Tuesday, March 1, 2011

St. David's Day

Today is St. David's Day....what is that you might ask?  It is a celebration that folks of Welsh heritage observe.  I am very proud of the Welsh blood in my veins!  I am lucky enough to live in a community where the original settlement was primary Welsh.  Because of this there is a celebration every year in our little town on March 1. We celebrate with hot tea, (hot cider for those who might not like tea) and stone cakes.  Stone cakes are a traditional treat that originally were baked on hot stones, now it is done on electric griddles.  They look like a little pancake and are yummy!

 Daffodils are the symbol of Wales, so the room is beautifully decorated with daffodils and in yellow...very bright and springy!

The Welsh flag is displayed in the background.
Traditional hot tea is served from this beautiful tea pot!
Notice the banners on display that explain the Welsh heritage.

Many people come even if they are not Welsh, just to be a part of the community activity.  I am almost 100% Welsh.....so enjoy every moment!  My Dad told about everyone in the area going to the St. David's Day program when he was young, the children all had a part and it was a highlight of the year.

Country Blessings........

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rainy Sunday....

Wow, rain it has!  It has been very foggy all day long and then this afternoon it cut loose!  The rain gauge is put away for the winter, so no idea how much it rained, but the entire yard was flooded.  I don't remember ever seeing that much water around the barnyard.  Others in the area got some hail too, but we didn't or not much. Snow, fog, rain, thunder storms.....you just never know.

Yesterday was an alternative livestock auction that we like to attend.  They have one in February, May and October each year.  Our little Maddy (3 year old granddaughter) came Friday so she could go with us.  We had a rabbit, just a rabbit and not a tame one, that I gave away last fall.  One less thing to take care of over the winter....someone was here getting some chickens and wanted a rabbit and the feed sack was nearly empty...worked out well at the time.  So we promised Maddy that in the spring we would get another bunny.  She was invited to go with us to the auction so she cold pick out her new bunny, pretty exciting at age 3!!!   I clearly remember being 3 years old and going to pick up my new Shetland pony, picking a name on the way home, I considered Purple, later decided on Shorty!   Anyway, she picked a cute little black and white bunny and on the way home named him Sugar Plum!  We did not take any cages so could not buy anything else to bring home....that is the only safe way for us to attend an animal auction!!  We were able to get a pony saddle and bridle for the pony we have, have been looking for a while for that.

It was such fun to see the joy when we got home and got the bunny out to play with.  Maddy is very happy with her new pet, and that makes Grandpa and Grandma very happy too!!

Friday evening we enjoyed attending a birthday party for Jim's oldest son, Jimmy.  Pizza and chocolate cake....what more could anyone want?  Now keeping in mind that this is my step-son....I am only 13 years older than he.....seems kind of weird when you think about it!  He is a very special guy and has a beautiful family, including a grandson.

Speaking of birthdays....today my ex-Father in Law is celebrating his 90th birthday!  A wonderful man that I still love like my own. Hope he has had a great day, he deserves it.

Country Blessings......

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching up....

I have neglected this poor blog....so here is a brief catch up.

We have survived some snow storms....not as bad here as around us, but plenty of snow for me!  Last week was the most we have had and severe cold temps!  However today has been in the 50's and we have snow turning to mud very quickly!!   I think at this point I can safely say that mud is better than trying to do chores in deep snow with lots of clothes on in sub zero temps!  That just wears me out!!

Hubby has had several Dr. appointments, so trips to Topeka, Leavenworth, Topeka again in the past week.  But a good report on the test he had done, so all is well. 

We helped plan, set up and decorate for the Valentine Banquet at church last week.  It turned out to be a very nice evening.

I can't think of anything else exciting in the past few weeks...

This weekend, granddaughter Maddy spent Friday and Saturday nights with us, so we had a great time with her.  Enjoyed lunch with her family today when we took her home....against her better judgement, she would like to stay longer, which makes Grandpa and Grandma feel good!

Yesterday was the monthly Winter Farmers Market.  It was a great market for us!  I made some new things to sell.....Dill Pickle Bread turned out great and sold pretty well.

Yesterday was also our 17th Anniversary....not much celebrating for us, we are kind of stay at home kind of folks!

Tomorrow Mom goes to the eye Dr. so I will take her in the morning and then work at church when we get back.  It is supposed to be a nice day again, so hope to have time to spend outdoors in the late afternoon. 

Country Blessings.....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Special Birthday Day

January 24 is a special day in our family....Today would have been my Dad's 85th birthday.  He was born right here in the house he grew up in, I grew up in and we currently live in!  Very special memories. It is hard for me to imagine my Grandma having a baby right here...not something you think about usually I guess.  My Daddy was a very special guy, I suppose everyone thinks that of their own Dad, but mine really was a wonderful man!  He taught me to love the outdoors, the land and animals... especially horses!

On January 23.....33 years ago, I went into labor with my second son. It was a very icy, winter night!  After making it safely to the hospital,  a beautiful baby boy came into the world.  Rlyn was born at 12:25 just barely making it into January 24 so that he shared his birthday with his Grandpa! 

