Monthly Archives: June 2012

Rogerbrown is a Dancin’ Fool

Rogerbrown would like to put a smile on your face today.

Please enjoy the show!

God bless,

Karen

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Call In The Recipes

My brain wavin’

Here is the dilemma….  I cook every night.  I never use recipes.  I can’t/shouldn’t eat most of what is out there so I make up stuff.  All the wonderful recipes on Epicurious, Food Network, or what else….Allrecipes.com.  Oh and Paula Deen.  Poor thing.    Her french toast made with Crispy Creme doughnuts wont work for me.  Although it sounds SOOO good.  Can I just have A bite!  Please?   You know where they are and we will leave them be.   Cause I can’t eat them.

I am all about cookie and other baking recipes.  I am constantly trying to get down recipes that are the least damaging to my system.  So it is a trial and error effort.  I’ll get there.  And I AM getting there.  My family is really enjoying them at this point.   That is good for  YOU to know.  That means I am making progress.

Where am I going with this?   The recipes I post are simple.  and in rough measurements since I make up a lot.   Recipes with lots of gobbleygook have too many ingredients that are not good for me and in many cases for you too.  So what you will mostly find here is good whole real food prepared simply.  AND sweet recipes that have been experimented upon with some decent success.  AND other things.  what?

Trust me on some of this stuff.  Because  my family is “normal” not a freak like me.  And they love it.  Even da babae.

On a side note….The photo above was taken by my son when he was showing me cool things my camera can do.  I have used a few photos so far in this blog that are not mine.  Ex.  the twinkie, the cow bones, etc.  It freaks my brain.   Its like posting a painting of someone else’s and calling it mine.  I know it’s just a twinkie.  But I am going to try REAL hard to post only photos that come from my camera.  Beware.  People want food pics when they see a recipe.  I will make a sincere effort going forward.    That will be a hard one to remember.

Mix Veggies on Rice

There. We have a cabbage. That I took the photo of.

Serves 4

It is a delightfully sweet taste sensation

1 head of cabbage chopped organic

1 sweet red pepper chopped organic

1/2 onion chopped  organic (do I need to  keep saying that?)

a couple of carrots   orga….

a couple of teaspoon Cumin

a couple of  Tablespoons of Ghee or butter

a splash or two of hot sauce.

Sautee on med. heat for about 1/2 hour.  I usually cook until all is soft and a little of the cabbage and onion is  crusty brown.

Serve over brown long grain rice.  Makes a  nice meal.

Blueberry/Peach Crisp. My photo. I can do it.

YUMMY Blueberry/Peach  (or anything else) Crisp

Proven wonderful by normal people!  I have reduced the amount  of sweetness by at least half and it works well.  Serve it warm with ice cream.  We use natural vanilla ice cream always because it has the least amount of ingredients.  For people like me,  I use a coconut milk ice cream that is vanilla flavored or greek plain yogurt with a little stevia (natural sweetener).

1 pint blueberries

3 cut up peaches

1/4 cup of raw honey

2/3 cup flour  – don’t use bleached white flour.  Use the best flour you can get.  Or better yet use the gluten free recipe and give your body a rest from the wheat.  My people cannot tell the difference.(Gluten free people use  – split equally rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and 3/4 t. xanthum gum)

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar. Regular brown sugar will work fine but……

1 t. cinnamon

1 cup of rolled organic oats

8 T.   butter  organic

1 cup chopped nuts.  Pecans or walnuts.  Soak your nuts ahead of time and dry in oven.

Put fruit in 9 x 9 pan and toss with honey

In a bowl put dry ingredients, mix.  Grate cold butter into mixture and add nuts and oats.  Mix all together and sprinkle over top of fruit.    Super Super  Duper!

See, I can put together a recipe.  Surprised even myself.

Two out of the 24 blueberries we got this year.

God bless,

Karen

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Open Your Gift

We are so blessed that God gave each and every one of us a gift to be shared.   A gift is not just when someone is given the creativity to draw or paint or sculpt.  A gift is when we possess something unique that when we project it out into the world,  it  makes a difference in someone’s life.  It is a gift if only we impact one life!  I have had people look at me squarely and say they wished they had a gift and that God did not bless them with such.  What they do not know is they have impacted my life in such a profound way and that, yes, they have a gift that I could not possess if I practiced it my whole life.

