On Monday night/Tuesday morning, I went to sleepy land knowing we were under a Tornado watch. And, being a naughty girl, I disregarded my October resolution to be in bed by 10:30pm and instead hit the sack around 3am. At some point I received a text message alerting us of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. I was so tired I couldn’t get my butt out of bed and go get my computer to see what was going on (we do not have local stations & The Weather Channel was no help at all). The next thing I remember was that the entire upstairs of The Magic Farmhouse was shaking like an earthquake. I grabbed Pudder who was sleeping right next to me, started shouting at Willis to get out of the bed, took Pudder downstairs to Pickle who also already awake, ran back upstairs grabbed Willis and as I went passed the front door I heard it.
The most horrific sound. I saw some of our trees blowing wildly. I really thought, “This is it. This is what it’s like. The house is going and we’re going with it.” There was no time to get into the basement. It lasted for what seemed like forever while we quickly grabbed some blankets and started to sit down in front of the basement door. Just as we sat down, it was over. The wind was still blowing but nothing like moments before. We waited a few minutes, then we all headed back upstairs to mama and daddy’s bed. Thoughts changed to “I over reacted, it wasn’t that bad, my hands really aren’t shaking, etc…” The phone started ringing, it was ours neighbors checking to see if we made it through. That’s when I knew it wasn’t just me.
One of the neighbors lost a large portion of their shed roof. The other neighbor found it in the road. I did not overreact…clearly something as strong as a tornado or straight-line winds had passed over our little cluster of homes. Four of us sustained some damaged. Luckily, our damage was small compared to two of our neighbors. We are missing some shingles, a shutter, have damage to our garage from the camper being blown into it and other minor things. The important part is that we are all safe and most things are repairable. Here is a small collection of pics that I took….
This experience is a reminder that we should not take Mother Nature for granted. And, that making a disaster preparedness kit that will stay in our dirt floor basement should be added to my fall to-do list.
Too close for comfort!!
Have a great day!:)
**Warning: this post contains information pertaining to hunting which we depend on for food and survival. If this is offensive then please check out the ‘In the Farmhouse’ page and category. I respect your opinion and I ask that you respect mine. I can not explain our desire to hunt any better than a fellow blogger, The Country Man’s Wife, so I direct you to her site. Specifically, her response to the first comment following the post “Tree Stand Celebration.” (she also has a cute post today about her babies)**
On to my post….Got Meat?
Well, we almost did not have any meat until last night. We’ve been running low on our deer & beef and only remaining ground meat are specialties like breakfast sausage. Great for breakfast, not my favorite in spaghetti. Store bought meat contains too many artificial ingredients and ‘what ifs’ in my mind. My favorite butcher is an inconvenient 35 miles away. So I’d really prefer that someone harvest a deer.
Bow season/harvest in Illinois begins Oct. 1st. Since that day we haven’t seen one deer on our property. This is the longest dry spell in our family’s history. Now there are several theories floating around but just when you think you have the species figured out they do something else. Needless to say my hubby had been in the dumps as of late. So I kicked him out to the great prairie. Ok, he called our neighboring farmer and asked if he could hunt out on his property. Just before the sun set he saw two deer within shooting range. He shot at one that was only 15 yards away and missed. His second shot at about 40 yards was a hit. Hmmm?
Through the dark, wet night with thunder rumbling from above and lightening streaking across the sky, out he & my brother-in-law went to locate his harvest. The blood trail was strong at first and then trailed off, probably due to oncoming rain. Finally, they found the buck.
Certainly not a trophy buck, but we don’t hunt for trophies, we hunt for survival.
I was jumping up and down, “We have meat, we have meat, we have meat!” No more sausage spaghetti, hurray! Not really, but I sure was relieved.
So now I can answer my question, “Got meat?” Yes we do!! My next post is going to be another recipe. One which makes a tantalizing meal that easily double as an crowd pleasing appetizer. Following that post, a review of another fellow blogger who has inspired me with a challenge.
‘Til next time!
