Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Around Here...

Feel free to fill in the blanks on your own blog or in the comments section of mine. Let me know if you posted so I can hop over and read your thoughts.  I'd love to know what my readers have been up to on this lovely spring day!

1. I know it's spring because...  The calves are growing like weeds!

It must be that liquid gold they're drinking!

 Also, Miss Kitty now spends her mornings sun bathing on the back porch for the first time in 7 months.

2. A new recipe I'm loving....

Sopapilla Cheesecake.  It's made with crescent rolls, cheesecake filling and lots of butter and cinnamon sugar. SO TASTY!(Not authentic in the "sopapilla" department, but I'm willing to overlook the name because of the recipe's greatness.)

Here's the recipe link if you'd like to try it: Sopapilla Cheesecake

3. The weather has been..... ALL OVER THE MAP!  Spring on the mountain is the toughest time of year.  This weekend, we had 6-8 inches of snow and highs in the low 30's.
My son and his buddy made a giant snowman on Saturday. (Bad phone pic.)
 Today, the high will be 73 degrees F and here's what's left of it.

4. I've been listening to..... a fabulous website full of short 30 minute recorded radio segments for Christian women. It's called reviveourhearts.com and it's loaded with great biblical talks on subjects for women of all stages of life. I've been downloading them on my iPhone and listening to them as I excercise and do laundry over the past month, and I feel like I've discovered a gold mine of knowledge! Listening to them takes my mind off of the mundane and makes the time fly by!!! The programs are broadcast on 700 radio stations, but I don't get them in my little town.  Many of the programs are series about different topics women face.

I've linked to the radio archives, but the whole website is worth checking out!

5. Here's what's growing in my garden.... Not much at all! We have chives, thyme, mint, and oregano coming back from previous years.  We've planted sweet and red onions, and I've planted a few tomato plants in the ground surrounded by walls of water.  They act like little greenhouses for them.  This weekend we had snow and the walls of water froze, but the plants stayed insulated and are still alive today! 

During the day, the sun heats up the water, and at night the walls of water give off heat to keep the plant and the soil around it warm. They also protect the young plants from the crazy spring wind.  I'll continue to plant some more varieties over the next few weeks. I'm waiting for pepper plants and heirloom tomato plants to start coming in at our local nursery.

We have such a short growing season at 7000ft elevation that we have to cheat if we want tomatoes.  We can't plant seed directly in the ground or we wouldn't have enough warm days to get a harvest.

6. In the craft department.... I've been sewing a simple grocery sack holder in preparation for the beginning sewing class I teach for 4-H. They'll be making them as gifts for Mother's Day.  We've needed one of these things for years!

7. Our latest fun purchase.... A small roping saddle for the girls.  It's always nice to be in the right place at the right time to find bargain basement deals on tack.

8. A good quote to ponder:
"So it is with minds. Unless you keep them busy with some definite subject that will bridle and control them, they throw themselves in disorder hither and yon in the vague field of imagination... And there is no mad or idle fancy that they do not bring forth in the agitation." -Michel de Montaigne 

9. What's blooming around here:

Ok, eggs don't "bloom"....but we're being overloaded with them lately.

10. I'm keeping busy with... The start of baseball season for all three kids, 4-H, homeschooling, spring cleaning, co-op, AWANA, and Bible Study.

That's what's happening in my neck of the woods.  What's happening in yours?



  1. Love those baby calves! Can't believe y'all have snow. It's been so warm here since the end of February really. Your eggs are so pretty, what breed of chickens do you keep? Seeing those bag holders you made reminds me SO much of my Grandpa, he made us all one of those, and I still have mine. He loved making stuff like that. He made us all clothes pin bags to hang on the line, too. I sure miss him...

    Spring to us means getting the yard cleaned up and putting in flowers! I think I'm going to skip out on vegetables this year, and just help my Mom with her garden.

    1. Hi Leanna! I always count the days until I can put flowers in the beds and hanging baskets on the porches, too! We have a big variety of chickens...all dual purpose birds! Americauanas (lay green and blue eggs),Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Australorps, Red and Black Sex Links, and Brahmas.

  2. 1. I know it's spring because...
    the flowers are blooming, it's certainly not because of the weather!!

    2. A new recipe I'm loving....
    Two-layer brownies. The bottom layer is sort of like an oatmeal cookie and the top layer is brownie. YUM!!

    3. The weather has been.....
    CRAZY!! First we had 80's, then 70's, then frost, then 80's again, and then this morning it was about 42 outside with an expected high of about 68 or so. Today is a little closer to the spring weather that we usually experience.

    4. I've been listening to.....
    Dr. Randy Carlson's radio program (you can also find them on line) that talks about intentional living. The goal of the ministry is to help us become intentional in our decisions so that we can become who we are meant to be in Christ. The radio segments are 30 minutes and are wonderful!


    I've also been listening to Casting Crowns newest CD "Come to the Well." There are so many good songs on it. Here's one of my favorites (though it's hard to pick just one favorite). Some might wonder why this particular song is my favorite. Well, I've been on the receiving end of some things from "Christians" so my prayer is this...


