Sunday, October 30, 2011

What do you do with pine needles....

 Several people have asked me what I do with pine needles.  Well, I have been trying to make pine needle baskets with them.  It takes a lot of patience and even more thread.  I got a kit from Mary Ewing at the Spearfish Festival in the Park, but you can get instructions from  This is an excellent website for crafts.  F

If you saw the comments from anonymous, that is my sister.
Anonymous said...
I'm surprised you were able to get a picture of a cow eating over the fence. I thought dad sold cattle that did that!! Either that or has them trained to turn and run like the wind if caught.
 She is correct that Dad does tend to get rid of naughty cows.  Before he starts enlarging this photo and asking Mom to write down a tag number, this is not your cow.  I saw her on the way home. 

My brother told me a funny story about how he and Dad took a fence crawler to town and sold her.  The irony was the neighbor bought her:)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Today is a beautiful day...

On this day 17 years ago, I made the best decision of my life.  I married Kelly.  We got married on my birthday, so I wouldn't forget our anniversary. Words cannot describe how happy my life has been.  He has loved and supported me through thick and thin.  He "buys my chairs."  (You have to have seen the movie Phenomena to get that reference.)  He makes me laugh and respects me for who I am.  There is nothing more fulfilling than working on a project or even spending a quiet day together.  In this hectic world, he centers me.  Thank you Kelly for 17 beautiful years.  Today is a beautiful day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The cranes are on the move and so am I...

It is my favorite time of the year. The computer frustrates me, because I can only share the sights, not the smells or sounds that make life worth while.  The calls of the cranes tell me that fall is coming to a close here in South Dakota.  The leaves are at their peak and there is a nip in the air.  Still, I only feel joy when I hear their faint calls and watch as they quickly get close and move on.  I will never understand how they can go so fast even though they are flying in circles.   

I'm afraid I was AWOL for a bit. First, my husband came back from his hunting trip in Alberta with a moose.  I am here to tell you that a moose provides a lot of meat. I know that, because I am the butcher. It took me 4 days to get him all put away. Part of the problem is my husband took the freezer and a generator, so the meat was frozen solid by the end of their two day trip back. It takes a while for something that big to thaw. I did a lot of roasts using the wonderful food saver my mom got me. Then I tried canning for the first time.  I canned 21 jars of stew meat. YUM.  Best of all I did not blow up the pressure cooker.  My little sister will understand why I am so relieved about that.  While all of that was going on, I also picked buffalo berries for jelly and wine. I apologize for not having any photos of that project. I forgot the camera. 

I wasn't just in the kitchen while I was AWOL.  I made a quick trip back home and then went with my parents to St. Paul, MN.  I didn't take a lot of photos on our road trip.  After our business in St. Paul, my parents and I visited my brother and then my sister and her family. Then on the way home I saw my Grandma.  It was good to see everyone.  I also enjoyed returning to the ranch in the fall.  Words cannot describe the the smell of the prairie in the fall.  It brings a sense of peace. 


These are the farm pets; the dog is Wiley, and I don't think the cat has a name.  I also got to meet my parent's newest addition on the ranch, Santee.  She is a beautiful 3 year old POA.  They are currently breaking her and wanted someone to do the stunt work.  Namely, get on and off her for the first time.  I miss breaking horses, so I was happy to oblige.  She is extremely calm and the session was uneventful.   I told Mom and Dad it takes a hundred photos to get the perfect one and the one with Mom and Santee is the perfect one. 
Well, I'm sure you are as tired as I am now.  I hope you enjoyed the adventures.  Hopefully, I will be home and settled for a while.  It was great seeing everyone and spending time with family, but it is also good to be home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A plethora of pine needles...

The wind blew and my husband's beautiful green lawn was a sea of pine needles.  Leaves would have been more romantic.  I tried to have coffee this morning, but that brown carpet was driving me nuts.  Soon I was out in my raking in my robe.  Glad nobody drove by.
You can't get the farm girl out of me.  Everybody else does piles, I do windrows.  Too bad I couldn't dad up here with his baler.  Would have made things faster for me.  This was a stellar fall for pine needles in case that wasn't obvious from the two foot windrow. 

I put the little red wheelbarrow to work.  Please notice how nice and green it was underneath.  I tried to go fast, but my coffee was cold by the time I had finished the chore.  Darn.  Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to relax and enjoy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grandma's Kuchen...

