Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas to ME!!!!!

I really enjoy cooking.  Notice I didn't say I am a GREAT COOK, I said I enjoy cooking.  There is a feeling of satisfaction that comes from taking a few simple ingredients and turning them in to something special.  I told BP that I wanted a good knife for Christmas, a chef's knife.  My knives are old and fairly dull even though I try to keep them sharp.  Well, guess what my wonderful husband had under the tree for me Christmas morning????

THIS is a Wusthof Classic 7" Santoku knife.  It is incredibly easy to handle and EXTREMELY SHARP.  No more putting all my "weight" into slicing an onion.  No more "sawing" back and forth cutting meat.  This knife cuts through everything like its warm butter. 

Thank you BP for my awesome Christmas gift.  And thank you Ebay for allowing me to buy this brand spanking new knife at 1/2 the price of Wusthof knives at Williams-Sonoma.  Sorry Williams-Sonoma.  I love you, but saving money is saving money!!!  If you enjoy cooking at all, you really gotta get one of these knives!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good Tidings Of Great Joy!!!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed .  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.   And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.   Luke Chapter 2

I pray that these same Good Tidings live in your heart today.  If you don't know Jesus, what better time than this, the celebration of His birth, to ask Him into your heart.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Christmas ? ? ? ? ?

Surely this isn't the weather man's idea of a White Christmas?  I mean "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" means REAL SNOW . . . not this DUSTING of snow.  This is what we had this past weekend and, you know what, IT'S ALREADY GONE!!!!  We're back to dead brown grass around here and now the weather man is saying rain.  Rain before Christmas.  And I really wanted a white Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1

Can you be-LIEVE that today is the first day of December?  I mean, where did fall go?  For that matter, where did summertime go?  We didn't even have summer (not that I miss those sweltering days) but it was a very cool summer here at Down On The Farm, and a very COLD, WET, RAINY fall. 

And now Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas rush has begun.  As usual, I'm in the middle of things.  I have outdoor Christmas lights up, but no Christmas tree or Christmas decorations inside.  I have gifts bought for my nieces and nephews, but NOTHING for my kids.

But all in all I'm in better shape this year than in years past . . .  at least I have SOME Christmas shopping done.

As the next few weeks FLY BY, please take a few moments to remember what its all about.  It's not the tree, or the lights, or the presents, its about Jesus.  So, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down with your feet up, close your eyes, and remember that day in Bethlehem so long ago . . . and the Savior we celebrate!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It started raining at Down On The Farm on Sunday morning, early.  My husband actually had the alarm set to get up early to go deer hunting.  But I heard him get out of bed and, just a few minutes later, he got right back into bed.  I said "aren't you going deer hunting?"  And he replied, "nope, it's raining."  And within 2 minutes he was sound asleep.  Well, it's been raining ever since.  It POURED Sunday morning and I mean p-o-u-r-e-d.

It rained all day Sunday and then it rained Sunday night.  It rained Monday and Monday night.  It was raining early this morning when I woke up and it has rained off and on ever since. 

And guess what???  It's gonna rain tonight and tomorrow too.  Does anyone know where the sun is hiding?

Monday, November 9, 2009


If you don't like reading about a mom bragging on her offspring, then I can tell you right now you need to stop reading.  This is NOT the post for you.  Because, this past weekend I was so darn proud of my kids I could hardly stand it.  We headed to Sedalia on Saturday for the Black & Gold Bonanza.  This is an annual show for show animals.  Alex has shown steers at our county fair the past couple of years.  This fall she purchased a really sharp steer, Ticket, so we thought we'd take Ticket to the big city (OK, Sedalia isn't exactly the big city) and see how he would stack up against the big boys.

Saturday was the weigh-in, and Sunday morning was the show.  Steers are shown in classes based on their breed (Angus, Chianini, cross-bred) and once in a class, they are shown by weight, so you are competing against steers of comparable size.

