We watched the belly get bigger and bigger.  We made jokes about it just being a tumor.  We monitored progress. We read baby books.  We worried about complications.  We discussed names. We consulted medical professionals for advice on home delivery.


Our long awaited little one finally arrived.  With big brown eyes, long lashes, soft chocolate brown hair, she was gorgeous and healthy. 


Weighing in at around 60 lbs, she was the perfect size. 


Oh, wait… I forgot to tell you? You thought…?


No, silly! It’s our new heifer calf-

Gorgeous Angus/Jersey cross- sweet and spunky-








~Cappuccino makes her grand entrance into the world~

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm  Comments (2)  

Bonnie, the Jersey cow

Our latest addition to the menagerie came last week in the form of a 4 yr old doe-eyed dairy bovine with fawn colored skin and a silky brown tail.  Ponderous belly swollen with her impending calf, she descended from the trailer and surveyed her domain. 







Our ten grassy acres with tall shade trees and a cool clean barn was  a far cry from her former living quarters.  Up to her knees in muck with no dry place to lay down and no shelter, her old home was not worthy of her highness.  This new place was much  more to her liking and she showed her approval by promptly diving into the fresh spring grass and shoving the Holstein bottle calves out of her way. 

Her highness becomes a bit undignified though when the whistle is sounded and the grain bucket rattled.  Her addiction to this cracked grain ambrosia causes her to throw haughtiness to the wind and come a-running, belly swinging, udder flopping, tail flying in the wind. 










Watching her coming, I had flashbacks of my third pregnancy and the sounds of the Dreyer’s coffee ice cream container opening… Let’s just say the scene was somewhat similar…

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm  Comments (4)  
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Only on the Prairie…

Kids heading out the door to catch the school bus…

Mom to Kenna : Sweetie, put your heavy coat on!  It’s only 20 degrees out!

Kenna:  Mooommm! I can’t wear my heavy coat!  It has calf slobber on it from feeding bottles this morning!

Mom: I am sure you are not going to be the only child in school with calf slobber on their coat! Go put it on!

Pretty sure this wouldn’t happen in a city house on a typical morning…

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Calves in the barn, calf in the laundry room…

Something about spring coming makes me want to accumulate animals, much to my husband’s chagrin!  

It must be some primal urge to mother small creatures and since we are done having children, I have to take my mothering instinct to the corral…

That sounded really weird…


Because of my primal mothering instinct, and because the milk market has just tanked,  we now have 7 Holstein bottle calves in our barn…








Well, 6 Holstein calves in the barn and one sick calf in the laundry room…








What can I say? It’s cold outside, she needs supervision and I don’t feel like walking to the barn every 15 minutes to check on her…


This is also to my husband’s chagrin… I think he is really regretting taking me to the livestock sale this morning…

It’s like walking an alcoholic into a bar and handing them the bottle opener…

But he really loves me…really, really loves me… and it doesn’t hurt that he really loves beef too…


Not a big fan of sick beef in the laundry room though!

Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm  Comments (3)  
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Sadie #3

While sitting at dinner, during a pause in the conversation, (that had to do with basketball, by the way…)

“Did you know seals don’t have taste buds?”

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm  Comments (2)  


Smorgasbord is actually a Swedish word for a form of dinner buffet…

I actually thought it was spelled Smorgasborg…I was incorrect according to Google…we is not spelin so good out her on de prairie

Every time I hear this word, I always think of the rat on Charlotte’s Web, dancing his way through the fairgrounds, greedy little eyes bugging out as he surveys the glorious leftovers that the fairgoers have left behind…

Everyone sing with me…

“A fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord…”

Ok, I’m back…

We get the same feeling on Smorgasbord night at our house…staring into the fridge  at the veritable (I jus’ luvs that word!) feast that has been left behind…

Actually, it more involves a crazy day, me too tired to cook (no, never!), and the lack of room in the fridge for any more leftovers…

Sometime we call this leftover night, but which would you rather present to your children?

“Children, tonight we are having leftovers…”  Silence…sounds of crickets chirping…

“Children, tonight we are having SMORGASBORD!”   Cheers, confetti, dancing in the streets! 

I rest my case…

No sp004ecific criteria here- if it’s not growing green things, passes the sniff test, and is vaguely recognizable, it’s fair game…





Here we have, from left to right, Chicken chili, Noodles with Alfredo sauce, Shepherd’s Pie (in back), Mashed Potatoes, Hot Dogs and Buns…

We have had a variety of meals this past weekend…can you tell?

