Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Scribbles, #123

Sundays at this farmish place are reserved for Scribbles - short, random musings that collect while my mind has time to wander on this day of (supposed) rest. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. I like my farm. I like living on my gravel road in my little white house with my big red barn. It is quiet here except for the roosters...and the snaggy goats...and my kids. But all in all, it's a brand of awesome that I enjoy.

2. But...and it's a big doesn't matter how far out you live or how quiet it is or how lovely your big red barn is or how much you enjoy it all, you still get judged.

3. Judged? Oh, hella yes. Everyone gets judged. Because you made something from scratch and you're obviously trying to one-up someone. Because you didn't make something from scratch and instead used chemical laden store bought whatever and now you're probably going to die. Because you ordered chicks. Because you hatched out chicks. Because you did or did not break up the rooster fight. Because you drank beer before 5 pm. Because you drank beer at all. Because you don't drink beer.

4. Because you spend a lot of time with your kids. Because you don't. Because you dared to buy the non-American made whatever because it was cheaper and you didn't have the money to afford the American made version. Because you did buy the American made version and someone assumed you did it just to make a statement. Because you're quiet. Because you talk too much. Because you shop where you shop. Because you do or don't eat gluten/dairy/meat/Lucky Charms/unicorns/chalk. Because you live on a farm. Because you live in the city. Because you don't live the way I do. Because you want to live the way I do. Because you don't care either way.

5. Here's my buck fifty worth: maybe we wouldn't be so judgmental if we all had a little more to do with our time than form opinions about how much we think other people suck. And maybe it would be a little more humbling if we all walked around wearing t-shirts that say "Imperfect Just Like You" and "Caution: We May Disagree But I'm Still Okay With Us Hanging Out If You Are".

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

White Chicken Chili - Dump and Done!

In the interest of honesty, I need to tell you that not everything we do here is homemade. Convenience has its place. It's okay to open some cans, dump, and be done.

Since it is Lent and our church has soup suppers every Wednesday night during Lent, it's time to bring out my White Chicken Chili recipe - which is mostly an open some cans, dump, and be done kind of thing.

And it's sooooo good. :)

White Chicken Chili
(makes a big ol' crockpot full)


Bag of frozen chicken breasts (2.5 pounds), cooked and diced
1 onion, sauteed
4  (15 oz) cans great northern beans, drained
2 pkt chili seasoning
2 jars alfredo sauce
4 (10 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
24 oz sour cream
1 (4 0z) jar diced chiles, optional

How to do it:

Once the chicken breasts are cooked and diced, and the onion is sauteed, this is a dump recipe.

Put everything in the crockpot, and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally.

Quite tasty. Actually, my note on the original recipe is "super wicked good."

So there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

go ahead and laugh if you must

In an effort to remain humble and show you how many duh moments one can have on a farm, here is a re-cap of my last week.

Ah, the bicep building fun of hauling water in five gallon buckets to various thirsty animals. We've always had to haul from Big Red (our big barn) to the Chicken Bacon Ranch (our little barn) because only Big Red had running water. But now we are currently hauling water from the house to Big Red because sometime this winter our waterline to the barn froze/broke.

So this is our ultra snazzy water hauling set-up.

I posted about the adventure of now having to haul from the house on my facebook page...and someone pointed out, "Hey. If you would put lids on those buckets, more water would stay in the buckets..."



I mean, holy cripes. DUH! Why didn't I think of that?

Another DUH moment showed up when it hit 45 degrees, the sun was shining gloriously, and I decided I needed to shovel out the outside door to the chicken coop so they could run amok in the beautiful melting muck.

And so shovel, I did. Through heavy wet knee-high snow, with water dripping onto my back off the roof the whole time. What sacrifice I made for my chickens so they would be able to come out and enjoy the grass that was being revealed in the main yard of the farm. What a nice chicken mama.

Except that when I was finished and walked back into the barn to put the shovel away, I realized (OMG, duh!!) I could have easily just done this:

This, dear farmish friends, is the door I use to get into the chicken coop. One could easily brace it open with a water bucket. The chickens would joyfully run out of the coop that way.

Which, if you were wondering, is totally what they did. Because apparently chickens don't segregate with human only and chicken only doors.

I'm pretty sure the chickens laughed at me.

But laughter is a good thing. And it is a good thing when we can learn to laugh at ourselves. Which I have done, several times, this past week. :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Scribbles, #122

Sundays at this farmish place are reserved for Scribbles - short, random musings that collect while my mind has time to wander on this day of (supposed) rest. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own in the comments.

 1. Ah, the scent of a buck (goat) is something sure to never leave your nostrils once you have the pleasure of taking a whiff. The scent not only permeates your nostrils...but it also everything ten miles around the buck - including the coat you've been wearing out to do chores.

2. Probably not an issue, right? I mean, if you have to leave the farm, just grab another coat.

3. I own two winter coats. The fancy red wool swing coat I wear to church, and my brown Carhartt coat I wear everywhere else (including around the farm). So when my Carhartt "barn and everywhere" else coat was assaulted by the buck, I had no choice but to make my fancy wool swing coat the "church and everywhere" coat. You know, out of kindness to everyone else's olfactory senses.

4. No biggie, right? A coat is a coat is a coat.

5. Yeah. Well. A Carhartt stocking cap doesn't look good with a fancy wool swing coat. Nor does the blaze orange mad bomber hat I like to wear. And neither do the big ol' winter boots that keep my feet warm. So now a trip to wherever means I probably should fix my hair and put on decent boots. And all of that means that people think you're trying to look good. They think you've turned some corner in your life and you're "mature" and "decent" and all that stuff. It's like this weird version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." but it's really "If You Put a Buck in Your Barn..."