Getting the steer ready for the show takes a lot of work.  Alex has been working with her steer for months.  Feeding him, breaking him to lead, washing him, brushing him.  So Saturday afternoon we took Ticket to Sedalia to the State Fairgrounds and weighed him in.  Ticket weighed in at 715 pounds. 

After Ticket was taken care of, we headed over to the Calf Quest sale.  Steers and heifers are auctioned off to be "shown" at county fairs and shows all over.  One person bidding from Colorado by telephone, and two bidders from Arkansas by telephone were high bidders.  There were about 50 animals sold that night.  One of our friends bought a steer Saturday night and wanted to enter him in the show Sunday morning so, Cole was drafted to show the new steer. 

Now Cole really enjoys working with cattle.  He has his own rent farm and has 11 cow/calf pairs, 3 bred heifers and one young heifer. But Cole has never "shown" cattle.  He enjoys helping Alex get ready for the shows but he has always said he would rather be in the background than in the ring.  But he stepped up when he was needed and he showed the new steer Sunday morning at the show.

Of course, Sunday morning, both animals had to be washed and dried again. 

When it came show time, Cole and Alex both did extremely well.  Alex handled her steer like an old pro.  She was confident, professional, and kept Ticket under control in a totally new environment.  And she was absolutely the most beautiful one there.  Seriously.  I am not prejudice.  I know pretty when I see it.

Now remember this was Cole's first time showing, and he did awesome.  He was very calm, very professional.  I doubt one person at the show knew he had never set foot in a show ring before.   And if they did notice, well, they forgot it quickly when Cole looked their way.  You talk about a handsome young man, well . . . he IS!

Speaking of the actual show, I must say that we were seriously out classed, or should I say OUT SPENT.  Alex showed her steer against two other steers in her class.  One of the steers the owners paid $6,000 for, and the other steer, that took first place, the owners paid $7,000 for.  Several of the steers and heifers in the heavier weight classes (Cole and Alex both showed in light weight classes) had been bought for $20,000, $30,000 and up.  Just no way for us to compete against animals like that.  But we had a great time and we learned a lot and we enjoyed a lot of quality family time.

Now, who wouldn't be proud of these kids???

I am the most blessed mother on earth.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2009 Black & Gold Bonanza Show

I don't have anything to do this weekend. My house is absolutely spotless. My laundry is all caught up. My yard is manicured. Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? I have a MILLION THINGS I need to be doing this weekend, but they won't get done. Because, my baby is showing her steer, Ticket, at the 2009 Black & Gold Bonanza Show in Sedalia!!!! Alex has shown steers at our local county fair the past two summers and has had a ton of fun. This year, she's "takin' it to the next level" as they say. So, we're gonna load up the stock trailer and head to Sedalia on Saturday for the weigh-in, then be back up there Sunday morning for the show.

If you're interested, here is the link with all the show information

Alex is so excited, it's all she talks about. But, I personally am convinced, that Billy Paul is more excited than she is!!!!! We think she can learn a lot from watching the other kids, and steers, at this show, things that will help her next summer at the county fair. I'll report back next week on our adventures and I'll have pictures too! Think Griswold family here . . . . . . . . .

Monday, November 2, 2009

Youth Season

Not sure if you remember, but I have talked before about the "seasons" at my house. Fescue season, hay season, well, right now it's Youth Season. And for you city slickers, that's Youth Season for deer hunting. Yep, my kids are deerslayers. Cole, he's too old for Youth Season, as you have to be 15 years old or younger on opening day of youth season. Alex and BP went hunting Saturday morning and Saturday night and saw nothing but does. Then Sunday morning, they saw a buck but it was too far away. But last night, well, as you can see, Alex got a buck. That means deer jerky at our house! Great job, Alex!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Volleyball Trophy

Way to go girls!!!!! Congrats to Eldon's 8th grade Lady 'Stangs volleyball team for taking THIRD PLACE in the Waynesville Tournament last weekend. Yep, that's my baby, Alex, second from the left on the back row. I am very proud of all of the girls! Can't wait until next year -- wait a minute, that'll mean my baby will be in high school. Never mind.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gas is Goin' UP!

