Monday, November 26, 2012


For the first time in a while we came home without a deer. I was relieved after hearing about so many sick deer. And since we still have venison in the freezer I didn't mind. I don't care much to roam the pastures during deer season & on the last weekend I had time to myself indoors with Jack & Zeke. I found walnuts underfoot during my walks down the driveway with the dogs. Mom loved walnuts. She especially loved black walnuts. I could have brought her buckets to shell & she would have loved it. So I took the time to shell a few of my own while Don hunted. It was actually an enjoyable past time. I took pleasure in getting pieces out in chunks rather than small bits. An ice cream bucket full of shells yielded about one cup of "chopped" nuts. I brought home a bag of more nuts to shell but haven't touched it yet.

I heard a bit of ranch gossip too over deer season. I heard that an Amish family bought the place around the bend in the road where I've taken some barn photos. Galen says the barn is caving in so I assume it won't be there much longer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

for Elaine

I have been making family calendars for several years now. I've always had a theme of some sort. A couple of years ago my aunt, Elaine, suggested my theme be people at work. First I wanted to do "wheels" & picked on the younger generation. But I loved her idea & this time picked on my own generation. Our parents instilled in us a very good work ethic. The variety of jobs we hold is fascinating. I did not take many of the following photos that appear in next year's calendar but it was fun collaborating with my siblings to get a photo from them. My brother-in-law, Mike, laughed telling about Nancy taking his photo. But in the end she sent me a couple of great photos that I used. I think the person that loves her job the most is my sister-in-law, Jean. She spends her days in a high school surrounded by teenagers. When I visited her at work I could feel the energy in the air. And I could tell she had a good relationship with many of the students. So many thanks to everyone who contributed or allowed me to photograph them. If you want a calendar you need to contact me. And of course I had to make Dad the cover . . .
Ted. He has his own engineering firm in Colorado.

Nancy. She works in customer service for the phone company.

Roy. He coordinates roofing jobs.

Mike. Farmer.

Mike harvesting corn.
Betty. Nurse.

Cheryl. Dietitian & manager.

Dale. Runs his own home care business.

Gene. Welder (and farmer).

Jean. Custodian.

Jim. Manages coops. (Deb took this photo with her phone!)

Lois. Nurse.

For those of you who think there should be 13 photos I held my husband's photo back as I'll include it with his family's photos next month.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

a barn revisited

We spent the weekend at the ranch for the opening of deer season. No deer brought in & only a few spotted. The epizootic hemorrhagic disease may be a factor, unfortunately. I tend to stay close to the house during hunting season but I did wander a short distance down the road to visit, again, this barn. I first visited it in May when the grass & trees were a lush green. I enjoy seeing the difference the change in seasons makes. This first photo is my favorite.

Friday, November 2, 2012

rich chocolate toffee bars

When we had our family reunion this summer we had a fantastic turnout of great food. I was not able to sample everything but I did have a bar that my aunt, Geri, had brought (one of many she baked). So I wrote her a note thanking her for all the food she brought & described the bar to her that I had tried. She knew which one it was & sent me the recipe! I wasn't expecting that but was delighted to have it. I've made this a couple of times already. It goes together quickly. They are rich like its name says, so cutting the pieces small is a good place to start. This isn't the first recipe Geri has sent me & I always love how at the end she writes "good luck"!

Rich Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars 2 1/3 cups flour; 2/3 cup packed brown sugar; 3/4 cup butter; 1 egg slightly beaten; 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, divided; 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts; 1 can Eagle sweetened condensed milk; 1 3/4 cup (10 oz pkg) English toffee bits, divided. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9" pan. In large bowl stir together flour & brown sugar; cut in butter until resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg & mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips & nuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture. Press remaining mixture into bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over hot crust. Top with 1 1/2 cups toffee bits. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture & remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits on top. Cool completely & cut into 48 bars or as large as you wish. Good luck.