If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Good Ole Southern Cooking...Yum!

Just in case you haven't noticed, we've been enjoying some wintry weather lately.  Lots more than we usually enjoy!  Because we have been socked in with ice and snow, we have been cooking more and the cooking is more than just something that can be stirred up quickly after we get home from work.  We've probably packed on even more pounds than usual, too!

I have been utilizing some of the recipes I've pinned on Pinterest.  Tonight we are having one of those dishes for the second time.  Now, doesn't that tell how good it is?

The main dish tonight is Sauteed Chicken and I found the recipe via Yvonne at StoneGable.  The first time we enjoyed this dish, I happened to have some chicken thighs that I had gotten on special at the local grocery store and froze.  We were hankering for some chicken after eating pork and beef for a couple of days and voila!  This recipe came right to my fingertips.  The first time I served it with smashed potatoes.  Tonight we will spoon the chicken over rice and enjoy home-canned green beans and home-grown and frozen squash.  Yum!

Last night I prepared a delicious pot roast with root vegetables.  I've learned to cook the carrots and onions in the pot with the roast for a fuller flavor.  I sort of followed Pioneer Woman Ree's recipe for Perfect Pot Roast.  I heated the pot and added olive oil.  Then, I salted and peppered the roast and seared it on all sides - even the edges.  I set the roast on a plate and dropped big chunks of onions, celery, and carrots into the pan with the oil.  I cooked them just enough to get a little color on them.  Then, I lifted out about half of them.  I sprinkled the meat with some Montana Steak Seasoning that I got at The Country Pantry in Guthrie, Kentucky.  I dropped in a couple of dried cayenne peppers and poured enough warm water to barely kiss over top of the roast.  The half of the root veggies that were lifted out were placed on top just before I covered it all with the lid.  The roast was allowed to simmer on low for a couple or three hours.  Then, I washed and cut up some potatoes into large chunks.  I covered them with water and added a little salt.  Then, I spooned about a half cup of the juice from the roast into the water and cooked the potatoes.  I served all of that in one large Pyrex dish and had home-grown, battered, fried okra as a side dish.  Yum!

I haven't been the only one serving as chef during this wintry time.  Mike has cooked up good old country farm breakfasts several times.  One morning we had tenderloin and biscuits.  Another day we had sausage, eggs, biscuits, and gravy.  Yet, another day we enjoyed bacon, eggs, and biscuits.  Since we all love breakfast, sometimes we have breakfast for brunch or dinner as well as the morning meal.  We've stirred up omelets and hash browns and we had waffles and sausage one morning. Yum!

I guess the best part of it all is that much of the food is farm fresh!  Yum!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guess what we were surprised with last night...

Mike and I had fallen asleep in front of the television.  Daddy called to ask if it was snowing at our house because it was certainly snowing at theirs.  So, I got up off the couch and stumbled to the door...
Toby was the first to check things out.

It was really coming down!

This morning we had a beautiful world of white.  It was a wet, fluffy snow that dissolved as the day wore on and the sun shown brightly.  We've still got some piles lingering but more of it is gone than had left any during the previous week.  

I'm ready for the spring thaw...and some sun to dry up all the mud!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Day Number Five

I wished for them.  I was glad to get them.  I have thoroughly reveled in them.

Snow Days!

I have NO COMPLAINTS about having five snow days in a row!  I've loved every single minute of it!

Friday, Mother Nature had to prove to us that She is still in charge!

All Thursday night was blustery.
Then, Friday afternoon it started snowing.
A lot.
Again.
Same song.
Different verse.
Deja vu...
...all over again!

Then,
...then,
...it started sleeting...
...and raining...
...and the wind howled all night long...
...and ice...
...coated...
...everything.
And...
...I do mean...
...everything!
Look closely at the siding and you can see icicles on each clapboard, the truck, the trees in the distance, the shrubbery...everything!

Now it is raining and getting sloshy, and fog is forming from the change in temperature... but things are not melting all that swiftly.  The back porch is still an ice skating rink.  The driveway is still a bobsled track.  Be careful where you walk or large lengths of ice will fall off trees, the house, or power lines and spear you or whip you senseless.

So...

what have I been doing for the past couple of days you ask...

Well, sitting very close to this for sure!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What is it about Selfies?

Everybody is making Selfies these days.

Have you noticed?

One of the hot Christmas items this past year was a Selfie stick.

I tried to make a Selfie once to show off my new haircut and it took me at least a half-dozen shots to get one that wouldn't be featured in one of those spoofs called Selfie-Gone-Wrong.