Over the last two weeks, gas prices in Eldon have gone up considerably. As of today, unleaded is $2.49 per gallon. And it looks like the price of a barrel of oil continues to increase. I have heard the newsmen say that that oil prices going up is a GOOD THING because it means the global economy is improving. All I know is that it costs me more to fill my tank and that is NOT a good thing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You On My Mind!

On October 12, 2009, my hubby and I celebrated 24 years of marriage. Hard to believe really, and I know those of you who've been married more than a year or two understand the feeling. It really just seems like yesterday (O.K., maybe not YESTERDAY) that we got married and started off on this crazy thing called "life together." I have more memories WITH him, than I do WITHOUT him. Been married to him for over half my life. And it's been great. Now I won't say we haven't had some days better than others, who hasn't, BUT, I will say this -- I am so thankful to God for bringing us together. I love you BP, and I can't imagine any other life than the one we have . . . together!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FFA Hog Roast

Last weekend was the annual FFA Hog Roast. Lots of good food and good times. The highlight of the evening is the annual "Slave Auction" where certain juniors and seniors are "sold" to work for 4 hours to raise money for the FFA.

Cole was auctioned off for $105 per hour! Of course, he was the cutest one there! Thank you Eldon Country Club for "buying" Cole!

Way to go, Cole! We sure are proud of you! But don't think WE'RE gonna start paying you $105 per hour, or anything even close to that. Or, that we're gonna start paying you anything at all, now that you mention it!

Alex is Student of the Month

A couple of weeks ago we were told by the Principal at Eldon Middle School that Alex had been selected as "Student of the Month." The Student of the Month is voted on by the teachers and administration.

The Elks Lodge at the Lake sponsors Student of the Month, and we were invited to attend a ceremony where Alex received a Certificate of Recognition, and, a $100 savings bond! A student was selected from Eldon, Tuscumbia and Osage.

Congratulations, Alex! We are SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! We love you!

Friday, October 9, 2009


It started raining Wednesday night. It rained Thursday morning. It rained Thursday afternoon. It rained Thursday night. It rained Friday morning . . . . . AND IT'S STILL RAINING. The creeks are flooded, the rivers are overflowing, and its a muddy mess Down On The Farm. Please, can the rain just stop already.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Alex's 8th grade volleyball team is having a fantastic season. They went into last night's game undefeated 4-0. They have been playing extremely well, and really coming together as a team. Last night they lost to Camdenton. We won the first match, came VERY close on the second set, but just couldn't hold on and lost the third set. The girls really shouldn't be too disappointed. Because, while winning is more fun than losing (come on, you know it is), a Class 3 school losing to a Class 5 school is nothing to be ashamed of. The girls are back in play Thursday night at Osage. We beat Osage last week, and I expect a victory Thursday night. Come on girls. SHAKE off the loss and move on to the next game. There are a lot of volleyball games left to play!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Last weekend we went to Springfield with friends. We had a great time. We went to PFI Western Wear. I just LOVE the smell of leather, and all those boots, baby!!

Then we headed on over to Bass Pro. My other favorite place to hang out in Springfield. If you want it, they've got it, and if they don't have it . . . . well . . . . ya don't need it!!

But wait, you say. Who are all these tough guys in cowboy hats, you say. This next guy, this is Kody Lostroh. What, you've never HEARD of Kody Lostroh.

Kody Lostroh is in first place in the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough series. Get it, PBR, Professional Bull Riders??? Oh yeah. We LOVE the PBR. We watch it on TV, but there's nothing like seeing those guys in action.

They don't call it "THE TOUGHEST SPORT ON EARTH" for nothin'!!!!

We're going back next year. Come join us . . . if you can HANDLE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Well there she is, at it again. That crazy Caragan.