It is a beautiful fall.  Words cannot describe how much I love this time of the year.  I invited some friends over yesterday to celebrate and had them taste test the rhubarb wine.  It was given a thumbs up.  We had a great time and again I say I am a lucky woman. 

The greenhouse is cleared out and the spring bulbs are planted.  The leaves are taking their time and easing into the fall colors.   It is raining today, something we really needed.  My plants are thankful.  I am dragging out sewing patterns and dusting off the sewing machine.  Time to think about indoor activities.  I'm also planning what types of soups I can pressure cook.  It is that time of the year when your mind goes from watermelon to pumpkins and from lemonade to cider. 
I spent the morning on the porch with Ella.  Enjoying the beginning of the day.  The scent of the phlox and asters calms the mind.

I will leave you with a cup of coffee and my Grandmother's Kuchen recipe.   When I make it I think of her kitchen and sitting at the table visiting with a cup of coffee and a piece of kuchen.  For those of you who have no German relatives, kuchen is a German fruit cake.  A wonderful fall treat. 

Grandma's Kuchen
1 c. flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. salt 
1/2 c. butter
Crust should be dough like and pressed into the bottom of the pan.  Arrange sliced apples or peaches on top of the crust.  You may want to soften the apples a bit by boiling them in water.

2 eggs
1 c. of sugar
1/4 t. of salt
3 T. flour
1 c. sour cream
Mix with mixer until light.  Then pour over the top of the apples.  I sprinkled cinnamon and nutmeg on the top.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and 325 degrees for 35 minutes.  Store in the refrigerator.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I have emerged from the woods...

 I have emerged from the woods victorious.  No, I didn't get an elk, but I had a helluva good time.  I saw some amazing things, still it would be nice to be eating an elk steak while typing this.  Oh well. 

We have had a beautiful fall.  The leaves are turning and the weather is warm.  I am so far behind after hunting all September. 

 I spent all day chasing this little beauty around to get photo.  No wonder I couldn't get an elk, I had a hard time getting close enough to shoot a butterfly.  It didn't help that Ella kept following me putting her nose in the middle trying to see what was going on.  After tons of Internet searching I have identified it as a Checkerspot.  If I am wrong let me know.  I started getting a headache.  It reminds me of that game where there are two pictures with just a few things different.  For the record, I was horrible at that game.
Now for this old lady.  I was staining the deck (one of the many things I needed to catch up on),  when she came crawling up by my foot.  ACK  I looked and looked.  I think it is a type of orb spider.  If anyone knows a dependable site to identify bugs I would appreciate a heads up. 

This is about the last of the greenhouse harvest.  Somehow while I was cleaning the greenhouse out today I lost a zucchini.  How one loses a zucchini is beyond me, but I can't find it.  I do have to say there isn't much left.  Just the tomatoes and the pumpkins, which are still starting pumpkins.  I realize I picked the pumpkin in the basket early.  He fell off the vine while I was rearranging things.  The cute little strawberry hats are for my four nieces.  They were made by my Danish friend's mother.  I cannot describe how soft and finely made they are.  I love them.  The green leafy stuff is parsley.  Parsley is about my favorite herb.  I'm drying it.  The little jar has soup beans.

 My loving husband got me a pressure cooker, something I have wanted for canning meat.  Unfortunately a pressure cooker is not a pressure canner.  You couldn't tell from the box.  It wasn't until I was reading the directions I realized that  no jars were involved.  I took it back today and got one that canned.  Who knew there was just a plain old pressure cooker?  Poor guy.  He was so happy he got me one with all sorts of buttons and digital stuff.  This one just has the old whistle thingy on top.  I have a story about why it has taken me this long to get a pressure cooker (canner), but it will have to wait for another day.

The beekeeper stopped by to take the honeycombs.  He said one hive must have split.  The other hive had dysteria?  He opted not to medicate them.  They healed themselves.  Overall they were still his best producing hives.  He is always kind and brings me a few jars.  I am anxious to see how it is this year.  We planted a lot of clover in our deer food plots and I know the bees were taking advantage of it.  


Now, I am going to take a bubble bath, wash my hair in scented shampoo, and use scented lotion.  A month of unscented soap, shampoo, and deodorant has me wanting to smell pretty again.  I had fun in the woods, but it is good to be back in the garden.