Monday, July 30, 2012

Swathing Hay

Hubby decided to swath/cut hay Saturday so I thought I would get some photos.  This is his second cutting so far this year and it looks like he might get three cuttings.  THREE CUTTINGS...for us, that never happens in our neck of the woods.  The weather has been extremely warmer this summer and winter, as far as that goes.  Before swathing, you need to walk around the machine, check everything out to make sure it is working, and grease it up.

Our swather is very old (but hey, it works) without any of the bells and whistles so hubby drives it with the window and door open, hoping for some relieve from cross ventilation.  And of course, ear plugs to cut down on the noise.

This is how a field looks once it has been swathed...neatly in rows waiting to dry out and be baled.

Below is a YouTube video for those of you who have always wondered (I'm sure you have) how farmers cut their ya know.  It cuts from the front and leaves a pile that comes out down the middle and under the swather. 

The video makes farming look easy, but even if you're in the big time with all the fancy, expensive equipment, it's a lot of time, working in the heat of the day....but it's in the blood.  There's something about working the land and seeing how it all comes together.

Rhubarb Crunch

My friend came over a few days ago to pick cherries with me.  When she was leaving I asked her if she wanted some rhubarb and she said she didn't but she had an excellent rhubarb crunch recipe she would give me.  When she got home, she e-mailed me the recipe so I went out, picked some rhubarb, and made the crunch.  Wowzers!  This is one of my new favorite rhubarb recipes.  It was so good.  Remember the cherry cobbler I mentioned a few blogs back but said the topping needed tweaking......I just found my tweak.  I'm going to use the topping for the rhubarb crunch and put it on the cherry cobbler recipe.  Just look how crunchy and delish this topping looks on the rhubarb crunch.

I decided right then and there that I had to have a piece so I cut me a piece, paused to take a picture and then decided I needed something else to go with my crunchy, yet gooey, warm goodness.

I'll bet you guessed it before even looking at the picture.  I'll tell you, there's nothing better than a fantastic crunch/cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream.  For those of you who say...."I don't like rhubarb", this recipe will definitely change your mind.  And if you've never tasted rhubarb, you don't know what you are missing.

After bragging up this recipe, I thought I'd better post the recipe so you all could try it....M-m-m-m!

Rhubarb Crunch
Mix Together:
   4 cups rhubarb; sliced in 1/4" to 1/2" pieces
   1 cup sugar
   2 TB flour

Spray a 9" x 13" pan with Pam and put above mixture in pan.

Beat Together:
   *1 egg
   1 cup milk

Pour over rhubarb mixture in pan.

Dot with 2-3 TB butter

Mix Together:
   1 cup sugar
   1 cup flour
   1 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
   *1 beaten egg

Sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes till top is crisp and golden.

Serve plain or topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  Good hot or cold.

***I actually halved this recipe and put it in an 8" x 8" pan and it worked just fine.  The recipe calls for two eggs so I just whipped my egg, divided it and used both halves in parts of the recipe that calls for eggs.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Moore Fire

As I was traveling to Idaho Falls yesterday with a good friend of mine, we came upon a fire along the side of the road near the small town of Moore.  It looked like we happened upon the fire shortly after it had started because there was not a fire truck in the vicinity.  As we continued down the road, we did see some fire truck from a nearby town headed in the direction of the fire.  I don't know the who, why, where, what, or whens of the situation but we noticed that on our way home they must have gotten the fire out pretty quickly because the area had not been charred too much.  By the looks from some of my pictures, it's a good thing the fire trucks came because there were some buildings that looked pretty close to where the fire was.

Going Batty

Night before last, I had a very difficult time sleeping because it seemed like all night long I could hear some plastic rustling.  I was in and out of a restful sleep so in the morning, I questioned myself as to if I really heard plastic rustling or was it in a dream, or just what I was actually hearing.  Last night when I went to bed, I realized that my clock was blinking because of a short power outage we had earlier in the morning.  While I was tuning my clock to the correct time, there it was, the rustling of plastic.  This time I was wide awake and knew for a surety that it was not my imagination or a dream.  I'm leaning over the side of my bed, listening, trying to find the exact location when I noticed something in the bottom of my garbage can, right next to my bed.  I leaned in a little closer for better inspection when I realized what it was........................IT WAS A BAT.......yes, you heard me....IT WAS A BAT!  I let out a scream and jumped out of bed.  My husband's saying, "Marsha, Marsha, are you ok?"......."Marsha, what's wrong?"  When I told them there was a bat in my garbage can, he asked, "How did it get there?"  Like I knew!  And I wasn't sticking around to find out.  He told me to get another garbage bag, cover it up and take it outside.  I kind of did a little nose snort and said, "I'm not taking it outside, you do it."  MY HERO......he gets another bag to cover the garbage can/bat, when my camera/reporter instincts kicked in and I told him to let me get a picture before he took it outside.  After posing for my photo, my husband took the little bat outside and dumped him on the porch.  He came out on his back, we watched him turn over, then he just layed there.  Guess who didn't get any sleep last night, thinking about the bat and could there be any more.  I even contemplated going out and sleeping on the couch.  Let's just say that for two nights now I haven't gotten any sleep and all because of a little bat.  He's not on the porch this morning so who knows............................?  Oh, and the plastic bag noise came from the plastic grocery bag that I lined my garbage can with................I know, I'm a whimp, totally.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pie Cherries Fine Line

My little pie cherry tree is loaded with cherries. 