  I may be able to paint (on some days) but I couldn’t teach a first grade class if my life depended on it.   I couldn’t manage a team of workers and feel good about it.  I don’t have the gift of affirming and lifting up others but I’d give my two front teeth (darling) to.  I continue to pray about that.    I am beginning to recognize a gift as something that comes natural to us, not a burden.  It is something that fills our hearts and those around us.   It is easy for us and delightful for them.  You can tell when you get a groove on and when it is right and that it should be passed on with love.  It is meant to be.

I was invited to participate in the publication of a  book  called 100 Midwest Artists by Ashley Rooney  several years ago.  It was an honor they  considered me.  I just received the copy in the mail today and am quite humbled to be sitting on the same pages as many of these artists.

I’d like to share a sampling  of  a few of  the artists who have the   gift of expression in paint, pastel, bronze and the like.  Please enjoy!

Brock Cagaan, Statehouse from Circle 1920’s, Oil on Canvas 48″ x 60″
Dave Tilton
Lon Michels        The Magi         Acrylic on Canvas 56″ x 68″
Rob Jefferson    At The Races    Oil on Canvas 8″ x 19″
Kenneth G. Ryden      Illumination     Cast Bronze 7′
Ron Monsama        Vessel        Pastel, 40″ x 30″
Claire Malloy         Grey Barn in a Snowfall       Pastel 30″ x 33″

Jonathan Queen           Exploring the Wilderness        Oil on Board 14″ x 11″

Adam Hayward           Gabriel’s Light             Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40″

Just a few of ,  beautiful pieces.   This book can be found on Amazon.  It is a celebration of American’s heartland.  Pick up a copy if you desire.

God bless,

Karen

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This Farmin’ Thing Is HAAARRRDDD

Yesterday, our little Mo, the goat that is still pregnant got very amorous with Mr. Shady and me.  She wanted to lick our arms and kiss us and chat us up and touch her belly.  She doesn’t usually like that sort of attention.  I knew something was eminent.    I drove into town to do errands and received a call from Mr. Shady relating that Mo’s water had broken and she was in labor.  Oh boy.  I was SO excited given the fact I had missed the  only one we have had thus far.

Does she look comfortable to you?

When I got home, she had been laboring for about an hour and was glad that I was there.  She wanted me very close which I was happy to oblige.  Mind you, I have never done this sort of thing.  While I have read a lot about goat delivery,  I could not have predicted or known how to handle what was to come.

tap..tap… waiting…. waiting…

This is nerve racking….waiting….

After a couple of hours, Pops and I began to wonder if perhaps there could be a problem.  I am so glad he was there.  Mr. Shady was there too.  Can not tell you what a blessing that was.  I had set up shop in the stall with all my technologies.  Ipad, phone, camera, magazines.   I decided to look up how long she should be doing this labor,  pushing thing.  She should have been delivering by now and since she wasn’t would indicate problems.  Problems?  What in the world could I or WE do about her problem.  Oh,  God, please help us.   She was exhausted and wasn’t pushing anymore.

I had to go in.  Yes, go in.  I went in and the baby was breach.  I had to turn it.  Yes,  turn it.  At one point I was in almost to my elbow.  Like I said, this farmin’ thing is HAAARRRDD.  I actually got it turned around and a beautiful little girl named June was born.  I was praying for two girls.  The miracle of life.  It DOES NOT get better than this.

I felt inside and realized another was coming.  Yeah!  and it appeared to me that it was in the “diving” position.  Feet first with head coming immediately  after.  But what in the world do I know.   She slid right out.  Another girl!  Ruthie.   Okay.  lets all breathe and take a break before looking to see if there is another.   The stress level was high and I wasn’t  sure I wanted to do this again.  I was scared that I would not be able to right a wrong thing again.  It was a total fluke that I was able to right the first one.

I reached in and there was yet another one.  Poor Mo.  No wonder she was SO huge.  I could not get a handle on what this thing was doing.  Only one leg came out.  I tried to get the other facing outward and all went wrong from there.  Oh my goodness.  She couldn’t push.  The baby wouldn’t come.  She became very dry.  And it was stuck.  Mr. Shady and Pops had to go to great measures to save Mama.  It was a tragic scene.   We, of course, lost the baby.   Mama seems to be doing ok so far.   And I still feel like throwing up.   We buried the baby not having found out the sex.

