Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 nearing the end ...

The excitement of Christmas is just about over.
Fresh snow has fallen and everyone is out enjoying a lovely winter day.
The snow is sticking the the ice and weighing down the branches.
It sure can be pretty!
  Here is the garden all covered in snow, waiting for spring.
The dog isn't quite sure what to think of the ice that covered the yard.
And here's a smart idea...
Don't have a hill? Pack snow on the porch stairs!
Another year is coming to an end. I often sit and wonder where the time GOES?
What does 2012 have in store for us?
I guess only time will tell.
So CHEERS my friends!
To 2012
Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 The baking is done, the gifts bought and wrapped.
The tree has been decorated and now the cat is at at her post under the tree.
Thankfully she doesn't try to climb the tree, but is quite content to lay underneath between the gifts.
The table is set 
In a few short hours, I will put on the traditional Christmas apron and help prepare a wonderful meal, and share the night with my family.


Trail Camera - December 24th

Checked our camera this morning as the sun was rising.
There was a fresh layer of snow, but no tracks of any kind.
The food we had left in front of the camera was gone, obviously eaten before the snow fell the day before. The only shot on the camera was this one.
A really nice shot of a beautiful Coyote!
This photo was taken just hours before I checked the camera and clearly the food is already gone.
SOMETHING had a good meal without tripping the camera!
Next time out I'm going to have to play with the settings.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trail Camera - December 17

I think we continue to capture the same buck, but this time we also got a shot of a couple of the Ladies
So far we have only caught photos of deer.
It would be nice to capture another creature too.
Maybe next time!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another use for all that zucchini....

Am I the only one that gets such a thrill out of feeding their kids vegetables SECRETLY?
My family was so sick of eating zucchini this fall that I couldn't even say the word 'zucchini' without someone getting upset. Not a good thing when you have a freezer full of the stuff!
Today I found a recipe that I just HAD to try!
I decided to try this while I was home alone, just to make sure it was as good as it sounded.
The batter seemed a little thick, but it looked good. No sign of the zucchini at all.
I popped it into the oven. It took a little longer to bake than 30 minutes suggested. I think I baked mine an extra 10 minutes. It smelled really good! Here it is after it was baked...
It sure LOOKED like the brownies I usually make! 
I cut into it.
Hmmm....I can't see any zucchini in there, can you?
And it tastes GOOD! I haven't even put any icing on it yet!
The kids are never going to figure this one out...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A few things I've learned living in the country...

We've been here just over 8 years now.
It's been quite an adjustment from living in a subdivision, and a learning experience for sure.
Here are a few things I have learned living in the country...
Make lists and get everything you need in one trip. Gas is expensive and the road to town is long
Always keep extra food, water, and gas. When the power goes out, it could be out for days. Make sure to start your generator regularly and keep an extra sump pump on hand. Sometimes when it rains, it pours!
It is impossible to do anything outdoors without getting dirty.
Always wear boots while turning the compost pile. Mice CAN climb pant legs!
Country Folk wave at everyone.
There is no such thing as a quick trip to town. Country Folk love to talk!
Country Folk grow their own zucchini and don't want any of yours.
The sweet corn is ready the day the raccoons find it.
Use your water wisely. 
There is no such thing as a critter proof garbage can.
Never assume it won't get windy. The wind can blow up out of no where.
There is always SOMETHING to do.
Sometimes a snow shovel just isn't enough.

Nothing tastes as good as home grown.
And the most important thing I've learned?
Don't lose your sense of humor. If you can't laugh at yourself
It's all over!

Trail Camera troubles

After a few weeks of disappointment, we finally have the trail cam fixed and running again!
It seems the power button was stuck and it was draining the batteries.
Button fixed, new batteries and a few carrots later...success!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Squash casserole

It's a rainy, cold fall day.
It's the kind of day I like to cook.
I had a few squash I'd been needing to use up - 2 of these were actually from LAST years garden! I honestly had no idea that squash lasted this long!
In the end, the small acorn squash that turned orange was going bad from the inside out so I didn't use it in this recipe.
I peeled and sliced thinly the other 2 squash and sliced a large onion. I then sauteed it in about 2 tbsp of butter until it was soft and the onions were translucent - about 15 minutes.

In another bowl, I grated about 2 cups of cheddar cheese,  added a half cup of sour cream, some salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and a bunch of Ritz craker crumbs (finally a use for all those broken crackers no one wants to eat!!)

I then stirred the squash and onion into this mixture and put it all into a greased casserole dish.  I topped it with more cheddar cheese, some Parmesan, and some more cracker crumbs. 
Popped it into a 350° oven for about 20 minutes.
This was to be served with pork chops and steamed broccoli for dinner tonight.
I couldn't wait!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is lurking in YOUR neighborhood?

 With summer gone, and gardening season over, it's once again time to walk and explore the fields and forest around my house. You may remember one of my other posts in which my friend, Gary, and I went exploring and found a few interesting things on one of our walks. On a walk 2 weeks back, we found a few fresh bones and that got us to wondering what was lurking the fields. I know there are coyote there, as I have seen them and heard them howling - quite frequently they howl at passing trains. There has also been wolf, bear and cougar sightings in the area
We set off across the fields and it wasn't long before we found the first bone. And then another.
They looked fresh and we decided that they belonged to a young deer.
We stumbled across the feeding site...fur and bones spread out over a small area. No photos of that though...kind of creepy really and I didn't think to snap a photo.
The animals seem to have a beaten path to the watering hole, so we decided this was a good place to put up a trail cam.
Gary is a hunter and has all the gadgets. Here is his trail cam in position in the tree.
This infrared camera takes photos of anything that moves within 40 feet, day or night, and tells you the time the photo was taken and the temperature.
Our first trip out to check this camera left us with one good photo
We set the camera up again, this time a little further back, and trimmed the branches so we would have a better view. We will be going out to check for new photos on Wednesday.
I can't wait to see what lurks this week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

New boots...finally!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am hard on boots.
In the past 3 years I have gone through 6 pairs of boots.
Some lasted 2 weeks and some lasted as long as a year.
Am I the only one out there who has trouble finding good, affordable boots?

A surprise bloom!

The Oleander's were carried into the house over a month ago.
I try to get them into a state of semi-dormancy while they are inside for the winter.
Much to my surprise, my pink Oleander's were blooming!
And a few of the blooms were almost white!

Thanks, for blooming and putting a smile on my face!

Friday, November 18, 2011


First snowfall.
A reminder of what is ahead.
A reminder that I don't have a winter coat.
A reminder that my daughter doesn't have winter boots.
A reminder to stock up on birdseed.
I put out the last scoop of seed this morning and this little guy barely let me finish and he was eating.
The snow will be gone before the day is done, but I have been reminded.
Looks like I'm going shopping today!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Netty versus the Manure Pile

This is the view from my window. A barn with a HUGE manure pile.
I have watching this pile for a few years now, steaming on the cool fall and winter days.
Last week I noticed a tractor out there turning the pile and I asked the farmer if I could have some.
"Help yourself! Take as much as you want!"
That was this gardeners dream!
So I loaded up the cart and trailer and set off
It was good looking stuff. Exactly what I needed for my veggie garden.
In all, I filled the cart and trailer 8 times. It was a lot of hard work. You see, we had a lot of rain last month. The pile was surrounded by puddles like this one
Yup, big wet manure puddles. The kind you get your boots stuck in.
These kind of puddles suck you right in.
This is what happens to brand new socks after getting stuck in a manure puddle
Manure pile-1 , Netty -0
But I was pleased with the end result.
We'll see who's laughing next spring!