Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Comfort Food

What can I say? Especially when I travel, I enjoy comfort food.  I am working at a client site this week.  This client is very close to a Baker's Square.  One of the ultimate comfort food restaurants.
Chicken Pot Pie & Salad
Out of my high protein and low carbohydrate eating for a few days, chicken pot pie. They attempt to be healthy by adding a small garden salad on the side.
Just call it 5 chocolate SIN!
European Truffle Pie was 5 layers of chocolate!  Can we say, "Sugar high!" ?  Yowza, that was sweet and then some. The next night I chose a basic Cobb Salad.
Cobb Salad
I was torn between cheesecake,  banana cream and coconut cream pies. I was full which made the decision more difficult. (Cravings have nothing to do with hunger.) My sister provided me with the tie breaking vote. After all coconut is healthy, isn't it?!?!  
Coconut Cream Pie

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Breathe just breathe a chorus of a song. It talks about when chaos seems to fall around you that you need to stop and breathe.
Eagle Watching - too far for photo
I think that breath NEEDS to contain a prayer. But this week has been a week of chaos. Not only for me but for several friends that I've shared with.

I've been reminded by many, Jesus is coming soon. The disciples believed that he was coming again in their lifetime. I do see Satan's activity rising. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blessings from Heaven

Anytime that I see a break in the clouds with the sunshine streaming down I think, "Yes Lord, I will accept this blessing from you." This week has been a stormy week. Not in rain or snow but it many other avenues of life.
Blessings from Heaven
Another blessing is Sonjia. She doesn't like small rooms but maybe because she knew that I was having a bad day, she came into the bathroom with me.  Anyone who has dogs and children knows that they are similar.  They both need to be under your feet even when you are in the bathroom.
Then there is cute Skyler who is just a jealous boy.  If the girls are close to me then he must be missing something.  He makes sure that whenever possible, he wiggles in between us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Boiled eggs and egg salad

The trick to boiling eggs is to start with 3 week old eggs. Put water in the pot and carefully place the eggs in before heating. Then bring the water to a boil. Once the water reaches a hard boil, turn off the heat, cover and let set for 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water and place in an egg carton. Put the carton in the freezer for 5 minutes then the refrigerator until cooled.
Hard-boiled eggs
The shells peel off cleanly most of the time. For some reason,  we have 1 fork with long tines.  They drive Dale crazy. But they are good for mashing the eggs for egg salad.
Mashed eggs
I added mustard, horseradish, miracle whip and garlic and herb salt for seasoning.
Adding seasonings
Once I mixed all together, it made a very creamy and tasty egg salad base for sandwiches. The thing I notice most about cooking with farm fresh eggs is that the yolks are a darker yellow than store bought eggs.
Egg Salad -ready to go!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DRAMA! The steer is out ...

This morning after my meeting the dogs started whining. So I  got ready and took them outside.  We hadn't made it to the South pasture when I noticed that Norman had just punched his way through the fence. Dale is with one of his brothers having a guys day out.
Norman and Ethan claim "I didn't do it!"
The electric wire on this section of the fence was disabled. That gave Norman the clearance to push the fence down and climb between the two fences.
Smashed Fencing
I got Norman back in with the 4 - wheeler and the help of 4 Dobermans. Then I parked the ATV in front of the hole until there was time to repair it. Dale suggested that I call Willard to help fix the fence.
Donkeys watch Willard fix the fence
I took an early lunch when Willard showed up and helped get the supplies to the back fence.The steers and donkeys were distracted enough from the activity that they didn't get out again.
Whispy Clouds
At some point, I took an oops shot.  Some of the mistake photos turn out better than the on purpose ones.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A double yolk egg

Today was a rainy day that caused the ice on the river to lift up in fog. For late February in Minnesota, this is fairly depressing. Instead of sharing too much about the gloomy, rainy, day I will share about a Jumbo egg. 
Rain creating fog off the ice....
Dale brought in a super jumbo chicken egg. It barely fit in the palm of my hand. 
Super Jumbo
Our eggs have a variety of sizes and colors. (But they all taste the same).
Choose a size - choose a color
This one was special because it was a double yolk egg. There aren't many eggs with double yolks. This one jumbo was large enough to equal two large eggs.
One egg - two yolks

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Special

Last night I stayed up late studying a feature of my camera that I had not worked with before: Time lapse photography! I did a small sample and then it was time to go to bed.