It is just a goat.  I know.  But none the less,  I cant help feeling  a little inadequate and that maybe had we done things differently there may have been another outcome.  What if we had allowed her to do it all herself.  Would she had been able to figure it all out?  Or would she and the babies have died?  We will never know.

We have two beautiful girls.  June and Ruthie.  A mom that is doing well.  I think. She is alive.  God is so good.  The blessings multiply daily.

This is/was really hard for me.  Tons more hard for Mo.   I only have a few bumps and bruises.  Hers run much deeper.  She lost a child.   As for Pops and Mr. Shady, they are men.  They don’t share unless you ask,  but I imagine it cut them a little deep too.

A crazy day at the farm.

God bless,

Karen

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Bird Lady

….is what I have become.  I have always been fascinated with birds but now that I have 64 of them, I would guess I am maniacal.  They all do not have plans to stay long. Many of them will need to move on in a few short months. But it would be an honor if these birds I talk about today would grace us with their presence for a long long time.

Today,  I would like to write about my budding relationship with the beloved Bluebird.   Oh my goodness.  I think the first time I really saw a for real bluebird was just this past year.  Mr. Shady informed me last winter that we had about 6 pair out in the pasture  that morning.  I immediately made plans to put up a couple of houses for them. They will begin nesting as early as late February.

The day after we hung one,  a mommy and daddy moved in.  What a wonder!   I have become a stalker of this family.  No kidding.  So the journey began.  (I might add that I have hung about 5 more but only this first one has been inhabited. So far.)

They have had two “batches” of babies, which is not unusual.  Did I tell you I am an expert now?  Not really.   Pops bought me a Bluebird book and I find them most  interesting not to mention beautiful.  But they build a whole new nest for each family.  If I do not remove the first nest, they will build a nest right on top of the old.

Enjoy the journey of this precious, precious family.

Mama sits on nest. She doesn’t spend all day there. She will come and go at her leisure.

After the babies are born she will come and go bringing food back for them.

Beautiful Mama

Mama and papa going out for an outing.

Papa protecting his domain from the Scarlet Tanager (bright red bird in upper left).

Baby taking a peek out in the real world. Eek.

It takes 12 -14 days for the lovelies to hatch and then they stay on the nest 19 days.  I know from the babies actions today,  with them peeking out of the hole, they are just about ready to take leave.    I have SO enjoyed their visit and pray they stick around and tell all their friends about the open rooms at the inn.

Thank you for checking in and I  would love to hear your experiences about birds in your backyard.

God bless,

Karen

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The Legend Is Truer Than I Knew

Broth is  “sick”.  That is what my kids say when something is really cool.  But I just learned in the last year just how “sick” broth is.

Bone Broth.  I am SO glad I have acquired this knowledge now that we are producing meat.  I can just imagine myself  when it is time to butcher saying to the guy, ” Dont want the bones or anything but steak and hamburger.”   I am realizing some of this stuff is WAY more nutritious than the meat.

I haven’t gotten into beef broth as much as I have chicken broth yet since I don’t have an accumulation of beef bones at any  one time.  I am sure I could get any amount I want from the butcher.  I will check that out.   But the beef bones are coming from our pasture soon!

Broth heals us and it is true what Grandma says about sipping it when we are sick, but it is SO much more than that and I am working at incorporating it into our daily life.  It is one of those total SUPER foods that boosts our health to grand levels.

So what does it do for us, you ask?

Well, it does this:

It is chock – full of  minerals.  We are mineral deficient in a BIG way.  We spend a lot of time concentrating  on just the vitamins that are vital.  To be deficient in minerals is devastating.

It nourishes our immune system.  This feeds our whole system  and keeps illness at bay.  Healthy and Strong.

It enhances our digestion system.  Through all that I have learned,  the digestion system is where it is at.  If it is struggling and compromised, then we are free to welcome all forms of bacteria.

It feeds our body collagen where it is needed:  joints, ligaments, tendons, skin (supple skin reducing wrinkles) , membranes, mucus and bones.

Not a bad deal, eh?