I’ve been dying to try The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. The dreams about her rolls got too intense that I had to do something about it. I’ve been so short on time lately that even though I wanted to keep the recipe true to the core but needed a short cut. I resorted to using the, gulp, bread machine. I generally only use it making the dough and prefer to bake in the oven. I couldn’t find a cinnamon roll settling so I settled for plain old dough…LOL!
This recipe is from Ree Drummond’s (aka The Pioneer Woman) cookbook, ‘The Pioneer Woman Cooks,’ which came out last fall. If you do not have a copy I highly recommend getting your hot little hands on one. I wanted it so badly, I received two copies for Christmas. They are available at Barnes & Noble and some selected Walmart stores. I’m sure there are other locations too…just Google “The Pioneer Woman Cooks.” I’ll warn you, butter is a main ingredients in many of the recipes but that’s what makes them so yummy!
Keep in mind that due to the size of my bread machine, I modified the recipe a bit cutting each ingredient in half. I’m going to list the ingredients as used in this new bread machine version.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups (approx.) flour **Without problem, I used an organic, unbleached flour which resembles white flour**
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup melted butter, plus more as needed **see what I mean about the butter! Yummy I tell you, YUMMY!!**
- 1/8 cup ground cinnamon for sprinkling
- 1 cup sugar, plus more as needed
What to do…
Begin by making sure the paddle is in the bottom of your bread machine pan. Sometime people, ok, I forget! When using a bread machine you
begin by pouring the wet ingredients followed by the dry. Pour in the milk and vegetable oil. Then follow with the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. I used the teaspoon and gentle mixed the dry ingredients
together. Next, drill a hole in the dry ingredients. Pour the package of yeast into the hole. Select dough on your bread machine and then start. Presto, you are on your way to fresh cinnamon rolls.
I started my machine mid-afternoon, ran a couple of errands, made supper, put the boys in bed and then attended to the dough. I normally wouldn’t let it rise that long but in this case it needed the extra time.
Next, you will need to flour a clean surface where you will empty the bread pan. Begin kneading the dough until it’s smooth and elastic but try not to handle the dough too much. In my experience with yeast breads, less is more. Overly handled dough results in tough, heavy rolls or breads.
Then using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle shape. To make the filling, melt 1/2 cup of the butter and spread evening over the dough. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon. I can not emphasize this enough. I thought it would be too much. In retrospect, I didn’t have enough in my rolls. Follow up with sprinkling on 1/2 cup of the sugar. As Ree says, if you feel the need to add more butter and sugar, go for it!!
You then need to begin rolling the dough to form the log. I roll my logs opposite of Ree and begin with the side closest to me whereas, she begins with the farthest side. The implications of doing this differently? I’m not sure. The next time I make the rolls, I plan to roll the Ree way and investigate. Either way you choose to roll your dough, you’ll need to pinch the seam together once you’ve reached the end. Transfer the log over to a cutting board and using a sharp knife begin cutting 1 1/2-inch slices. One log will produce 20-25 rolls.
Now pour a couple of tablespoons of the melted butter into your baking dish and coat evenly. Place each of the slices into the pans, being careful not to overcrowd…Amen! Repeat until all slices are in the pans. Preheat your oven to 375 and cover the rolls with dish towels. Leave on the counter for at least 20 min. Mine could have stood to stay a bit longer but it was late. Then remove the towels and bake the rolls for 13-17 min. until golden brown.
At this point she instructs us to make the maple icing while the rolls are baking. As I said before it was late so I decided I’d do it in the morning. I did sample these scrumptious little guys to make sure they would be suitable for my boys. Heavenly, I might even call them magical. Morning came and before I knew it my hubby and boys had devoured over half the rolls!! Without the icing!! Later Willis said he really like the rolls but he liked the store-bought ones better because they have icing on top. I explained that had they waited a bit longer they would have had their icing too! “Oh, well then, I like these more.” Lesson learned…stay up until you have finished making and covering these little beauties with icing.
Check out Ree’s cookbook, where you will find the recipe for what I’m sure is a delightful maple icing which could be used on much more than the rolls.
