Friday, June 23, 2017

Henny Penny and Her Friends

I'm posting a few more photos from last weekend out at our son's family's home in central Minnesota, where we stayed after the graduation party for our granddaughter. It was lovely, and of course I had to see the chickens.

I can tell that they are quite fond of these chickens.

The chickens, Buff Orpingtons and Silver Laced Wyandottes, have a really nice chicken hotel (some would call it a coop) and a two-part run, one part with hardware cloth over the grass so that the chickens can't destroy the roots of the grass. Isn't that smart! Yeah, I thought so. Here's our grandson feeding them bites of his sugar cookie. They were pretty happy about that. Actually, I requested it so that the hens would turn towards the camera.

Our son chose these breeds because of their cold-weather hardiness, their egg production, and their nice temperament.

I wonder if the Orpingtons are jealous of the Silver Laced Wyandotte's beautiful feathers.

 Two of the grandsons tending to Jazzie during the graduation party

Panting (left) and Thinking (right)

This was a drive-by shot that I took on the way home, and would have been so much better had that sweet little spruce not been in the way. It looks like the old windmill has been turned into an antenna tower.

Have a great weekend, everyone! It's raining like crazy here, and I'm actually wearing a jacket in the house.



I like summertime better!
and I bet those chickens do too!

Linking to Mosaic Monday

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hodgepodging A Graduation Party and Summertime

We attended a graduation/birthday party for our granddaughter in Minnesota over the weekend. It was lovely. She's the beautiful and sweet ballerina whose performance we love to watch each spring. Here she's explaining something to Grandpa. I hope he's paying attention.

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1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?
Lake Swimming
Weed Pulling
Strawberry Picking
Vacation Taking
Raspberry Picking
Porch Sitting
Picture Taking
Picnic Making
Walk Taking
Family Visiting
Most likely I will get all of them in except for the Vacation Taking. That will happen in the autumn when Mr. C. is less busy.

When I was a kid, the list was different:

Creek Swimming
Raft Floating
Blood Sucker Removing
Fly Swatting
Garden Weeding
Horseback Riding
Fort Making
Screen Door Slamming
Outdoor Sleeping
Popsicle Eating 
 Mr. C. and our oldest granddaughter
Someday soon she will probably hate that distinction. :-)

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas
There are no seashell-bearing beaches near me, and the last time I was at a beach, I was worried that our oldest son was going to drown.
 Granddaughter and her dad (so glad he made it back to the beach)

3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

At a snail's pace would refer to my house cleaning.
 Graduating ballerina granddaugter and her lovely mom

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

Walking barefoot on blacktop.  Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow!
 Beautiful granddaughter
and old grandma who needs to do something about that halo!

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?

Paying with cash and Customer service. Both are becoming obsolete and yes it does bother me. 
 Three of the granddaughters,
singing 'Sisters,' after some coaxing from Grandma

6. Insert your own random thought here. 
So I read this book entitled, 'The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.' It proposes the idea of looking at one's belongings and only keeping those that bring joy. So I went through the house, looked at each thing, and asked myself, 'Do you bring me joy?'  So here's what I have remaining, after keeping only the things that bring me joy:

A couple thousand books
Two sweet kitties
One item of clothing - my fuzzy robe
Many knick knacks
Mr. C.
Reminders of England (aka knick knacks)
(not in order of importance!)

So how does that 'keeping only what brings you joy' method work for you??


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Lemon Bars - Gluten Free Recipe

 Lemon Bars 
Gluten-free Recipe

I'm pretty sure that I've posted this recipe before, but since I made these again the other day and since they are SO good, I thought I would post it again for any who might have missed it last time around. Just a word of warning: These are dangerously good!

Lemon Bars - Gluten Free Recipe:

2 c. Gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill One-to-One mix)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter
4 eggs, beaten,
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (4-5 small lemons)
1/4 c. Gluten-free flour (see above)
1/2 t. baking powder.

Sift together flour and powdered sugar. Cut in margarine until mixture holds together. I used my food processor, pulsing it about 20 times. Works like a charm. Press into a 13 x 9 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly brown.