When we eat chicken, I take all the bones when we are finished (yes, all the bones that are gnawed on by individuals) and throw them in a pot.  Fill it with filtered water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 24 hours or more.  What is left is this wonderful broth that is very gelatinous.  I pour into a Ball jar and pop into the freezer.   I use it for lots  of things.  When a recipe calls for water or liquid, broth, etc.  I use the bone broth.  It just absolutely cannot be beat in nutrition.  It is wonderful when cooking rice, vegetables, soups, drink alone, quinoa or other grains.

There is so much wrong with the broth we purchase today.  Canned broth- salt and BPA’s.   Boxed broth- salt and wax from container.    Cubes- salt and what is that stuff anyway??

I CANNOT wait to get my hands on the cow bones. 

I am tempted to scream this from my roof top:

CONVENIENCE IS NOT CONVENIENT WHEN OUR QUALITY  AND QUALITY OF LIFE IS COMPROMISED.

BONE BROTH

Bones of an animal

Filtered water to cover bones

Veggies (optional)

Spices (optional)

Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 24-48 hours.   Less for fish.  More for beef.

YUMMMMMMO.

Have a super weekend!  If you have ideas of what else to do with broth, please share!

On a side note…I looked up the word  “chock” that I used above.  As it sits alone – chock- the def. doesn’t support my use of it.  But there is a word, “chock-full” that does.  And it looks like that: chock-full.  Not chock full, or chockful.  Weird.

Another word thing.  I use the word “smegma” a lot.  I use it to refer to slimy yucky stuff which I see a lot of around here.   I looked it up to see if it was actually a word or did I make it up.

It means:

Smegma (Greek smēgma, “soap”[1]) is a combination of exfoliated (shed) epithelial cells, transudated skin oils, and moisture. It occurs in both female and male mammalian genitalia.

Ooops.  My apologies for misusing a word over and over and with your permission, I would like to continue using  it in the same way I have been using it.

God bless,

Karen

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Am I Out of My Mind?

Sweet Cabin

We all know the answer to that.  But let’s look a little deeper.

So,  when I left the suburbs I swore never to place another piece of landscaping in the ground again.  I was going to  live in dirt.  My efforts at the last house and forever beyond were frustrating, aggravating and in most cases fruitless.  From now on I wanted a slammin’ screen door onto a dirty porch that stepped down into dusty or muddy dirt.  Just as it was when we lived in the cabin up on the ridge for 5 months.  Dirt abounded!  I loved it.

Okay, so we move down the ridge from the dirt filled cabin into our new house.  Endured the winter in muddy dirt.  Spring comes and I’m thinking, “Someone,  do something with all this dirt!”

The landscaping began.  You gotta get a load of this.  I’m walking through the woods and am in awe of all the beeeauutiful ferns everywhere.  I want some for my woods edge up close to the house.  So I run in the house and order 180.00 worth of ferns online. ( Please, I hope you are not laughing .  You’ll hurt my feelings. ) I planted them all around our woods.   Now I can enjoy ferns from my window.  Did it ever occur to me to transplant any of the approximately 30,000 ferns we have in the woods?   Not for a minute.

We continue landscaping our mud pit and as time lapses it starts taking the form of an old familiar song that mimics my old house.   ugh.  What am I doing?  So what….  am I going to have to start watering this stuff and extend my hand of power over this stuff.  Rule over it.  Control it.  Show it whose boss?  And when it’s all grown up nice and pretty, I can say, ” Yep, look at me and what I did.  I made these things grow.”  I can only wish to have that kind of power.

I went hiking with the dogs the other day with my camera and I started photographing our “landscape” that , excuse me,  I think a Someone greater than myself planted.  And I was quickly amused at the irony of this situation.  My photos clearly prove to me that  when left to my own controlling devices,  my fruits are small and, well….. small.

Take a look at the difference:

My Ferns:

Sad little creature.

In all fairness, I have a few still living.

Nature’s Ferns

Abundant Flora

And then,

My Spirea

I have never grown bigger ones than this.

And then:

Nature’s Spirea

Covering the whole hill side.

As far as the eye can see. Really. Simon can’t get over it.

And..

My Hydrangea

Hanging in there. Best I’ve ever done so far with a Hydrangea

Nature’s Hydrangea

In abundance.

Literally,  everywhere on the property.

Pretty somethin’, huh?  If I think I have the upper hand in this game (or any game for that matter), I am out of my ever lovin’ mind.

God bless,

Karen

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