My daughter has told me that at one time she tried to make a photo using her cell phone only to learn that it was full.
Bridgette's Selfie

Upon checking, she saw that it was indeed full - mostly of Selfies made by her oldest daughter who is now eight-years old.
One of Lillie's many Selfies

When she scolded Lillie about taking so many photos using Mama's phone, she suggested that this little photographer use her own tablet or iPod to make Selfies.
Lillie Selfie Collage

That was when she learned that Lillie had already filled up her tablet and iPod by making Selfies and video tutorials about styling her My Little Pony's hair or something like that.
Lydia's Selfie Collage

Selfie making is not limited to the eight-year-old granddaughter.  The five-year-old has to get some practice in, too.  And notice that she is photo-bombed by the eight-year-old (who is probably tutoring her on her technique) and the cute little six-month-old is photo-bombing and doesn't even realize it, yet.
Luci's Selfie (along with Mama and Lydia)

So, we better get her in on the act, too.  We wouldn't want her to miss out on such an important part of popular culture these days.
Harris and GrandB's Selfie

Their cousin is an accomplished member of the Selfie crowd and we had to share the limelight in order to send out a photo of his bruise earned climbing on something.  Pretty impressive, huh?
Harris's Solo Selfie

He thought he'd better get one all by himself without sharing the limelight...just for posterity's sake.
Levi's Selfie Mock-Up

Not to be outdone, the other grandson had to show off his skills, too.  (This one is not really a Selfie but I thought it looked like one!)
Girls Group Selfie

Don't forget that there is also a time when it is important to make a group Selfie as well.  (Notice the silly kissy face that the eldest grandchild is making.  I hope her mother discourages such silliness in future Selfies!)

I was watching television during my snow days and even took in some of the commercials because I wasn't watching a DVR version that I could forward through the commercials.  One commercial was featuring that talk-show host, Ellen, had broken the Internet by using Twitter with her selfie at the Oscars last year.

That started me thinking...

What is it about our culture that has developed such a climate that we constantly take photos of ourselves?

Are we so self-centric that we cannot find another subject interesting enough to focus our eyes upon?

Obviously, I am not the only one who has considered this phenomenon.

Others are probably more intrigued by this concept than even I am.

It seems that folks of every age and every walk of life are into Selfies these days.

Are we so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are doing that we are ignoring the world around us?

So, what is it about using our mobile devices to make photos of ourselves that appeals to people so much?

I cannot for the life of me figure it out.

P.S. You might want to look at my source links for other entertaining 'Selfies' and information.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What I Did On My Snow Day...

What did you do on your snow day?  Well, I stayed inside and just watched the weather on my first snow day this week.

Then, this afternoon I decided to venture out and help my favorite farmer at the barn.
These guys all lined up at the feed trough to eat their dinner.  It takes good food to provide energy for keeping warm on days like today.
They gave me a little glance when I came near to take photos but were not distracted enough to leave the dinner table.
Just a little glance and then they went right back to munching.
The next item on the agenda was to feed the bottle babies.  The Big Man feeds them in small batches to prevent the milk from chilling.  So, each baby gets a warm bottle of milk.
He has a system that seems to work sort of like a well-oiled machine.  Here is a shot of the hub of operation...the kitchen...the prep room.
The liquid part of the babies' meal begins with powdered milk.  Mike gets this in fifty-pound bags.
Each bottle gets one of these cups full of powdered milk.
He dumps the powdered milk into a small bucket with one bottle of warm water in it.  Mike usually mixes a couple of bottles at one time.  So, he starts with one battle of warm water, a couple of cups of the powdered milk, and adds another bottle of water.
Next, he uses a whisk to mix the milk thoroughly so that there are no lumps of powder - only rich, creamy, smooth milk.
Steady concentration is required and you have to hold your mouth just right in order to get it mixed perfectly!
Then, he carefully fills a couple of bottles without spilling a drop or wasting any of the precious liquid white gold.
The first two are ready and waiting in the transport crate for the second pair to be prepared.
When the second pair is added, the crate is loaded and ready to haul out to the first bunch of calves.

Out of the inner sanctum and into the chill of the open barn.
Each baby gets his own bottle and is carefully watched to be certain that he eats it all and that there seems to be no sickness.
It takes a steady hand and a strong grip because those little fellows are aggressive eaters when they are healthy and hungry.
Isn't that a sweet little face gobbling away at that milk?
The bottles are returned to the mixing room where they are doused into these two tubs for cleaning.
The first tub holds soapy water for washing the nipples thoroughly. Then, they are rinsed well by dousing them into the second tub holding a bleach and hot water solution.
The bottles are also washed and rinsed well.  Then, all parts are also rinsed with clear, hot water.
The cleaned bottles are refilled with a newly mixed batch of milk and the next group of calves is fed.
Clean, sanitary, precise.  That is exactly what is required when feeding babies - human or bovine!
Do you need proof that I was an active participant?  Well, look no further...
What did you do on your snow day?