So on a scale of 1 to 10, just how do they rate in The Magic Farmhouse?? An easy 11…without the icing! DISCLOSURE: I’m in no way a cooking or baking expert and I did not use any magic LOL! However, I am the connoisseur of all things sweet and wow-wee these babies are to die for!
Last week I reviewed the Cub Scout Camp out we hosted at The Magic Farmhouse. I’m going to continue with that topic today focusing on our morning activities.
Once they were awake the boys immediately, with a capital ‘E’, ran back to the maze. I didn’t know it could be such a hit. While the kids went crazy the parents were preparing to prepare the meal. Once we had all of our ingredients outside and on our prep table we called the boys over. In groups, according to den, the boys helped make US breakfast!!
In preparation for our camp out I completed the Boy Scouts of America’s Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO). One of the activities was preparing food at the camp fire. We were each in charge of our own meal and then as a group we make a wonderful peach dessert using a dutch oven. For years I’ve listed to my hubby talk about the ovens however, I couldn’t place a face to the name. I really did know what all the buzz was about. Now I do – and I knew what it was all the time, just didn’t know it had a name. The best portion of the orientation was by far the cooking. It reminded me of ‘true’ camping. Since we purchased our camper in 2003, we’ve seldom gone tent camping. Prior to having children we would often boat and then tent camp along a nearby river. Needless to say I came home from BALOO boasting of our experiences talking quite a bit about the dutch oven and tent camping.
It just so happens that my birthday fell the week after BALOO training. Guess what my hubby and boys got me! Guess? You’ll never guess. A Dutch Oven!! I was so super excited! And that brings us back to today’s story…
Now that a dutch oven was available we merged a breakfast recipe from the cookbook which accompanied the oven and a recipe provided to me by another den leader (I will post the cookbook recipe at the very bottom of this post). Due to the size of our oven and the hungry kiddos who I knew would be getting restless we went with something like this…
The Magic Farmhouse Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole
- 2 lbs. sausage (we used pre-cooked sausage patties which were broken up into little pieces)
- 2 doz. eggs (we pre-scrambled ours)
- 2 cups (approx.) Bisquick mix
- Milk – enough to get the mixture a fluffy consistency
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – 2 cups or more depending on your taste buds
Rub a bar of soap around the bottom of the oven. According to my instructors, this will help with clean up time and preserves your oven. Pre-season the dutch oven using butter or cooking spray. Add eggs and Bisquick. Stir gently until it’s somewhat mixed. Then slowly add milk and stir. Continue until the consistency is just shy of being able to pour. Cover with cheese. Each den was responsible for adding the ingredients or stirring. It was a great way to incorporate some teamwork instruction. Now comes the tricky part…
Place the top on the oven and cook with 8 coals underneath the oven and 16 on top for 20 to 25 min. DISCLOSURE: We have found that these instructions will sometimes work but you will probably need to adjust things depending on how hot your coals are and what type of coals you are using. To keep things real we used hot coals left over from the fire pit. In the cookbook, they are talking about grilling charcoals.
Ours cooked in about 15 min. Just in time because the kids were turning into animals. Aside from needing salt it turn out very well….nice and yummy! The boys were pretty proud of themselves which was the cherry that topped the cake!
Since the camp out we’ve been trying different recipes, dutch style. We recently made an outstanding pot of Chili. Instead of cooking on coals, my hubby decided to try it out on his grandparents’ old wood burning stove. This made for easy cleanup and a nice history lesson for the boys.
I challenge you to start going dutch with your cooking! I’ve heard it provides additional iron to your food. I can’t verify that as true however, when your anemic like me you are willing to try anything. (Yes, my hemoglobin has dropped again…another topic for another day.)
Happy cooking, dutch style!!