While the crust is baking*, Beat eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Sift together the 1/4 c. flour and baking powder, then stir into egg mixture. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar after they're slightly cool. 

*I think this is key, so that you can pour the egg mixture onto the crust immediately after the crust is done baking, so that it doesn't have a chance to cool off before it goes back into the oven. I've tasted pretty eggy-tasting lemon bars (ew!), and I suspect that they weren't done enough because they let the crust cool off as they were working on Part B, as it were.

Let cool, cut, and enjoy. There's something about this combination that is nearly irresistible to me.

 Upper left, clockwise:
Gluten-free Lemon Bars
Gluten-free Lemon Cookies
Lemon Oreos
Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Gluten-free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Recipes for all of the above (except for the Oreos and Lemon Meringue Pie) can be found
using my search tool located on the sidebar >>>>

I've also got a recipe for Lemon Pie Bars but it didn't make the collage. It can be found through the search tool, however.


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Friday, June 16, 2017

Lickety Split Harvest

 Harvesting the alfalfa
north of the house - June 7, I think it was

When the huge farm machinery comes to take the alfalfa off the field north of the house, it is amazing how fast they get the job done - but no wonder, because the machinery is huge. Incredibly huge.
 Two days later they planted a crop of soybeans.

I think next year they'll plant corn on that field (not enough time this season to get a corn crop) and the following year it will be put back into alfalfa. I look forward to when it is planted to alfalfa once again. It's so much prettier than soybeans or corn. But I'm not in charge of that decision, nor am I going to be feeding cows. Oddly enough, crops aren't raised for their aesthetic appeal. The man who rents our cropland knows how to farm it and the crop rotation that will best build up the soil.

Do you ever use the term 'lickety split" ?? I think it was used a lot when I was a kid, but I realized that I hardly ever hear it any more.  I just Googled it and discovered that that term is now also the name of an 'adult entertainment' establishment in Minneapolis. Good grief. Maybe that's why I don't hear it anymore. :-)

 Smokey, watching flies, bees, songbirds, and hummingbirds
from the [restrictive] comfort of the screen room

One of my favorite 'alfalfa field' photos
summertime, 2013
The grandsons in a brotherly embrace
(known as wrestling).

Linking to Eileen's Saturday's Critters


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flying the Hodgepodge Flag

A little girl was visiting my porch last week.

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1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

We don't fly the flag on the outside of our house, but especially because we now that we have a front porch to mount it on, that might be a good idea.

I've been to Philadelphia and have seen the liberty bell and to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, etc. I've not been to Baltimore, or if I have, it didn't make a very strong impression on me. Maybe I was asleep.

We had quite a wind which threw a ton of maple seeds onto the yard.
I really should have swept the brick before taking this photo.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

I see a red flag in someone else's path, but it's always difficult to know whether or not to tell them. I've lived long enough to realize that most people don't want advice, no matter how it's given.

 A daughter, a son, and two of the grandkids
Kids always love to play in the pond with sticks.

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

I'm a stay in the car and listen to the end of the news story kind of person (Talk of the Nation, On Point, All Things Considered, Science Friday, Laura Ingraham, Rush). The other kind of person is more of a romantic, I think.

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What's an expression you associate with your father?

My dad was practically perfect in every way, because he obviously loved Jesus, he was firm but kind  (I was totally secure in his love for me), he had a great sense of humor, forgave easily (good thing) and was my number one fan (his best quality). He loved C-Span and chocolate covered donuts. I can't think of an expression he used a lot, unless it was related to finding work for us to do if we complained about being bored.
 Both with the Lord now,
wonderful parents
(so much better than I deserved)
I know I've shown this photo before, but it's my favorite.

5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

I cannot remember having rules in our home, although one unspoken rule was not to sass my mom, and that, unfortunately, was a rule often broken when I was a teen. Mom didn't forgive quite as easily as my dad did. But I don't remember sassing my dad. What is it about fathers/daughters and mothers/daughters anyway??!!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Last week when the grandkids were here, I got out the old croquet set so they could have fun with it. At first they were quite frustrated with it, but after a while, when they let me set up the wickets? more along the lines of how they should be, instead of all in a 10' row, I think they had a better time.

