Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Days Fly By

Ah, yes, the days do fly by.  Christmas has come and gone, with family and friends, food, visiting and games, watching the youngest at age 5 1/2 enjoy his new toys and entertain the adults sitting around.  I gave everyone a jar with a homemade hot chocolate or a coffee mix, so I hope they remember the good times we had on the 25th, 2010 when they drink a cup of brew.

We attended the funeral of a friend with whom I went to country grade school for 7 yrs. and to high school.  She had some rough times, including cancer and an amputation.  I visited her a few days before she died, not knowing it would be the last time.  She had enjoyed life, however, and that is what I will remember.

2010 is promising to go out with some bad weather.  We are in a weather watch from Thursday night to Saturday morning, with promises of snow, maybe ice, and wind chills of 10 to 20 below.  Now that is cold!  It is a balmy day today, tho, at 43 degrees and no wind.  That is the saying about SD.  If you don't like the weather, just wait a day or so, and you will have a change, no promise if for better or worse, however!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve day, and preparations are going well at my house.  We are expecting 23 people.  The tree and lights are sparkling.  Tables are up with red cloths, gold napkins and gold ball centerpieces.  The turkey and ham are thawing, the squash is in the oven, to be put in the crock pot for tomorrow.  Homemade ice cream ingredients are ready to be put together.  Potatoes will go in the oven to be baked. Garden carrots yet to be cleaned and sliced.  Buns and a pumpkin roll are ready.  The rest of the great dinner is made by the families coming bean casserole, dressing, salads, candies, desserts.  Salami, cheeses, crackers, rolled pickles, veggies and dip on the appetizer table.
We will be doing a matching game to find your dinner partner, should be fun, along with fun favors on the table. We are grateful that all of our children and grandchildren will be here, along with my Mom and Dad; and that the SD weather promises no snow tomorrow!
Church services are at 5:00 tonight, to remember why we are celebrating at this time of year; for Jesus Christ, who was born and died for us.
Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


A young farm couple in our neighborhood have a baby I have occasionally watched while her mother is gone. She dropped me off a gift today.  Some delicious ginger cookies, a pretty Christmas mug, with a jar of homemade cocoa mix and homemade marshmallows!  Have you ever tasted homemade marshmallows?  They are very good, and no ingredients with strange names!  How many people are making a gift for a neighbor this season? And how many people know how to make marshmallows?!
Thanks, Trudi!  You are a sweetheart!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The snow fell all morning, and when I walked to the mailbox, there was no wind. It was a beautiful afternoon.  The snow had fallen straight down, about 3 inches of big flakes, was pristine, white, and had no marks on it yet.  No animal tracks, deer, rabbit, possum or cat;  no human footsteps; no tire tracks.  I picked some snow up, and it was almost sticky enough to make a snowball, which I did.  When I walked back, the snow was disturbed by my previous steps, but still beautiful.
Of course, those in northern SD or in MN were probably not calling this beautiful, as they got a lot more, and had more to begin with.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dad and Mom