6. On second thought, maybe I should just wear the orange bomber hat with my fancy red coat. Complete with chopper mitts and my awesome boots. Because that, my friends, would be worthy of getting me in a calendar. Ms. Redneck Farmgirl, January 2014.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Homemade BBQ sauce

Few things are required to be in our refrigerator at all times. One of those things is my homemade BBQ sauce.

I will give you the super awesome, super easy recipe...but only if you promise to keep it a secret between you and I. ;)


2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp pepper

How to do the magic:

Put all ingredients in large bowl. Mix it up. Put it in a squeezy bottle or glass jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy. On everything.

Note: If you like spicy stuff, do like Ten Year Old Farmboy does and add hot sauce to the mix. Ten Year Old Farmboy has his own special bottle of Spicy BBQ sauce here, well marked and not to be confused with the wimpy (but delicious) stuff the rest of us use. ;)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Scribbles, #121

Sundays at this farmish place are reserved for Scribbles - short, random musings that collect while my mind has time to wander on this day of (supposed) rest. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. I live in Minnesota, and it is cold. With the windchill this morning it is supposedly -35 to -45. Tomorrow morning, the windchills will supposedly be -65.

2. It seems to be all anyone can talk about, this ohmigosh, I don't think its ever been this cold before blown out of proportion holy cripes, I think even hell froze over winter weather currently passing through. Sunday school is canceled for this morning. The governor closed MN schools for tomorrow because of the predicted windchills. People are being urged on Facebook to keep their cats and dogs indoors because if it is too cold for you, it's too cold for them.

3. Okay, I get the concern. I really do. But seriously. This is what we do. This is Minnesota. Shut up.

What kills me  is that most the people complaining about the cold aren't even the ones who have to be out in it. If your daily extent of being outside is your walk from your personal up front parking space into your office building, please don't tell me how cold it is outside. I have a barn to clean. And a woodstove to haul wood to. And animals that need tendin'.

And yes, I know I chose to move to a farm. I signed on the dotted line that said you will do chores in rain and sleet and hail and tornadoes and blizzards and when you have the flu and when there isn't anyone around to help you. I am not asking for sympathy at all. What I am asking for is for Minnesotans to stop being so whiny.

4. Here's the thing with windchill: how do we know if the news anchor is lying? How do we know if it really gets that cold? Who has an altimeter to check the wind speed to pit against some scientific chart and figure out what the Almighty Windchill is?

And if windchill is all about being out in the wind, do the protected people in suburbia get to claim the same windchill as those who are, oh, I don't know, surrounded by chopped down corn fields?

Here's another scary thought to consider: if there wasn't a news anchor telling you its going to be -756, would it still feel like -756?

5. Yes, it's cold. It's really cold. Believe me, my face is feeling the sting, too. But I'm starting to feel like I need to walk around in my Carhartt bibs and jacket and mad bomber rabbit lined hat holding a sign that says "Hi, Welcome to Minnesota. It gets cold here."

Because guess what? It does. In fact, it's kind of what we're known for.

So buck up.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

back door, front door: a farm love story

There I was in the barn, glaring at the back door. I'd done almost all of  the nighttime chores and it was time for me to shut everything up. But the back door and I have a little issue. The latch is this giant bolt thing on the top of the door that shoves upwards into the door frame.

Door latchy thing

 I'm 5 foot 4, and the door is almost a bazillion feet tall.

See how far up there it is?

So every flippin' day we struggle with this, the door and I.

I thought I had solved the issue by getting an itty bitty stepladder. It made my 5 foot 4 frame able to reach that bazillion foot tall door latch and life was good.

 But then...the weather turned cold. The temps dropped below zero. Ice and snow and all other things from the Devil Himself came to my farm and that door got harder to shut.

So there I was, New Year's Eve night, glaring at that back door. Knowing I had to woman up and shut the thing. I climbed the ladder, pulled on the door rope as hard as I could and pushed that latch upwards but for God's sake, it wouldn't move. I tried again. And Again.

And again.

"Oh, sweet back door," I said. "Why can't you just close for me? Can't you just close and latch so I can go inside and put my peanut butter peanut bars on a tray for the party I'm supposed to be leaving for shortly? Can't you just close?"

(Which isn't really what I said. At all. What I said was a lot more profane.)

I left the back door. I went in the heated room of the barn to fill up one last water bucket I'd forgotten about. And I meditated calmly on how to get the back door closed.

(Also not true. Well, I did go in the heated room and fill up a water bucket. But I was not meditating. Or calm.)

I opened the door of the heated room to carry my bucket of water to the goats and hark, what did I hear? The front door of the barn opening. And hark, what did I see? A six foot five angel dressed in black Carhartts, ready to come to the aid of a farm maiden in distress.

"Praise Baby Jesus!" I said (which, I actually did say), "you came to  help me!"

"What?" he said.

"I can't get the back door shut. Did you hear me yelling at it?"

"No," he said. "I just woke up and came out to plug in my car so it will start when I leave for work tonight. I figured you were in the barn so I came out to see if you needed help with anything."

"I do," I said. "I can't get the back door shut."

I tell you, a six foot five angel in Black Carhartts looks just heavenly when he walks to the back of the barn, gives a quick tug on the door rope, slams the latch upwards, and shows that back door who is boss.

Ladies, this is romance on the farm. It's not always about finding a guy who will open the door for you. Sometimes what you really need is a guy who can close it. ;)

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