Mountainman Breakfast – taken from ‘Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101: from Backyard to Backwoods’ published by Lodge 1896
- 2 lbs. sausage
- 2 lbs. frozen hash brown potatoes
- 8 eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups cheese, grated
In a 12 inch Lodge Camp Dutch Oven oven full bed of hot coals, fry and crumble sausage. Remove cooked sausage and drain on paper towels. Using the sausage drippings in the pan, brown potatoes, and spread them evenly in bottom of camp oven. Place cooked sausage over potatoes. Pour eggs over sausage layer. Sprinkle top with cheese. Cook with 8 coals underneath and 16 on top for 20 to 25 min., until eggs are cooked.
We still have a few string left to tie off our latest renovation of The Magic Farmhouse. So my creative flow headed towards the computer where I’m trying out different themes for our blog. I’m still not convinced that I’ve found the right one so check back often to see the renovations to The Magic Farmhouse’s Blog.
Have a great humpday!
How many of you have ever had your child arrive home with homework from their physical education class? It was a first at The MagicFarmHouse. I also didn’t know they gave out homework to Pre-K students but last year Willis did have homework on a regular basis. At first I was stunned but I believe the intentions were well served. It provided a solid foundation for continuing education in the home, away from school.
So when I picked Pickle up from school following Art Club, I was confused because he was carrying a new bag. My first reaction was that he traded his beloved and expensive Cardinals Baseball bag with another child. I was relieved to find that the new bag was related to his homework.
Here’s how it works. Each week the PE teacher selects a student who will take home a bag of PE equipment and a camera. I know, Right? A camera! For a rural school I was impressed but not too surprised knowing how much our PTO supports the school and how each of the teachers are wonderful! The assignment: Use the camera and a writing log to journal about using the equipment at home with your family. Sort of like, PE but at home.
We didn’t do a lot with the jump ropes but the scoop thingies that you use to toss a ball from person to person were super fun! My favorite though was the soccer ball. Using the two trucks as one goal…I know, I know an insurance accident waiting to happen but I’m not responsible for choosing the goal posts…I just went with it. And then the trees were used as our other goal. It was Pickle & I (and sometimes Pudder) against daddy. I played soccer for a couple of years as a child so I knew a few moves that through the opposing team for a loop. In the end, the score was 6 to 4, with the Giant Oger bragging as the champion. :0( That’s alright, we’ll get him next time!! Wait ’till it’s three boys against him…
It initiated some great family time and memories!! Now all of the pictures we took are being printed out and put on a poster in the gym for all to see.
Impressive concept!! So that’s my cool idea for the day…share with your PE teacher and I guarantee it’ll get the kids off the couch and the Wii turned off.
Stay tuned by subscribing to my email list…the rest of the week will be a bit of a food theme…Dutch oven cooking recipes for chili and breakfast casserole. Finally, a review of The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls, with a little twist using a bread maker. Hey, I’ve been busy alright? It’s ok to take a short cut here and there. And, close your mouth…saliva tends to be a little tricky to clean up off the keyboard. Not that I would know or anything.
I had hoped to share more of this past weekend’s Cub Scout Campout but it’s the Crohn’s disease that I need address today. In an effort to help others with IBD or IBS, please note I will be openly discussing the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Disease symptoms.
Two Friday nights ago I ended up in the ER or the ED as they’re calling it now. The Thursday before I woke up with a soreness in my back on the upper left quadrant. On Fri., the pain had increased and moved to the front, in addition to the back. pneumonia has been going around and although I didn’t have any cold symptoms, I had a friend who also didn’t have the cold symptoms but did have pneumonia. So I thought it’d be best to go in to my family doc so I didn’t end up in Prompt Care or the ER over the weekend. Wishful thinking at least.
I was able to get in with his nurse practitioner who did send me for a chest xray to rule out pneumonia. She said it could be a lot of things and that we would start there. she did warn that if I were to develop a rash it could be Shingles (Yay! Great!). She also recommended going to the ER if I became feverish or if the pain increased. By midnight I was experiencing lots of pain no matter what I did…sitting, laying down, laying on my side, standing, stretching, etc… Then my abdomen began to spasm as though there was a child inside kicking non-stop.