The sad part of my little tree is............there's a mighty fine line between when I think the cherries are ripe enough to pick for human consumption and when the birds think the cherries are ripe enough for a scrumptious dessert.  When I came home last evening and pulled in the driveway, a little birdie told me the cherries were ready to pick....the tree had Robins, Magpies, and Cedar Wax Wings in it, hopping from one cherry to the next, feasting happily.  Gotta love nature, sometimes.  I shooed them away and decided I'd better get up early in the morning and get to picking.  I guess it was on the "Fine Line" so to speak because the cherries were not quite ripe, but A-L-M-O-S-T.  I did pick enough to make a cherry cobbler from a recipe I'd gotten off of the Internet. 

The cherry filling part of the recipe is excellent but the topping part, not so much.... needs a little tweaking. 

Did I ever mention that I'm a recipe nerd?  I'm always looking up recipes on the Internet, printing them off, but rarely venture out and actually put them to the test.  Still collecting, though!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And the Rains Came Tumbling Down we received and still are receiving much needed moisture.  The last moisture we had was on June 9th, when we had snow instead of rain, crazy!  It was, however, nice here all day long with the cool weather.  Sure beats all the heat we've been having.  We actually have huge puddles in our driveway from all the rain we've had.  It poured for quite awhile and has been drizzling ever since.  Hope this rain will help heal the dry spots in our lawn.  Evan and I just went for a ride on the back roads to see how many farmers still had their hay out and it was sad to see the amount of hay on the ground.  It's a catch-22............we were very much in need of the moisture but yet you sure hate to see all the farmers cut hay getting rained on. 

King Birds Hatch

I was outside today and was watering my flowers when I kept hearing some peeping.  We have some King Birds out our back door that are using an old nest from last year.  When I looked up at the nest, I saw two baby King Birds stretching their necks upwards as if looking for their next meal.  I ran in the house to get my camera and when I got outside, the parents were there squawking very loudly and before I knew it, the baby birds sunk down deep in the nest, totally out of camera view.  Hmmm-m-m-m-m-m, obeying their parents immediately - how nice - Ha!.  I kept watching the nest and pretty soon, one of the little birds poked his head out and placed it on the rim of the nest.  You can see his fuzzy, little head and if you look close, you can see his little beak hanging over the edge of the nest.  Nature - Amazing, huh!

I just went back outside to see if I could get a better shot of the babies and the same little one had his head up and it looks as though he is smirking the way his beak is.  I'd also say that this little fella is having an awful bad hair day.

My Utah Vacation

I just spent about a week and a half in Utah.  I went down with the intentions of helping my daughter move into her new home, visit with family and friends and then come home within a weeks time.  Things just kept coming up and I stayed 4 days longer than planned, but well worth it.  The bad part was all the surrounding fires in the area.  My allergies did not particularly like the smoke.  This is a picture of the fire that started in Alpine, Utah (not far from where I was staying), caused from a backhoe.  It took a few days to even get this fire under control.  Luckily, this fire did not take out any homes.

These birds (Scrub Jay's)are the funniest little things.  Every night, my sister puts out peanuts for them to eat.  They swoop down, grab a peanut, then fly off.  The funny part is.......they usually fly off and bury their peanuts in the lawn.  It's pretty funny watching them bob their heads up and down many times, making sure their peanut treasure is pushed/buried in the grass, before flying off to get another peanut.  But, here is the hilarious soon as they have buried their peanut and fly off to get another peanut, another Scrub Jay will swoop down, thug the peanut that was just buried, and fly off.  Too Funny!


I also got to spend some quality time with some of my high school friends.  We sat and talked/laughed for hours, literally.  We even planned to have a retreat at my home next spring.  Ah, therapy for the soul! 

As my sister and I were coming home from shopping, she looked up and saw all these pelicans flying around the sky.  It was interesting watching them.  They weren't just flying in a straight ahead manner, they kept circling around and around, inching their way forward.

One evening, my sis and I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken, bought some food and headed up American Fork Canyon for a picnic, of sorts.  It was so beautiful and relaxing.......after I cleaned up all the mess I made from an exploding pop.

After we were finished eating and chillaxing, we decided to drive around the campground that we used to go to as children with our parents.  This big rock (it is much bigger than it looks in the photos) was one of our childhood memories.  It was so fun, as I remember, trying to climb to the top of this rock.  We spent a lot of time on the old rock.

As stated earlier, I basically went to Utah to help my daughter get settled into her new home.  You know, as parents and no matter how old your children are, you still worry about them.  It was so nice to see what type of neighborhood my daughter was moving to.  It is one of the most wonderful neighborhoods and I couldn't have picked a better one for her if I had tried.  They are such a close-knit community.  Every year around July 4th, they actually block off the entire street with flashing road blocks and have a neighborhood party.  They have quit a few BBQ'ers that they park right in the middle of the road along with huge tables filled with lots of pot-luck food.  This party included everyone living around the block, too.  After eating and games, and when it gets dark, they all gather to one neighbors lawn and watch fireworks.  What a of the best I've ever seen.