I slept in a bit this morning.  When I saw the beautiful sunrise, I decided to try it again.  I set all of the parameters and triggered the first photo.  I am not sure if it was because I changed the camera from flash on to flash off or if it was because I forgot to turn "ON" the time lapse program.  But I only got one photo instead of a series of photos.
Sunrise Sunday 2/19/20`7
I have a Nikon D5100.  Although there is a video option, the Time Lapse settings are designed for still photography.  You can use whatever still shot settings that you choose.  A tripod is recommended.

Before you begin choosing the settings.  Take one photo with the auto-focus feature on.  Then turn the camera to manual focus and set the time lapse program. The first thing that I did was set a start time or "Now" (which for my camera means within 3 seconds of turning on the feature).  Then I needed to set the time between the pictures and the number of pictures. The last thing that you do is to make sure that the program is turned "On" and let the time lapse photography begin.

When I am done with the pictures, I need to upload them into a movie making software and set the length that each picture will play.  My star video is 6 photos at about 1/2 second each. I'm learning :^)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Congratulations Fisher - person

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about until we were on our way home from supper.  We were given gift certificates to Dino's Lakeside on Eden Lake just outside of Eden Valley, Minnesota. Look at how dark the ice is getting. They only have another day or two and the ice will be gone.
Fisher-people on Eden Lake
I usually ask for a booth because I like to watch the sunset and the lake activity. There were 2 people fishing just outside our window. They had two pop-ups on either side of the fish house. Some of their friends came across the lake (including a young child on a small 4 - wheeler.)
Sunset 2/18/2017
If you look closely, you can see the person standing at the front of the big 4 - wheeler has a very LARGE fish that he just caught.  We couldn't tell but Dale guessed it was either a Northern or a Walleye. We saw them take out a measuring board and make sure that it was a keeper. 
That's a big fish!
We got to watch them play the fish until they were able to bring him in (or out as the case may be.) You can see the fish goes from the waist to mid-calf. Using the 4 - wheeler as a guide it is obvious that the person holding the fish is a good sized person.  
Sunset 2/18/2017
I also had the opportunity to watch a fabulous sunset!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Stress makes one foolish

No one and no animal was injured in this story.  But I was pretty dang scared for a while.
Norman and Ethan
Ethan on the right and Norman on the left are normally very nice steers. But last evening when I was doing the chores I heard the animals trying to drink from the trough and it sounded too dry. I turn the flashlight on in my phone. Then I released the lower electric gate and crawled under the upper one. I headed across the pasture to the drinking trough. 

Suddenly I heard behind me "Thump Thump Thump!" I turned around to see both steers running from the other side of the pasture towards me. I was still pretty far from their drinking trough. Boy did I move fast! I turned my back to the building put my arms up and straight out and yelled "Stop! now!" They stopped 3 to 5 feet away from me.

I  filled up the water and while I did one of the steers ran around the pasture scratching, jumping and arching his back and acting like a maniac. There was NO WAY that I was going out the same way that I came in.

I slid along the side of the building to a locked door. I turned around only enough to unhook the latch from the eye and slide the door open.  I called my nephew who lives 3 miles away. He was on his way home from work and still 10 miles away. It was then that I thought of an alternate route out.

I lifted a bale of alfalfa with my good arm and used it to block the door. Then I crawled between the boards and lowered myself down to the stall below. At this point I was in South stall and all the animals were in the North stall watching me. My two risks were that the stalls were open to each other and that the pastures were open to each other. I was lucky and the gates in between both were closed. I still had to crawl over the gate blocking the entrance to the South stall. Although it was challenging with one bad arm, doing it slowly it worked. I walked across the West pasture and unlatched the gate. I was out and safe!

So why did this happen? There are 12 weeks out of the year that women should not walk in a pasture. I was so stressed and I didn't realize it. I didn't stop to think. At least God was watching over me and provided a safe path out.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Belated Valentine's day

When I woke up this morning I was getting ready and the sunrise caught my eyes.  I took a picture because it looked like a Valentine. Maybe it was a sign of what was to come? (Don't you think that it reflects the gifts Dale bought?)
Sunrise 2/16/17
I've been traveling a lot recently with my dad being so ill.  Dale has been staying back at home keeping things together. Our days have been quite messed up lately.
1 Dozen Roses
As a surprise this morning,  Dale brought me home a box of chocolate and a dozen beautiful roses.  
Closeup of Multi-color, yellow/orange/red Rose
What can I say? I'm in love with a rebel and a rebel loves me ♡♡♡♡♡. And he does very well, doesn't he? ☆ Both in helping take care of the farm and periodically spoiling me. ☆
Chocolates YUM!
This evening ended with the same colors in the sunset.  Maybe these are the true colors of love?
Sunset 2/16/17