So as many do, I jumped on the ol’mighty internet where I read myself scared. It could be my pancreas…the same place my sister-in-law’s mom has cancer. Then I mentioned to my hubby that according to one of the diagrams, the pain is located near my spleen. He answered by saying “Ya, I’ve heard a ruptured spleen can’t be good.” The combo of the pain and fear prompted me to get dressed, put my shoes on and hit the road. Thirty minutes later I was exiting the interstate and taking a right to the ER parking lot. The doctor initially thought it was a kidney stone. They gave me pain meds which relieved some of the pain and then waited for the CT scan and blood draw results. The CT scan showed a clear kidney but heavy amounts of stool in my transverse colon. My blood study also showed that my hemoglobin had fallen from the last draw putting me at 10.6. :o(
I already have an upcoming appointment with my Gastro so from there I followed up with my nurse practitioner about three days later. Due to the drop in my hemoglobin she did another blood draw. It dropped even more. She suggested seeing a Hemotologist. This is a road I’ve gone down a couple of times. In our area there’s only one doc who specializes in my type of anemia.
**Background on anemia treatments attempted….About three years ago he prescribed iron infusions. It was during the winter and the day of my first infusion the truck gelled up. I was able to get to the farm and pick up my in-laws car but I was still about 20 min. late to the appointment. Since I still had another 40 min. drive, I had called ahead to give them a heads up and make sure I could still get the infusion. Long story short…they said to go ahead and come. By the time I arrived I was pretty stressed. They started the iron drip and I went into anaphylactic shock. It was the scariest experience ever. It began with nausea, back pain, then I couldn’t breath and finally I went temporarily blind. After some serious Benadryl the nurses got everything under control. The doctor felt that the combination of not being pre-medicated with the Benadryl and the stressful morning resulted in the anaphylactic shock. We attempted it a second time with the same result.
Back to the real story…I ended up agreeing to see the Hematologist after talking with the Gastro at my appointment Oct. 18th. The next day I received a phone call from my Gastro at about 6pm. I haven’t seen him since Jan. Based on my last three scopes and a CT Scan that’s a few years old, he strongly felt that I needed to begin administering daily shots of Humira. I explained that I will not begin taking the medication which has numerous side-affects, based on a guess of how my colon looks at this time. I asked if he would like to do a full colonoscopy or a CT scan. I had the CT scan done this morning.
The technician indicated that if they found something serious I’d be notified before the end of the day. Otherwise I should hear from my doctor’s office before the end of the week.
So now we wait. And search for additional research. And, contemplate finding a somewhat local support group.
I’ll keep you posted…and tomorrow my post will be light-hearted and will focus on the skits from the Cub Scout campout.
Thank you for staying tuned!
I keep saying this but here it is again…last week was one of the busiest weeks we’ve had this year. We finished the renovation to the downstairs bedroom. Pickle has ‘unofficially’ moved in and Willis has decided he’d rather stay & share a room with Pudder. Until his 6 then he’ll move. We hosted Pickle’s Cub Scout Pack cookout/campout, we attended the dedication of the garden Memorial built for my mom’s boyfriend who was killed on Christmas day and my sister-in-law, my new nephew and I attended a bridal shower.
For the most part I’ll be covering the Cub Scout Pack Cookout/Campout, so pay attention!! At times it was pure craziness! It was sooo much fun though!! Overall I think everyone had a great time. My personal favorite event was The Treasure Hunt Maze. We had agreed to host the cookout back in March or April. In anticipation for the event we allowed a portion of our ground to grow into mostly foxtail. As it grew we mowed a maze into the grass. I would sometimes get lost but always find my way home again. Seriously. To add an extra ‘bling, bling’ to the maze and to help our Wolf Den accomplish an achievement we added the treasure hunt element. The scouts and their siblings were divided into groups of 3-4.
***We pause this program to add a SIDE NOTE: One of the greatest part of our Pack is how family oriented we are as we organize things to include all of the siblings of each scout. Back to our regular programming….***
At the beginning of the maze there was a sign with a question & three answers. Each answer took the group a different direction…if the the question was answered correctly they found the next sign. At each sign they were also rewarded with a prize. The last prize was really brilliant on my part. **Pat, pat** I purchased glow sticks & bracelets. We knew where they were once night fell. Of course, they spent most of the time in the maze.