My parents are 95 years, going on 96.  They live happily in their home, get out to the Sr Center, to Church, to play bridge, and entertain at card parties.  We visited there yesterday.  It is so much fun to listen to Dad reminisce about the past. The time frame we like to listen to is the early 1930's, which for him, is over 80 years ago.  He talked about his first corn picking job.  He was paid 1 3/4 cents a bushel, and yes, you read that right.  This was hand picking, walking along side the wagon, picking 2 rows at a time.  Horses, of course, pulled the wagon, no driver.  The man picking controlled the horses with voice commands.  The picker furnished his own gloves, one of which had a hook on it for catching the corn.  The husk also got pulled off before being thrown into the wagon. He described how you catch the ear with one hand, how you break and pull the husk before throwing into the wagon, which had bang boards to catch the high flying ears.  Roger asked him if he overthrew the wagon, if he had to go around and pick up the ear, but he said that did not happen. :)
He also talks about his High School years, when he worked out.  That means he worked for his room and board, milking cows and doing chores before leaving for school.  He hitched up a team, and drove the "school bus" to pick up students for school.  Patten was a big school in the countryside, where both grade and high school students attended.  He delivered students home after school, and back to do his chores for the evening.  He had some adventures with bad weather, and with a singletree breaking during a storm on the way home, and other snags along the way.   (Singletree--a wooden bar swung at the center from a hitch on a wagon and hooked at either end to the traces of a horse's harness) ...  For his Senior year, he changed High Schools, also working for room and board, and walking 1 1/2 miles to town to school.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yesterday we brought our cows in.  Brent and Roger, with help from a neighbor, sorted the calves off the cows.  The vet came and pregnancy tested the cows.  The calves are now weaned into one yard, where they will be fed corn silage daily, and the cows to another. The will also get fed silage and hay, and in a few days, turned back out to the winter pasture.  The bulls were moved to their own yard for the winter.  Four cows were open, that is, not bred.  We loaded them up and took them to the Sale Barn to be sold.  It was a noisy night around here, the cows and calves all bellering in their side by side yards.
The cows quieted down this AM after they were fed bales of hay. They will give up bawling soon, as I think they are actually glad to have their calves weaned off.   The calves got their silage in the cement feed bunks, and almost all of them came up to eat.  They will bawl for another couple of days and then settle down as well.
This does mean that I have to dress up for the cold and watch gates while Roger feeds hay in the yards!
It is nice to have this done before we get our next snow, altho the temp now is in the 20's or so, and promises to stay cold, at least through Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The wind is blowing and howling here in SD.  Roger fed the cows, and came in and pronounced "It is cold out there!"  He retired to his chair, and I watched & listened to my TV quilting shows.
Weather like this calls for soup, so I browsed the frig and my recipes, and decided to make broccoli soup with the wilting heads I found.  An hour later, broccoli and onion, some carrots I found, and a piece or two of cauliflower I found, are cooked.   Made some thickener with whole wheat flour, added chicken bouillon, thyme, some milk and cheddar cheese, and noon lunch was on the table, along with a hamburger from our own beef.  Tasted good, and good for us!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kidney Disease

   I have a first cousin, Barbara, whose husband died at age 41 of polycystic kidney failure.  She has two daughters who inherited this disease.  They are now 56 and 57 years old, and have daily dialysis.
.  The dialysis is the peritoneal dialysis, done while they are sleeping, for a 7 hour period.  You get to hook yourself up to the machine, and saline solution goes into your belly, and then drains back out.  This is the lower level version of dialysis, not the blood circulating out of you as done in the hospital setting.  They are both on kidney donation lists, waiting. They are both active yet, and still continue to work.
  If you are not currently an organ donor, consider being one.  What better way to leave a legacy, than to give life to someone who has no options.  Carry a donor card, put it on your driver's license if that is an option, and tell the people closest to you, as they will be in the position of carrying out your wishes.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Due West

Last night the Pheasant Crest Lodge where I work during the hunting season, hosted a few people to a Country music jam session.  The lead singer for DUE WEST,  Tim Gates, and 2 songwriters/producers from Nashville were there for the hunt and the jam.   One of the S/P was Jason Steers, who produces the Due West albums, and has written or collaborated on many of the songs.  The Due West men are also songwriters, and all of the songs on this album are their own.

Tim and the 2 S/P sang and played mostly songs they have written, but some other songs as well.  They sometimes talked about the inspiration for the song.  They told stories about the songs they have written, and other tidbits. They also talked a little how song writers sit around singing their songs to groups of people who are a lot like themselves, songwriters, so they do a lot of critiquing when listening.  They appreciated an audience like us, that just wanted to sit and listen.

It made Roger and I remember when we were in Nashville walking the streets past all the places with music going on inside, no cover to listen or go in.  We were also in the famous Bluebird CafĂ© where singers/songwriters play every night.

Due West has a new album out, one song is “Bible and the Belt”, written by Tim.  I think this song has gone to #35 on the charts.  Jason sang one of his songs "Jesus and Babies" that we may hear some day on the radio as well.

Due West will be singing the National Anthem at the NFR in Las Vegas on Thursday, Dec 9th, 2010.  

So you all in Vegas this week, remember,  I served Tim Gates his breakfast, and he eats like everyone else!!

Watch for these guys if you are country music fans, they have a great sound!