The fun part of Smorgasbord is the combinations that ensue when this variety is put together…

My youngest picked a hot dog and mashed potatoes…



Or “a variety of ground meat types tucked snugly in a thin pork casing, resting on a bun of whole ground wheat flavored with touch of honey and accompanied by roasted garlic and herb mashed potatoes…”

Whew!  How do those menu writers do it?  That was hard work! I had to Google synoyms for hot dog wrapper…




My next child picked mashed potatoes and noodles with Alfredo sauce- she’s a carb lover and about as thick around as a string bean- take that, you Atkins diet people!


Course, I’m a carb lover too, and I’m a little thicker than a string bean…ok, alot thicker…






My visiting child, who comes over every day after school, and is affectionately referred too as “the extra kid”, picked Shepherd pie and Alfredo noodles…


Interesting combination of beef and chicken, but it rocked his boat, so who am I argue?






My oldest child picked a hot dog and Alfredo noodles– hmm, those noodles were pretty popular…gonna have to do those again…he actually ate 4 hot dogs and 2 servings of noodles but he’s 12 and has a hollow leg…








My St Bernard… well, she picked all of it…she got…dog food…she was very disappointed…


She is giving me her most hopeful, and yet, reproving look…

If I had audio, I would play her groans, they are downright pitiful…

You can tell she is starving and horribly neglected…




Sorry honey, four hungry children do not for Smorgasbord leftovers make…

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 10:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic Baguettes

026Today, just because you are special, dear readers, you get two recipes for the price of one….

Actually, it’s cuz I feel guilty for not posting anything for a little while, but that’s a personal issue and I will get over it…



Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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Prairie Board Meeting

Local Summer Fair 2008


Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 9:36 am  Comments (1)  
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Ranch Chili


This could be called “Make your own heat Chili”,  ’cuz you can make mild or as hot as you can stand it…..


My wimpy kids can’t handle much heat at all, so ours is on the mild side…..


Ribs, Baby, Ribs!

Ain’t nothing men love better than melt-in-your-mouth, dripping with juice, grilled slabs of meat…..

And this is the perfect recipe to work your way into any man’s heart…. to have them push back from the table with a deep sigh of satisfaction and that slightly glazed over look on their face… look at you with complete love and adoration and say, “Honey, will you marry me?”,

regardless of if you are already married or not…..


About the only other thing that will bring the same result involves lingerie, candlelight and lots of imagination……

Wait, did I just say that out loud? 

My mother reads this……

The Cast of Characters








So simple, so easy, so guaranteed to get results……

Mix together 1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning, (swear by this stuff!) and 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke.









Mince 4 cloves of garlic and add to bowl….








Have your 7 yr old mix well…..I can’t keep the crazy kid out of the kitchen….









Add 4 cups of BBQ sauce of your choice- I used Sweet Baby Rays and Cattleman’s cuz that’s what I had in the cupboard-

Try to hold still long enough to get an unblurry picture, while laughing at your 7 yr old production manager’s directions for photo’s-

Fail miserably….










Have 7 yr old stir well…. would have had the 10 yr old do it, but she had her nose stuck in a book….

This would be even better with a few shots of bourbon…..

In the sauce, I mean, in the sauce!










Slice wrapper off of ribs and cut into approximately two rib chunks…. would have left these as whole slabs of meat but needed to be able to fit them into my roaster pan…..

If you have a big enough roaster, you could leave them whole….

I used two 4 lb racks of spareribs…..








Place ribs in gallon bags, use two if necessary, and top with marinade mixture, tossing and turning to coat well…..

Make sure and spill some on the counter, like I did….it will make me feel better….








Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on level of flavor desired….

I marinaded them for about 6 hours while I waittressed at the Pawnee Cafe….

Remove from refrigerator and place in roaster pan….

Heat oven to 300 degrees F….








Roast in oven for about 2 and 1/2 hours or until the amazing smell drives you crazy and the ribs are fork tender…..

Place aluminum foil on two baking sheets, (trust me, you’ll thank me for it later!) and spray with non stick cooking spray-

Remove ribs from oven and place on cooking sheets… brush with extra BBQ sauce and drippings from roaster pan….set oven to broil..








Place ribs back in oven and broil until sauce is bubbly, caramelized, and dripping with flavor….

Remove from oven, place on platter and wait for looks of adoration to begin….







*Note: you could grill this instead of broiling it, and it would technically be more authentic, but we were out of propane for the grill and the wind chill was in the single digits— broiling it is!

*Second note: I know that BBQ purists only use charcoal– we use propane, deal with it…..