She sure looks pretty in her clogging dress, doesn't she???

And man can she dance. "Hold Your Horses," "Cotton-Eyed Joe," "Rocky Top." She can do 'em all. You've never seen legs move so darn fast.

Isn't she just beautiful. I mean, I know she's my niece but still, I know pretty when I see it.
And this, this is her brother Cade. He doesn't clog. He was trying to PRETEND he's bashful, but he's not. He sure is cute too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tawnya Lynn Albertson 1971-2009

I took this picture of my cousin, Tawnya Lynn Albertson, just a couple of months ago, on the 4th of July. Tawnya went in the hospital just a few days after this picture was taken. Tawnya went home to be with Jesus last Friday afternoon, September 11th. She didn't feel good the day I took this picture, but she smiled for me anyway, and that SMILE sums up her life.
Tawnya had Muscular Dystrophy. She walked as a toddler, but the disease weakened her muscles and by the time she was 3 she was in a wheelchair. As the years went by, the disease also took from her the use of her arms, and, eventually, she could only move her fingers just enough to guide her wheelchair. But it couldn't take her spirit, or her determination, or her will to live.
Tawnya was the most truly GOOD person I have ever had the privilege of knowing. In spite of unbelievable physical challenges, and almost constant pain these last few months, Tawnya ALWAYS had a smile on her face. She laughed, she joked, she made everyone feel special. Tawnya never focused on what she couldn't do, she focused on what she could do. Tawnya never wanted sympathy, she wanted to be loved, so she could give love in return.
Tawnya loved music and had met nearly every star in country music. Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Alabama, Vince Gill, Tawnya had her picture taken with all of them. Tawnya was a poster child for the Muscular Dystrophy Association because she wanted to help others.
But most of all, Tawnya loved her mother, my Aunt Kathy, with a love that is beyond description.
Tawnya WILLED herself to live longer than the doctors ever expected because she worried what would happen to her mother when she was gone. My Aunt Kathy lost her son, Troy, who also had MD just a few weeks after his 18th birthday in 1987. Kathy lost her husband, Bill, in 2003. So, you see, Tawnya and Kathy depended on each other, they leaned on each other. Kathy was Tawnya's legs and arms, and Tawnya was Kathy's strength.
My heart is broken, and I will miss Tawnya every single day. But because Tawnya had accepted Jesus as her Savior, and I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, I KNOW that I will see her again in heaven, for eternity. Today, Tawnya is perfect, healed in Jesus name. My life is richer for having had the privilege of being a part of her life.
I miss you Tawnya Lynn, and I love you, and I will see you again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Can it really be the end of August ? ? ? I mean, school has started, CHECK, football season has started, CHECK, the morning temperature is 49 degrees . . . WHAT!!!! Fall has arrived Down On The Farm. Oh, I know its temporary, but I love it. Fall is my absolutely favorite time of year. Have I mentioned I like fall? Do you know I'd rather decorate for fall than for Christmas? Well, this is what we were doing at our house on the last day of August . . . sitting outside around a FIRE!

I ran to the store after work, picked up some hotdogs and chips, and we had a weenie roast. BP got a fire going, Cole cleaned off our roasting sticks and we sat outside and enjoyed a beautiful August evening in Missouri. You won't hear me say those words in the same sentence very often. In fact, we haven't had our air conditioner on since last week.

Sure wish all my family and friends had been there to enjoy the evening. And I'm thankful that my kids are so easily entertained . . . you say the words "weenie roast" and they are THERE!

Sure hope fall hangs around awhile . . . 'cause, have I mentioned, it's my favorite season!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Later this week, my sister-in-law, Dawn, will celebrate a milestone birthday. She will be 50. So, this past weekend my mother-in-law, Bobette, and my sisters-in-law, Toi and Krista, and I, headed down to Houston, Texas to surprise her. And, boy, was she surprised. She had no idea we were coming.

