Archive for September, 2012


This afternoon all the equipment came rolling back in…. the truck pulling the bean head on the trailer, the combine, the tractor pulling home the last wagon of beans…. the soybean field outside the house was the last one to go! And now they are done.  Yeah!!  I’m not sure there has been a time that the beans have all been done in one big swoop!   They did a bit last Thursday to test the waters, hit it full-steam ahead on Monday, and are done on Friday.  Only a small delay one morning because of fog.

Phil hopes to get the wheat started either tonight or tomorrow.   I’m not sure if he will get his workers going on corn at the same time or not.   There is land with corn on it that will also be planted with wheat so that will wait for a bit later.  Of course, he’d love a rain on his wheat but there is no rain in the forecast for the next week.

Our soybean yields were not dreadful.  The early numbers from the plot showed 60 – 80 bushels per acre.  In a good year, 80 bu is good.  There has been talk that south of our highway (we are) was a dividing line of rain or not rain.   We are thankful!

There are a few snickerdoodle bars left.  Here is my not so glamorous photo….

Read Full Post »

Snickerdoodle Bars!

Harvest is in full swing around here.  Phil is working on the soybeans and it is going well.  No break-downs and only a bit of delay yesterday morning with fog & mist before we finally had sunshine.   He heads out about 6 a.m. and comes in for the night around 9 or 9:30 p.m.!  He is tired and we’ve only just begun!!

Today they are combining the bean plot and I provide snacks on these days.  With the schedule, I planned to just make bars instead of individual cookies to drop & bake.  I used the usual stand-by, chocolate chip bars, and then tried a new one, Snickerdoodle Bars.  YUMMY!!  And easy.   I found the recipe on Pinterest and will share it with you to save a few clicks.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
1 cup butter or shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Cream the sugar and butter.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between eggs.  Add the sour cream. Combine the flour, soda, cream of tartar, powder and salt and mix into the sugar mixture.   Combine the other sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Grease a 9X13 pan and coat the bottom and an inch up the sides with half the cinnamon mixture.  Spread the dough in the pan and then cover with the remaining cinnamon and sugar.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until done (the center will not be doughy, but will still be moist). If it turns out like cake, your oven is hotter than mine and you should decrease the baking time.
With the help of my sister-in-law, I substituted  a bit less than 1 Tbsp of butter and enough yogurt to make 1/4 cup for the 1/4 cup of sour cream.   I used butter and not shortening and the texture is great!  They are more moist than snickerdoodles and oh, so easy!
The original recipe was on this blog.  She uses many more words & photos than I do!  🙂

Read Full Post »

A New Chapter

Last weekend we moved JP to his college.  He was all packed the day before so we just had some last minute loading that morning.  A lot of computer pieces and cables and connections – a little bit of clothes!  This cracked me up!  (yes, he took more clothes than this)  Such a change from when we moved our daughter to college over 5 yrs ago.  Our kids are so different from one another, it is amazing they have the same parents.

We left early after chores and got there about 9:30.  There were students there to get us in the queue line for unloading.  Some other students helped unload our car and a few things out of JP’s truck.  It all got to a pile in the grass as they had to move both vehicles immediately.

Phil & JP wandered to the parking lot and then had the 8 or so minute walk back.  It was near 90′ that day!  Then the trips up the hill and turns on the elevator began with just what they could carry each time.  I’m sure it wasn’t needed but I stayed in the shade with the pile.  I think they only made 3 trips and then on the last one, I went up with them.

This is before:

And this is almost after:

They lofted the bed and I put the sheets on it.  Now JP had the task of getting his computer all set-up.  His monitor is a bit big (really???) for the desk.  After we had lunch, they found a great bookshelf unit to put beside his desk to hold the monitor.  He said it works great!  The one is the photo is the not-so-great option and now he can have that shelving unit under his bed and be able to use the drawers.

There are 2 of them in his room; his roommate moved in about a month ago for football training.   Then another room with 2 guys share this kitchen with them.  There are LOTS of cupboards for them to stock w/ guy snacks.

Near the door is a bathroom w/ sink & toilet.  The other side has a bathroom with a shower.  Quite nice for 4 guys!!

JP has had a week of classes and is working to find his grove with the homework.  Only 2/5 of his classes are going to need extra work so we are sure he’ll settle in with that.  He likes the food – there are 3 different places he can eat with his meal plan.  He has his truck to use for getting around town but he is building his legs with all the walking on campus.

We came home to an empty nest and are adapting quite well!  Today the nest just got emptier as one of his birds found a new home.   One to go!  We plan to keep the dog 🙂  and she misses JP terribly!

