Officially a FARM!!!

What is a farm without animals??

There will be a larger post coming, but since this is PhotoOp Friday, here’s a PHOTO!

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Five Star FLOP

“Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 

 Well, I was so stinking proud of myself, I should have seen it coming.  I had planned out a VERY budget friendly menu for the week.  I had done a “perfect” shopping trip: I actually got everything I needed for the week, without missing anything.  I stuck to the list, without the optional “write-in.”  I used coupons.  I hit sales.  I was AMAZ-O-MOM!!!!  I. I. I.  It was all about ME. Saturday meal: perfect.  Sunday: perfect.  Monday: flawless. Tuesday: wonderful.  Wednesday: uh….

I had put myself pretty high up on the pedestal for about half of the week.  Wednesday’s scheduled meal was supposed to be slow cooked roast beef with brown gravy, onions, carrots, potatoes, buttermilk muffins, and a tossed salad.  Sounds great.  Especially considering I had high hopes for the leftovers to become Thursday’s meal.

So….about noon I decided it was time to put the roast in the crockpot so it wouldn’t be overdone by dinnertime.  I went to the fridge and much to my surprise, there was NO roast.  I know I bought one.  I stood in the aisle for 10 minutes deciding on which one to get. (The smaller more expensive one or the HUGE cheaper one that was also marked down because it was close to date?)  I found my receipt.  Yup.  I was right.  I bought the roast.  BUT where is it???  I looked in every nook and cranny of the crazy fridge.  NOT there. period.  By now, I was frustrated.  I’ve already lost my keys today.  and my purse.  and the phone.  and…. and… and.  Then. it. hit. me.  I bought the cheaper one.  I had been sooooo proud of myself for that buy.  I stuck it in the freezer to make sure it didn’t go bad.  Well, now, isn’t this a pretty pickle? It was SOLID.  It certainly won’t be overcooked.

I needed a plan B.  In most cases, that would have been Thursday dinner.  Whoops!  Thursday is based on Wednesday’s leftovers!!!  argh!  Friday’s dinner, you ask?  No can do.  Fridays are special.  We always have homemade pizza on Fridays.  Saturday?  No plan yet.  I plan for Saturday to Friday.  Sooooo….  Quick check of the pantry and fridge. Here’s what I came up with.  Pigs in a blanket. carrots.  left-over-from-four-days-ago hot dogs with mac & cheese.  grapes.

So that’s what I did.  I whipped it together.  And went into dinner feeling defeated.  No one likes steamed carrots.  I didn’t even use butter.  I learned my lesson.  I will not be so prideful about menus again.

It turned out that after I learned my lesson, I got the good news.  Buddy asked for thirds (and fourths, but we were out).  Ben gave the carrots 5 stars (if you know him, that’s hard to do; loaded mocha brownies only got 4).  The whole family commented that it was GREAT!!

Thankfully, God had been working on me enough to keep that pride from rising back up in me.  I’m still humbled, however, I’m also thankful that I discovered a way to make “5-star” (according to Ben) carrots.

That said, here’s what I did.

Put 1/2 pound baby carrots (or regular carrots cut to about that size) into a pan that has a lid with about a 1/8″ water.  Heat covered until the fire alarm goes off. (Not really, but mine did.)  The goal here is to get the carrots soft.  If and when the pan goes dry, add about a 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4-1/2 t. rosemary, and 1/2 t. garlic powder.  Continue to cook covered until they are soft enough to easily bite through.  Serve hot.

Be still

I love the evening.  Especially after it begins to warm up following a cold winter (or snap in the case of this year).  I sit on the bench on my front porch with a cup of steamy hot tea and just take it in.  Experiencing the night with all five senses.  The air is damp and just cool enough to wat a sweater.  I pull on my favorite zip front sweater.  It’s warm enough I don’t have to pull it tight or close it around me.  I let the cozy wool block the chill.  A breeze ever so slightly wafts past.  It’s almost too indistinct to tell from whence it came or to where it is blowing.  The moist air opens my sinuses.  I can smell earth.  The musty smell of mulch.  The warm, sweet smell of cattle.  I love the smell of cows.  And then, onion.  I open my mouth to breathe more deeply.  I can taste the onion.  It’s been growing near the porch step for at least 5 years now.  It’s potent; rich.

The low humming of the frogs echo near the river.  I hear the “Jurassic Park” call of a sandhill crane.  drip. a droplet of water falls onto the rooftop from one of the branches.  I hear the droning of a mosquito.  I let it bite me so as to not interrupt the quietude.  Just down the street, a dog barks.  Bark…bark, bark……BARK!  The cat stalks slyly across the road.  Tom.  Silly cat, he ignores the dog completely.  I see the buckwheat sway as he sneaks through it, but I don’t hear him.  He’s a good hunter.  It’s so quiet I can hear my own steady breathing, but I can hear so much.

It’s late, but the sky isn’t black.  I can see the outline of the dark hills against the gray sky.  It’s supposed to storm tonight, the cloud cover is thick.  I suppose that’s part of why the sky is so light just above the hills.  The lights from town must be bouncing off the clouds.  The stars are hiding tonight.  The street lights’ pale green casts strange shadows of the naked trees, still bare from winter.

It amazes me that God, the creator would make us so intricately to be able to pick up on the smallest pleasures of a still evening.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Friday again already!!!

I can’t believe it’s Friday again!  This week has just FLOWN by.  Perhaps it’s because the weather has been sooooo absolutely wonderful, and it’s been Ben’s spring break from seminary.  (That cut down on a lot of stress.)  Pair those two together and it’s been a FINE week indeed.

Here are some pictures I snapped this week while the warm of Spring was blanketing our home.