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sweet Sonjia

I've said this before.  Dobermans are "bungee butt" animals.  It is like they are connected to my butt with a bungee cord.  At work today, I heard Sonjia walk into the room.  I looked over and she had settled at the edge of my desk.  She set her head on my storage box and fell asleep.  She was so tired from playing outside this morning.
Sleeping comfortably?
When she realized that she couldn't get closer to me she got up and wandered over to the recliner love seat.  It is 15 years old but works well for the dogs.  They each have their needy days and take turns snuggling up on the couch in various cozy spots on the office floor.
Snug as a bug ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Passing the torch to the previous generation

One of effects from Dad's chemotherapy treatment he no longer has full feeling in his fingers, lower legs and feet. Despite this he asked Tabatha and I to check out a local store to see if they had a spinning wheel that he could buy.
Norwegian Spinning Wheel
I am still learning about the spinning process. But I was able to test the two for sale and make the purchase for him. It is an added challenge for him but hopefully it is good therapy.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

New laying hen...

Dale brought in the chicken eggs this evening and there was a pullet egg.  A pullet egg comes from a hen that is just beginning to lay eggs. We don't have any new young hens so there must be a late starter.
Pullet egg / quarter
Look, the pullet egg is only slightly larger than a quarter. This cloth is a perfect way for me to show the different sizes.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Won ton treats

Small won ton wrappers
Cream cheese
......your flavoring (today I used black and green olives. )
Place wonton wrappers in greased cupcake pan
If you are going to use a cupcake pan, either make sure that it is non-stick or lightly spray the bottom. 
Fill and Close
Put in 1 wrapper per opening and fill with cream cheese and olives or shrimp or crab meat or well be creative!  Wrap the 4 corners in to the center sealing with water.

Then bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter if desired and serve warm. 
Eating time! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy birthday sissy!

There was a beautiful sunrise for my sister's 20th Anniversary of her 29th birthday. When I talked to her she was with Dad in Eveleth, Minnesota on the iron range. It was raining there.
Sunrise 2/10/2017
I am posting this at such a strange time because I got home from therapy (late lunch) to no power on in the house. The energy company is cutting over the wire that was laid down last year.
Proactive repair
It is a good thing that I didn't have any meetings scheduled for this afternoon. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Longer Days

Just before sunset I took the dogs out for a run. Now that the days are getting longer I have time to do that after work. 
The last play time before sunset
I haven't gone outside much after my surgery. The doctor said to stay off the ice and that is a majority of what we have outside. I walked to the pasture South of the barns with the dogs. 
"The People is here!"
The other animals heard me and they needed to come out to the fence to see what I was doing.  I have the feeling they can't wait until spring either. 
Hey, Look here!
For tonight we all enjoyed watching the sunset together.  It was warmer than the last few days. Dad is still struggling to eat more. With his challenging updates, watching a beautiful sunset was my positive thing for the day.
Sunset 2/9/2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Hawaii and Hibbing

When I was young my Grandfather and Grandmother Erickson went on a trip to Hawaii. I think that it had something to do with his seed corn sales that he did after retiring from 3M.

I vaguely remember Grandma complaining that it rained every day that they were on the islands. Grandpa's response was, "but it was over by 10 AM and the rest of the day was beautiful!"
Just a little flaky
This morning, day 5 of being in Hibbing, Minnesota, I took a picture of the snowflakes on my coat sleeve. It snowed at least a few flakes every day that we were in Hibbing.  It reminded me of Grandpa Glen Erickson.

Instead of focusing on the daily snow, I'm going to point out how beautiful these big fluffy flakes are as they fall onto my coat.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Don't cross the line ...

I got an education today. My stepmother walked out of the Hibbing hospital from the North entrance. That is where you enter for the ER as well as a visitors entrance.

It had been snowing off and on throughout the day. As she walked out she slipped on some ice. She broke her left leg and hit the back of her head.
(The knee is pointing up!)
So where is the education?  Hospital policy forced them to call the Fire department, first responders. The ER personnel were not allowed to assist her as she laid on the ground outside their windows.  They covered her and tried to keep her warm but that was the extent of it.
... don't cross that line!  Her leg looks like it is just resting to the side. But no it was twisted that crooked. Please keep Pat in your prayers. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Visiting Dad

It is a different view than what I'm used to. We are enjoying seeing the alternate scenery.
Northern View
Visitors are coming in to visit. Dad had a "bump in the road" and ended up in ICU the day that he was due to get out of the hospital. 
Jordon & George
Family is trying to encourage him by stopping by for visits. He puts up a good front and sleeps hard when the temporary visitors leave. 
Isaac & George
At this point he is scheduled to go to a nursing home on Monday for two weeks of therapy.