Over the years they shared many birthday parties and memories.

10 years ago today was the last one.  Daddy passed away a few months after his 75th birthday.  He was in the nursing home at the time, but we had a little party with him.

A few tears tonight as I remember the special day......

Country Blessings......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Great Day

but a busy one!  We had women's breakfast at church this morning, we meet once a month for fellowship and food!!

Then home to get ready for company. Jim's son from Wyoming came for a visit!!  We had not seen him for about 15 years....  We got to meet his wife, DIL and granddaughter.
Jarrod and Pam

Mary Ann

Yuki and Uncle Jimmy

Son Jimmy and his family came along too.
Also got a little more acquainted with Spencer, our granddaughter's finance.

Thank you all for coming to visit, we loved some special family time!

Later this afternoon, we sold the last 2 pups we had.  A man came for one and ended up buying both of them....will miss the little guys...well, they aren't so little!  Great Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd cross, working farm dogs.  These guys will be guarding 100 sheep, they have a big job to do.

Next, we went back to the church to make chili.  We are having a chili dinner following church tomorrow.

Then home again to do chores, finishing in the dark.

It has been a long, wonderful day on and around the homestead!

Country Blessings.......

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Week

Catching up.....Tuesday I finished the bedroom closet cleaning project.  Feel much more organized and happy about that!  Still have a pile of clothes to try on, and decide if they will go for a ride to Goodwill or stay?  

It was very cold this week!!  Finally today was nice, above freezing!  Not warm enough to do much melting of the snow yet.

Wednesday, we took off when I got finished working at the church office, and picked up granddaughter, Maddy.  We went to the Farm Show.  We attend most years, not much for us little guys there really, but we enjoy looking around and the atmosphere of farm families.  Always see a few folks we know.  Maddy asked to come to our house, so we picked up some clothes and she spent the night.

So Thursday, we spent enjoying the company of a sweet 3 year old....met her family last evening half way and she went home even though she would have liked to spend another night!  That makes Grandma and Grandpa happy, we will sneak in another over night visit soon!

Today we were expecting company, so I went in to work at the church this morning.  As it turned out they called and plan to come tomorrow morning now instead.  This evening I made a big pot of hamburger/veggie soup.  My mouth has been hungry for this for a few days!

We have our women's breakfast in the morning at church, always look forward to that each month! Have to get up early, so better be heading to bed pretty soon.

I want to share a great blog with you, just an amazing story for any animal lover. This man lives in our county, I have not met him, but enjoy his blog.

I read somewhere about a book that sounded interesting, "The Goat Lady" so I ordered it from our local library.  It came this week.  Just a short childrens book, with great illustrations!  I so enjoyed it, I think you would too especially if you are a goat person....

Country Blessings.......

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter is finally here

Wind chill tomorrow not to get above 0.....that is what I just heard the weather man say!  Yikes!  I am not ready for that.  We have had snow most of the day, and I would guess 8 inches or so accumulated.  The wind is to really blow tomorrow and this light powdery stuff is going to blow all over.  Most schools closed today and more tomorrow already. 

I hope the furry and feathered friends are as comfortable as possible.  Today wasn't bad, but I worry about them when the wind blows so hard.  They all have a shelter of some kind and plenty of hay, that is about all I can do.  Most have heated water, that is a huge help to me and them!

I got busy this morning and washed the curtains in the living room and bedroom. Did not get all the windows washed outside this fall as planned, so the curtains didn't get washed either.  Now at least they are clean on the inside.....    Also started going through the bedroom closet.  Had to stop for lunch and then hubby took me into town to work at the church for a couple of hours.  I am a big chicken about driving if the roads might be bad...so he offered to go in with me, thank you!  Had to do chores when we got home, so the closet project will be finished tomorrow. 

On Saturday morning we went to the winter farmer's market.  This is the first year a winter market has been held, and it is going very well.  We do not have any produce, but several in the area have high tunnels and are bringing some fresh things.  We had eggs, meats, jams and some dehydrated things.   Getting some ideas for things to make for future markets, during the winter it is only once a month.

Country Blessings........

Friday, January 7, 2011

Basketball fun

Last week on New Years Eve day we attended a Kansas State basketball game.  Our kids gave us tickets for Christmas.  A day away from the farm.....an out of the ordinary gift for us, a special time spent with family that day. They surprised their kids, and most of both sides of their family with tickets......all except the really fanatic K-U fan brother!!  We missed you R!

We were to meet and ride together, ok, good plan.  Except on our way to meet, we figured out that neither of us had the tickets...problem!  Rush home, find tickets, and head to Manhattan on our own.  That was ok, we made it a few minutes after they did anyway, met for lunch at Grandson's favorite Freddy's, then went over to the game.  Very thankful that the "ticket in hand " problem was discovered a few miles from home instead of after we got to the door!!!

I may have forgotten the tickets, but I did remember the camera, so here are some memories to share.

The grandkids each brought a friend with them.

Our little cheerleader!

And here is Willy Wildcat!
Thanks for a fun day kids!  Go K-State!

Country Blessings........

