the stems!

June 12, 2009

Blog Slacker Hosts Cookbook Give Away

I am so sorry that I haven't blogged much since we have been back from vacation. It's been a busy week and I worked the last two days. All the equipment is ordered for me to work from home, just waiting for it to come in.

I promise to find something interesting and farm-related to post for you, even if I have to get out and drive around to find it! Recipes are great "fillers" but I need to blog about something better this weekend and hey it's my birthday tomorrow so I should get to do what I want, right??

Maybe I'll make this a cookbook give away thread since I have been slacking...yeah, lets do that...

Okay all you have to do to enter (and get a little blog advertising in while your at it) is post a link to your blog.

(Revised...this should work now)
You don't have to but if you want to....this is how to make the name of your blog clickable/linkable in comments.

I will randomly pick a winner at 8:00 Monday morning! Good luck!

Linda, your cookbook from the last give away is on it's way!

June 10, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

This is another canning recipe. I promise a normal old recipe tomorrow! My cucumber vines are growing very nicely in the garden. I have plans to can bread and butter pickles this year. I canned several pints and quarts year before last and by several I mean 34 quarts and 22 pints. Most of them are gone. Luke and I can eat a whole pint jar when we open one. I have several family members that bride, beg, and just flat out tell me to bring them a jar of my B&B pickles from time to time so they go pretty fast. I also take them to potlucks, fish fries and other foodie get togethers.

There are a lot of recipes for bread and butter pickles floating around out there but this is the recipe I use for canning mine.

15 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
3 onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. coarse salt
4 c. cracked ice
2 1/2 c. white vinegar
2 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1 T. mustard seeds

Combine cucumbers, onions, salt and ice in a large bowl and mix well. Put weight on and allow to stand for 3 hours. (For weight, I use a plate with a gallon bottle of vinegar or water on top of it.) Drain thoroughly. Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seeds and mustard seeds in a large pot. Add drained cucumbers. Place pot on medium-low heat and bring almost to a boil but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, seal in hot, sterilized jars, adjust lids and bands. Process 10 minutes in hot water bath.

June 8, 2009

Cherry Jam

What did I do with all those cherries my Dad picked for me while I was gone to Florida? Made jam of course!

The boys love this cherry jam on toast or peanut butter and jelly (technically it's PB & Jam but they don't care). I have a weakness for it on my moms homemade sour dough bread with way too much butter. I ended up with 14 pints before I ran out of Certo. I also froze several quarts for pies, cobblers and homemade ice cream...yummm!
Here's the recipe I use for making this jam (it's not in my cookbook but it will be in the next one!)
Cherry Jam
4 cups of cherries
7 cups sugar
1/2 T. butter or margarine (optional)
2 pouches of Certo

Wash, stem and pit your cherries. Place them in a food processor and liquify/pulse/chop until they are mostly liquid. You will need 4 cups of this. Place in a large saucepan, add sugar, mix well. Add butter (this prevents the white foamy stuff from forming on top of your jam.) Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 1 full minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 2 pouches of Certo. Stir and skim off any floating fruit for 5 minutes. Pour into hot, sterilized jar. Wipe any drips from top edge of jars and top with hot lids and bands. Sit aside to let cool and seal.

If you have access to cherries, go for it!

June 6, 2009

Hello! We're Home!

First, I want to say "Welcome!" to my new followers!!! I picked up a few while I was gone. We decided to drive the 606 miles home yesterday instead of today. We had a great time but I have to admit, it's so nice to be home! Plus, the Monster Truck Rally is tonight here at home and both boys really wanted to go. I came home to a refrigerator full of cherries! My Dad had picked about 4 gallons for me to keep them from getting overripe and the black birds eating all of them. I love my Dad. I'm in the process of making jam right now.

Here are a few beach pics for you. I only took 441 pics while I was there, got a little camera happy. I'll put them all in an album and post a link a little later one.

The boys loved the beach! I have some cute pics of them on the beach in their swimming trunks and crabbin' at night too but the morning light was so good that these pics turned out to be some of the best ones I took. It was hard for J to choose between the beach and the pool because he learned to wear his goggles and swim underwater while we were there.

We had some storms during the night and it made the waves pretty big the next morning. No one but lifeguards were allowed in the water until later in the day but that didn't stop these two from having fun.

Feeding the seagulls in the morning was one of their favorite things to do. I think these 2 pics below are my favorite from the whole trip.

I took this the afternoon we were at the track riding bumper cars, go carts and bumper boats.

and a couple more that I thought I would share here. I'll put the rest in an album and add a link a little later.

It's good to be back!

Ok adding 1 more!


For those of you who are new followers/readers, don't forget to check out the forum and join in on our discussions there.

My Country Blog of This and That Forum

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All images and graphics on this page were made by me with the exception of that little rooster! He came from Beth Logan's Checkered Chickens at pccrafter.com. Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
If you see something you like please ask for permission before using it!
Thank you!