We also did some pumpkin decorating, played a little flag football and of course, S’mores and campfire songs!! I have LOTS of favorites in this post…I was a die-hard 4-H Camper growing up. I even volunteered as a part-time counselor and later took a position as a lifeguard & full-time counselor. My absolute FAVORITE song is ‘The Skitters & the Bedbugs.’ I was having some senior moments and could not remember all of the words. I jumped on the wonderful Google search engine and found that there were many, many, many versions to the song. I never did find the version I learned – but something fairly close. This morning as he was getting ready, Pickle had found the version I printed out & edited. So as he got dressed, ate his breakfast, put on his shoes, I listened to him singing the song. All of a sudden I had an out of body experience & I remembered more of the version I was taught!! I’m so excited! So I’m going to share a mixed up version of it with you! You should feel very, very special.
Tomorrow’s post will be about one of the skits several of the parents performed. It was hilarious! I might even include a couple more campfire songs…stay tuned!
Here is the song…enjoy!
I woke up Sunday morning and looked there upon the wall, the Skeeters & the bedbugs were playing a game of ball.
The score was 19-20, the skeeters were ahead, the bedbugs hit a homerun & knocked me out of bed!
Chorus: Singing, eenie-meenie, minie, mynie moe, catch a bedbug, bedbug, by his toe & if he hollers, hollers, hollers, let him go, singing eany-meany, minie, moe!
***This is where I forget the next verse…something about “I see London, I see France, someone has lace on their ___________ I don’t think they say underpants but can’t remember.*** Here is the verse I found online…
I went downstairs to breakfast, I ordered ham & eggs, I ate so many eggs, the ham rolled down my legs!
My mother was a German, my father was a spy & me the little taddle tail I told the FBI!!
We didn’t feel the last verse was appropriate so we DID NOT use it but here it is…
I fell into the sewer, and that is where I’ll die, they didn’t call it murder they called it SEWER-CIDE!!
Happy camping!! Wow, I think I’ve had too much coffee this mornin’!
P.S. For those of you who are keeping track, there have not been any additional deer harvested. :0( I did get a lottery either-sex shotgun tag!! Woohoo!
All three of our boys have birthdays near one another. This has it’s pros and cons. Do you have two friend parties? Two family parties? Do you do it all together? Separate? Last year for Pickle & Willis’ we decided to have a joint family birthday party. Willis had yet to establish a group of friends so that wasn’t an issue. Pickle had a friend party and then shared a joint family party with Willis. Since the birthdays are in the fall we decided to throw a Halloween themed party.
I love to pretend I can decorate cakes…I’m horrible. My hubby has done an amazing Dinosaur cake and an outstanding John Deere tractor. This time I wanted to give it another try. One of the magazines I subscribe to is Disney’s Family Fun magazine. They have great ideas! When I received the Oct. issue I was immediately drawn to a white frosting cake with a black spider.
Ok, so spiders are one of those fears I’m attempting to conquer but the cake looked really cool. The coolest part was the shiny sprinkles which are used to ‘draw’ the spider. After our shopping trip to find these special sprinkles, we referred to the magazine which sent us to Family Fun’s website for a downloaded template of the spider. Willis & I began by using a box cake mix to create the cake & allowed it to cool overnight. Then frosted with white frosting, placed the template we printed from Family Fun and went to work as fast as possible before the frosting set up.
Although it was challenging to keep the sprinkles within the template Pickle & I had a great time decorating. For a final touch we mixed Wilton’s black paste with some leftover frosting & lined the top and bottom edges with a Pampered Chef star applicator.
I’m still no where near the gourmet cake decorator I wish I could be but the final product wasn’t too shabby. Don’t tell, but from time to time I sneak in a pat on the back to keep my confidence up. And, who can deny the big step I took in decorating a cake with a SPIDER!?! Which by the way are everywhere I turn. Probably my least favorite part of fall.
If you get a chance, take a look at Family Fun’s website. They offer so much!