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another nice day.....tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler and windy!  Then winter returns for the weekend and all next week...still talking about snow,  after these nice days I wonder how we will survive...but I know we will.  

Hubby is making some cold frames, I have always thought I would like to try this but haven't until now. Using things already here makes this project almost free!  Still need to fill with dirt, better do that tomorrow before everything freezes.  It will be trial and error to see what will grow and if it stays warm enough?  It is located on the south side of a shed, so if the sun shines it should be a perfect location....we will see.

Thought I would share a recipe from the Hays House in Council Grove, Ks.   A historic restaurant that dates back to 1857.  A fun place to visit!

Crunchy Chicken Salad

5 cups cooked chicken pieces
1 cup celery, chopped
8 oz. water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup pineapple tidbits
1 cup seedless grapes, halved


1 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup real sour cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Serves 8

The last time I made this, it was for 80 ladies for a retreat lunch at church!  That is a lot of  chicken salad...... everyone seemed to enjoy it.   I think you will too!

Country Blessings......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nice winter day

 Spent the morning inside finally getting the Christmas decor packed up, at least the house stuff.  Still need to organize the outdoor things and get them packed away.  Usually it is cold and I think next year I will go through it....we have a couple more nice days promised to us, so maybe....   Last year, sad to say, the outdoor decorations were just stacked in the garage until summer.  I really need to get a few more storage tubs to do things right.

Was a lovely winter afternoon....I set up a heated water tub for the young goats, and redid one by the chicken house.  That was a lot of water bucket carrying....I could have gotten the hose out, but sure hate draining those things, and decided it was a better idea to carry buckets!

Jim moved several bales of hay, pretty cold days are coming next week, so that is done and ready.  He is working on making some hot house beds.  We have a small green house, but have never figured out a good way to heat it during the coldest months.  He also worked on cleaning up and painting a wood burning stove that we were given last week.  Sure looks better!  Hope to put it in the garage one day.

I have to brag on myself.... I washed the sheets today, ok that isn't such a great accomplishment, but when they were dry I took them in and made the bed immediately....now that is the great thing!!  I always forget... and it is time for bed... and it isn't made....it makes me so frustrated with myself!  I have turned over a new leaf in the new year!

Country Blessings......

Monday, January 3, 2011


The first Monday of the New Year....a fresh start for the week and for the year!  Most people find it strange when I say that Monday is my favorite day of the week....the majority would choose Friday I guess.  It can change for various reasons sometimes, but for the most part I love Mondays!  It is exciting to me to look ahead and think about all the wonderful things I will get done through the week ahead! Now, all of those wonderful things don't always happen....but on Monday I think it is possible!

Some of the reason is because we worked in the food business for quite a few years and Monday was our day off!  Now, during the summer months we do Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, it is a lot of work getting ready and getting up early that morning, loading, unloading.....by Monday we are ready to relax as much as possible!

This Monday brought a new venture for me.  Our little church is growing and so needs someone to fill the Secretary spot.  So I started that part time job this afternoon!  It will be 6 hours a week, so that leaves plenty of time to do the things that need done around here, and still will provide a little extra income.  There has not been a secretary position before, so it is a see what needs to be done and figure it out type of job at this point.  I think I will enjoy it, and looking forward to serving the Lord in this new way.

Country Blessings......

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting the new year out right

New Years Day is traditionally a family celebration for my Mother's side of our family.  It is always a lot of fun.....soup and a smorgasbord of snacks and whatever goodies everyone brings to go along with it!  My family on both sides is of Welsh heritage....so our traditional dessert is Plum Pudding....yummy!!!  I have never made it, really need to try my hand at that one of these days, but Mom has always fixed it and my Grandmothers before her.   After eating way too much....we  all enjoy a "white elephant" gift exchange.  You know the kind where you can steal some one's gift....makes for some excitement!  There are some gifts that seem to show up every year......such as a Bugs Bunny hat....this year our 11 year old grandson opened it and everyone cheered!  Fun times......

Every year this soup is the one requested:

Cheese-Broccoli Soup

Bring to a boil:
      5 cups water
      4 chicken bouillon cubes
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 Tablespoon  minced onion
      10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
Cook for 3 minutes
      4 oz. fine noodles
Cook for 10 minutes
      1 1/3 cups milk
      8 oz. Velveeta cheese
Serve immediately

Country Blessings........

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good bye 2010 you have been good to us

Happy New Year...

Saying goodbye to the year 2010.....
   We have been blessed over and over again this past year.  So very thankful that God has been so good to us.  You know, God is Good All the Time!!
    Some highlights of the year:
  • 2 new Great Grandbabies -- A little boy in March and a little girl in December
  • Jim's health improving  --  He is in the second year following open heart surgery
  • Best Farmers Market season yet
  • Had a wonderful time celebrating our farm being in our family for 85 years --  BBQ with family and friends in October
  • Hosted the 8th Annual Living Nativity here at our farm
  • Blessed with a healthy and happy family
  • Blessed with generous and loving friends
There have been some not so great things along the way, but I choose to be Thankful and Praise God in All Things!

Country Blessings........