We had an awesome time together. Lots of laughing, lots of eating, doesn't get any better than that. And her husband, Bruce, well I must say he went above and beyond making us feel welcome.

Happy Birthday Dee Dee Girl! May the Lord bless you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Like Cows

I talk a lot about turkeys here at Down On The Farm. If people ask about my life, I usually say "I live on a turkey farm." But its not ALL about the turkeys, we raise cows too. Actually, we raise a LOT of cows. We run a cow/calf operation.

Some farmers only raise feeder calves. Meaning, they buy calves when they are small, feed them until they weigh a certain weight, then sell them, making money off the weight gain, since calves are sold by the pound. We have mama cows that we raise and they have babies on our farm, then we sell the heifers and steers when they weigh between 500 and 700 pounds. Some of the better heifer calves (girls) we hold back each year to be mama cows.

I especially love baby calves, but this time of year we don't have too many little babies.

Cole likes cows too. In fact, Cole rents a small farm from my great aunt and has six cow/calf pairs there. He has three heifers that he is raising to be mama cows and, yesterday, he bought five more cow/calf pairs.

Yep, Cole like cows.

And cows like him too . . but then he's a pretty neat kid, they BETTER like him, or they've got ME to deal with.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Price

Just in case you're wondering, in case anybody actually CARES, the price of unleaded in Eldon is $2.45 per gallon, and the price of diesel is $2.55 per gallon. Now, if only somebody could tell me why bulk propane is $1.07 per gallon ? ? ? ? ?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Down On The Farm Pickles

You didn't know this was a cooking blog did you? I mean, I've given you salsa, and now I'm giving you pickles. And not just any pickles, bread and butter pickles, and man are they good.
So here's how ya make 'em!

First of all you need cukes! Lots and lots of cukes! It's a good thing we have lots of cucumbers in our garden.

You wash and slice the cukes like so. To make one "batch" of bread and butter pickles, you need one gallon of sliced cukes. Slice them as thin as you can.

Then you need green pepper and onion. Again washed, and sliced fairly thin.

Then you place the cukes, the green pepper and onion in a large crock. I layered mine. Then you take one quart of crushed ice and 1/4 cup pickling salt and put that on top of the vegetables in the crock. Now, you'll need to put a glass plate or something on top of the ice and then weigh it down with a couple of cans of corn or something. Keep in mind that what you put on the plate to weigh it down needs to be clean because, after sitting there for 3 hours it will "sink" and water will be over the plate or whatever you use.

Let all that sit for 3 hours then drain, but don't rinse.

Now, you place all of this in a large aluminum or enamel pot and add white vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seed and celery seed. Bring this to a boil, put in your pint jars, and process in a boiling water bath. Now folks, I'm not kidding, these are the BEST bread and butter pickles I have ever eaten. Try them, I think you'll love them too! We've made about 25 pints! Mmmmm, Mmmmm Good!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

St. Louis Weekend

This past weekend we decided to head to the big city -- St. Louis -- to do some school clothes shopping and spend some time with my parents and my sisters and niece and nephews. Well, actually, we went to Chesterfield but hey, when you live Down On the Farm, Chesterfield IS the big city. Cole and Alex and I, my mom and dad, and my sister Renda and her husband Greg and Caragan and Cade, met up with my sister Rhonda at Chesterfield Mall and spent the day increasing the local economy.

Caragan decided to show off her gymnastics skills on this contraption. She was doing backflips about 20 feet in the air. I could have done that, but I didn't wanna show up my 10 year old niece. Little twerp.

After a day of shopping, we headed to PF Changs for dinner.

These pictures aren't the greatest, as it's fairly dark in PF Changs, but we enjoyed it!

After dinner, we drove out to Rhonda's for a boat ride. It was absolutely beautiful. The temperature was perfect and their new boat is gorgeous!!!

Now doesn't that look like fun ? ? ?
We did a little more shopping Sunday morning, had lunch together, then headed home. We truly had a great time!!!