Read Full Post »

This weekend I dyed 1/2 yard pieces of fabric in every green, turquiose, blueish color I have.  I’d like to choose one to dye my tablecloths.  I have the print for the valances and these new dishes.  The plates are white on top where the food goes and the slate blue/turqouise on the bottom.  The bowls have the color inside and white outsides.   Obviously, the tablecloth won’t be touching the valances but I would like it all to get along.  My walls are a pale blue and staying that way.  I have some turquoise trivets and spatulas type of stuff.

And here are the fabrics with the plate on top —

The fabric is at a pretty heavy concentration of dye so I could do some of those darker ones a bit lighter.

Please vote in the comments section so I can narrow this down and figure something out.  I’ll be back to work this week so some weekend, I’d like to dye the tablecloths and get my kitchen switched over to new decor.   Thanks!!


{D is called chartreuse!  Doesn’t that look weird for that color? I just left it in for part of the 10.}

Read Full Post »

Texas Trip

Now coming up on 2 weeks ago, I flew to Texas to meet my dear friend, Heather.  We’ve been online friends (we met through our homeschooling connections) for around 5 yrs and this was our first time to meet in real life!  It was as fabulous as I expected; I cried to see her and I cried to say good-bye 3 1/2 days later.  It was just wonderful!  This was also my first visit to Texas!   🙂    (After IL had changed to fall-like temps, I was very glad to have summer back while there!)

Heather was a terrific hostess!  Honestly, we could have hung out doing a whole lot of not much but talking but she took me to some amazing places!  As they are just in the US for a few weeks visiting, mostly they were with her MIL & family but I also met  her mom and a dear friend of hers.   Of course, we still acted like a 3 night slumber party and kept sleep to a minimum.   🙂

The first night we exchanged gifts and she showed me her current quilting projects!  That was so much fun as we’ve shared photos and chat about the projects since their inception.   Heather is a hand-piecer (but just wait now!) and is self-taught.  Somewhere in there she also pulled quilt designer out of her hat!  I think with her location, she has limited access to the patterns as we here in the states have, so she works from her own ideas.

The next day we spent it with her dear friend, Robin, who is now a new friend to me as well.  All the kids are great friends and were thrilled with another day to be with each other.  Robin is a quilter as well.  I took these photos of Heather’s projects as she showed them to Robin.

Clockwise: pattern for Radiant Stars, fabric in Heather’s colorway for Radiant Stars (blues, golden yellows, silver grays), 2/3 of a new baby quilt of her design, and 1/3 of a quilt for her oldest that will include his own comics.

It was fun to have a photo op in Robin’s backyard later in the day —

I’m not usually such an agriculturist but the fields of cotton were a first for me and their normal trees are not what we have either.

The bottom right tree is a pecan tree!  Yummy!!  Especially considering that I just paid $10.99 for a pound of pecans!   I can’t imagine how wonderful a tree in my yard would be!  These trees & the kids are all at Robin’s house.

Another day we drove to Stewart Beach in Galveston at my request to see a beach on the Gulf.  Beautiful, I exclaimed!  However, they live a country with the top 10 of the world’s best beaches so were surprised at my delight!  (I think it has been about 8 years since I’ve been to a beach. *sigh*)

Yes, this is embarrassing that my hair is ALL over but I loved the photo with the 2 of us.  I learned that next time I’ll aim to get more photos of us together!  We were having too much fun!!

I was surprised and excited that our hotel was just a few blocks from Johnson Space Center!  I never thought I’d get to see that!  I am much happier with free and avoiding tourist traps and was thoroughly delighted with the free walking tour of Rocket Park!

And yes, even tho Houston should have one of the official shuttles, this one above is just a replica.  Seems silly that Houston missed that lottery!  The building at Rocket Park housed Saturn 5 and it is even larger than I’d ever imagine!  Just stunning!  The far wall was lined with information and photos on all the Apollo missions.

My flight was early evening on my last day but I was glad we could still do fun things that day.  First up, we went to what will be her local quilt shop and she had classes for a new sewing machine!  She’s never sewn on a machine and had the purchase and class all arranged for a day she was there.  I’m so excited to see how fast she cranks out quilts now that she has an electric needle!!

The sewing machine dealership is just  a piece of a very nice & large quilt shop!  Of course, I found something to bring home!  🙂  I’m thinking of using these fabrics to make 3 Swoon blocks (also in photo) for a large table runner as each block is 24″.

After lunch, we visited her paternal grandparents and the Indian gallery they own.   I brought home a pair of turquoise earrings in a silver setting.  That meeting was special; Heather is close to these grandparents and our visit was a surprise!  🙂

We said goodbye at 4 that afternoon and I flew home.   A bit late on arrival and Phil & I got home just after midnight!

It was a fantastic trip but with all good things, I was sad to have it end.  Soon, Heather will be back home and we’ll be back to regular emails and occasional phone calls but all with a deeper friendship having spent these days together.   Thanks for the great visit, H!

Read Full Post »