Monday, July 27, 2009


It is summertime here in Central Missouri, and our garden is in full swing. We've got ripe tomatoes, green peppers, onions, corn, red peppers, cucumbers, jalapeno pepper, zucchini. Yes, our cup (or should I say our five gallon bucket) runneth over, so to speak.

And although we are pretty big eaters, even we can't keep up with the multitude of vegetables that ripen nearly every single day. So, every year about this time we turn into squirrels, storing our food for the long winter to come. We can beef. This will be delicious come winter-time when I make beef and noodles.

We also make beef jerky. This is Cole sprinkling the seasoning mix on the sliced beef. It has to sit for twenty-four hours, soaking up the seasoning before we put it in the food dehydrator.

This is what we do with GREEN BEANS!!!!!

So far this year, we have only canned 31 quarts of green beans. By the end of gardening season, we will have canned about 125 quarts of green beans and yes, we will eat all of it. As a matter of fact, last night I cooked my last can of '08 green beans. I told my mother-in-law that I felt like a "squirrel" putting up food for the winter. She said we were "ants." You know, the grasshopper plays around all summer, but the ant puts up food so it can survive the long, cold winter. For some reason I would rather think of myself as a squirrel than an ant. Hmmmm. I'm sure there's an issue there somewhere.
This is what we do with CORN!!!!!

Doesn't all that look delicious???? So this winter, when its freezing cold and the snow is falling outside we will be sitting at the kitchen table, warm as toast, and enjoying all the fruits (or vegetables) of our labor. If you haven't had the pleasure of eating homegrown fruits and vegetables, you really are missing something. Yes, it's hard work. Yes, you get hot and sweaty and itchy picking vegetables out in the garden on a summer day in July. But I'll take my home canned or frozen vegetables over Del Monte any day! So, plant a little garden in your backyard. Grow a tomato in a five-gallon bucket. I promise you won't be disappointed.
In case you're wondering what we've done with all those ripe tomatoes and green peppers, and onions, and red peppers and jalapenos, well, so far we've canned 40 pints of salsa. Pictures to come later!!!!!
And, still to come . . . . . . PICKLES!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Odds and Ends

I can't believe it. That cute little turkey wasn't in our "spot" last week. I looked and looked and couldn't find her. So, here's hoping that this weekend she will be around and I can post another picture in the Turkey Chronicles.

Our weather has been FABULOUS!!! It was in the 70s and sunny all weekend and in Missouri, in July, that is unheard of. We will take every single day of this fabulous weather that we can get. Even the rain isn't bad this time of year.

It's been awhile since I filled you in on gas prices. Unleaded in Eldon is $2.29 per gallon, and $2.49 for diesel. It has been that price for a few weeks.

I'll be back later in the week with some pictures!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who's That Girl???

A few weeks ago one of my sweet cousins sent me this picture.

It is a picture of me, taken at a family reunion in, oh, I'm guessing 1976 or 1977. I had never seen this picture before. I would have been 12 or 13 years old. And as I looked at that picture my first thought was "WOW, I can't believe how young and thin I look!" And then I started to think about the girl in the picture. Me, but a very young, innocent me. A girl who really had a pretty easy life. Two parents, two sisters. Nothing much to worry about except getting good grades. That girl in the picture doesn't know much about the real world. That girl in the picture doesn't know anything about swollen feet and ankles. She doesn't have stretch marks, or c-section scars (yep, two of them, one emergency vertical one, and one planned, horizontal one). She has never lost someone truly close to her. Never cried herself to sleep. Never sat up all night with a sick child. Never been on a diet. Never worried herself sick over things she could do nothing about. Never worried about money, or bills, or a job. And the day I saw this picture I thought, man, that girl had it made.

But today, on my 45th birthday (yes, today I am 45,) I look at that girl in a different light. While that girl doesn't have wrinkles, she sure has a lot to learn about the real world. Because while she didn't have much to worry about, she has a lot of life left to experience. She's never stood at an altar and promised the rest of her life to someone who promised the same thing right back to her, knowing he meant every word. That girl doesn't understand marrying into another family, and feeling just as much a part of that family as she does her own (I have an awesome mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and I love them very much). She's never held her baby in her arms and felt her heart swell with so much love and pride she thought it would break. That girl has never felt the true sense of accomplishment, of working hard for something and then being proud of what she worked for. That girl in the picture doesn't really know what TRULY UNCONDITIONALLY loving someone is. She's never heard a sweet voice say "I love you mama." She's never had the privilege of watching the last few hours of someone's life slip away as they moved from this world on to heaven. She's never experienced real friendship, friends who are THERE for you and I mean THERE, no matter what. She can't understand how you can love your nieces and nephews as much as your own children. And she can't imagine her parents as real people, not just "mom" and "dad." I realize that I don't even know that girl and today, on my 45th birthday, I wouldn't trade places with her for the world. You know why? 'Cause I'M the one who has it made. Every experience has made me the person I am today, and I am so thankful to God for each day He has given me. My prayer is that He gives me many, many more days to share with my family and friends, and that each and every day brings glory and honor to Him. To all my friends and family who have wished me Happy Birthday, "I LOVE YOU!" I am truly truly blessed. Anyway, young and thin is HIGHLY overrated!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless America

God bless America, land that I love,

stand beside her, and guide her,

through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairie,

to the oceans, white with foam,

God bless America, my home sweet home,

God bless America,

my home sweet home!!!!!

"If my people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin,
and will HEAL THEIR LAND."
II Chronicles 7:14

Turkey Chronicles - One Week Old

Well, its been one week. One week of eating and drinking and sleeping. Oh, and the turkeys have been doing that too.

This is the same turkey I showed you last week, only now she's one week old.

Seriously, this is the exact same turkey. I whispered in her ear, told her where and when to meet me and there she was. I mean, if you think I can't look at 21,700 baby turkeys and know which one I talked to last week, well, then I'm not much of a turkey farmer. Actually, I'm not much of a turkey farmer, Billy Paul is, but I digress.

The turkeys really don't look that much different. Yes they are a little bigger and they actually have wing feathers but, otherwise they look pretty much the same. So, I let her go back to what she does best, eating and drinking and sleeping. But don't worry, I have a date with my little turkey chick friend next week, same time, same place. She better be there.