Grandkids struggling to have fun. :-)

And in the screen room,
Grandma got her toenails painted.
(Another good reason to have daughters)

 Tommy & Smokey
Lounging in 'the Pool Area' (as Lucy calls it) 

That evening, Carla from The River Flowing blog and Little Garden That Could (floral subscriptions - check out her BEAUTIFUL website!) and her family spent the evening with us and I tried to set up the croquet (pitch, patch, diamond, court, field???) a little better, and we played it in the backyard, where the hilly terrain gave us some fun and laughs. I wish I'd taken a photo of the beautiful full moon that evening.  You can download and print out Susan Branch's 2017 Full Moon Schedule to put on your refrigerator, so you don't miss those full moon walks!  (I lost mine that Carla had given me, putting it in a really safe place so I wouldn't lose it!), but I managed to download another. This one is already on my refrigerator.


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Saturday, June 10, 2017

He Owns The Cattle On A Thousand Hills

Cattle on Asbury Road
SE of Westby, WI

'For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know all the birds of the air,

    and all that moves in the field is mine.'
Psalm 50:10-11

I think of those verses every time I see cattle grazing. And 'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.'  All belongs to our gracious and loving King Jesus, without whose amazing creative power, mercy, and unsurpassed love, we could not take another breath.

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bloomingdale Road East or Bloomingdale Road?

For any who were expecting to see The Hodgepodge today, Joyce, The Hodgepodge creator, had to be out of town, but will be back with the Hodgepodge again next week.  I know I'm not alone in appreciating the dedication and work she goes to each week to give us something to write about. Thank you, Joyce.

Last week, Mr. C. and I went to the SW part of Wisconsin to settle some family business. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but we were taking care of a cousin's estate. It looks like everything we can do is now done, but it doesn't mean that we won't be visiting that area again. And even though I consider myself a pretty good navigator, I  managed to get us going around in circles because of the winding roads with ambiguous names (and just possibly because I'm not as good a navigator as I'd thought). I hadn't realized that Bloomingdale Road East was actually a different road than Bloomingdale Road. How can that be. And not only that, but when there's an intersection (crossroads) on a main highway, I would expect that a turn to the east would be the same road name (just a different direction) as a turn to the west. But no. That would make it just too easy.

Summertime arrived in NW Wisconsin almost overnight. We tend to do that, often going from a cold and wet spring to warm and wonderful summer, although I have come to expect more out of May than we got this year. This year it has lost its position as 'favorite month,' being replaced by June, which has been just lovely so far. And it's green. Very green.

 Smooth transfer of power
Hauling ethanol (probably)
near Sparta, WI

What you are reading is the result of what one does when one has nothing to say. I noticed when I logged into Blogger this morning, that I have written over 2200 blog posts, the majority of which were published, but some of which were not, to spare us both embarrassment. Twenty-two hundred! That's from January or February of 2010. It's hard to believe that I've had SO MUCH of nothing to say.

Because Wisconsinites tend to cram everything fun into the summer months (with good reason), I will most likely continue to post only on Hodgepodge Wednesdays, and some weekends. Most of the family fun events occur in the summertime, naturally, and I keep remarkably busy tending to the kitties, porch sitting, reading, picture taking, garden mulching and watering, and walk taking.  It's a tough life. As a friend once said when asked what she does all day, 'I don't know, but it takes me all day to do it. '

I had thought that these farmers were planting potatoes,
but when I zoom in, I see that they are planting 
plant starters. Tobacco? Cabbage? I'm not sure.

I just realized that every paragraph I've written today sounds like a beginning paragraph. I think I need a nap. I'm not complaining that the Tommy & Smokey gym opens at 4:30 AM, (after all, the birds are up and singing!) with wild galloping, chasing, crashing through our bedroom. I know. I could close the door. I've heard that somewhere before.

Chillin' in the screen room
Tommy and Smokey
Getting recharged for their next gym session


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Until next time,



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