    5. Here's what's growing in my garden....
    Nothing yet! The weather is still a bit too all over the place. You never know what it's going to be. We are planning and will hopefully have some veggies in the ground soon :)

    6. In the craft department....
    I'm working on crocheting a baby blanket for a friend who is due this summer :)

    7. Our latest fun purchase....
    lumber. We're trying raised gardens this year! We've never tried them and have poor soil, so we thought this year we'd give it a shot. My husband and I are working on them together now :)

    8. A good quote to ponder:
    I have a few that I really like, but here is the most recent one I've come across. It's really made me think...

    "The way you treat people will expose your inward thoughts toward the God in whose image they were made." ~Mattie Montgomery~

    9. What's blooming around here:

    A few flowers are blooming and a few are getting ready to bloom. Some of the flowering bushes are still blooming. Because of the "warm" winter we had, things bloomed a bit earlier than usual this year, so all the "normal" stuff that would be blooming right now is done.

    10. I'm keeping busy with...
    teaching! I'm a teacher and with the end of the school year approaching, I'm busier than ever!

    1. Thanks for sharing Kristina! I will make a note of your suggested radio program and check it out. Since we don't have TV, and we drive a lot, we listen to a TON of radio. Casting crowns is a favorite among our crowd too. I haven't heard much from their latest CD. I'll have to listen to it as well.

      Good luck with building your raised beds! We have both a traditional plot and 5 raised beds, and I LOVE my raised beds the most. They are so productive and easy to work in. They warm up faster, are easier to amend with good soil, easier to weed, and they grow huge plants with a deep root system.

      I have no idea how to crochet, but I would love to learn some day!

      We are counting the weeks until school is over for the summer around here, too. When the weather turns nice, it's hard to keep my kids from looking longingly out the window! They would be outside all day long if they had their way.

    2. I just looked out the window when I got home from work today and noticed that our oriental poppy (orange) is blooming. I look forward to this flower blooming every year. It's one of our favorites. I'm thinking that this year I need to see if I can find a few more of them to plant.

      I would advise videos on crocheting instead of patterns from books. The books are a bit hard to understand, in my opinion. I have taken to watching some youtube videos to learn new stitches. I know you're really busy, especially this time of the year. But if you ever have time to learn, it's worth it! It's so nice to be able to relax while doing something productive :)

    3. Nell,

      When you started your raised beds, did you buy the dirt you put in there, or did you use your own and supplement it where needed? We're debating what we should do. We can get soil from his parents farm that is good, but we have been debating if it would be better to start off by buying it. We were curious what you all did with your raised beds. Thanks :)

    4. We've got really bad clay and rocks,and we didn't have any extra soil lying around so we bought soil that was OK from an area about an hour away, and had it hauled in by dump truck. We amend it every year by adding good compost with worm castings and the soil gets better each year!

    5. Thanks. :) After I told my husband what you said about loving yours, he asked me if you bought the soil or brought it in. Our soil is sooo bad here...lots of clay and not a lot of topsoil. It appears that when the last owners of the house did some terracing, they stripped away all the topsoil. We've tried a regular garden plot for a few years and might still plant potatoes and melon there this year, but in general, it just don't work well. Thanks for all the info. So nice to talk to someone who already knows what they're doing and has experience in it :)

  3. Those are fantastic farm life pictures! Love the variety of spring things to do on the farm.

    The Lord has blessed you with lots of eggs, huh? That is awesome. A friend of ours is spending time gathering from her 50 hens as well.

    Love the new saddle! "Wahoo" on thrifty.

    How do I know it is Spring here? The tree and weed pollen is awful and so high! Achoo!

    1. LOL! We are sneezing around here, too! The pollen in the juniper trees is horrible this time of year!

      By the way, we have only 13 chickens...I couldn't imagine what I'd do with 50 unless I had an amazing egg business. We'd have eggs EVERYWHERE with 50 hens!

  4. It's funny about the sack holders, I made them with my grandpa 30 years ago! The one I have right now is with John Deere fabric.
    A friend of ours made the cheesecake a couple years ago for us and I've been making ever since, so yummy!

    1. MamaB, I'm glad you have a testimonial on the cheesecake. It will give me some credibility!

      I guess good ideas are timeless when it comes to sewing. Now that I have a sack holder, I can't believe I went so long without one! We used to shove them under the sink and they'd come tumbling out every time we opened up the cupboard. I feel much more organized with it!

  5. Whoa, snow!! Love the walls of water... I wondered what you meant by that on your comment at my blog. Very nifty, indeed!!

    We are looking for a small saddle... no such luck yet. Maybe we will happen upon something somewheres. I'm sure.

    We planted our tomatoes on Monday, so far so good. Now we just need to till the garden bed, and fertilize it, then plant all the other things we have. Then pray for rain, so we will actually have a garden this year! Lord wiling, that is!! ;) Everything is blooming, and it's starting to look like summer around here, spring is about over for us. We have baby calves coming like crazy, love getting to see more of them when we go check cattle. Still haven't had any heifers calve yet, so waiting and watching! Exciting stuff!

    Hope you have a great day!

    1. We're praying for rain for you guys as well!

  6. I think we need some of those wall of water doo-hickies to act as a wind break for our stuff!
    I enjoy Revive our hearts too! Very good stuff!

    I did a post like this one, on what is going on around my part of the world!

  7. Oh, and love soapilla cheesecake!!!

  8. I found your blog through Cow Camp Tales...I love your blog and hope you don't mind me following! I shall tackle your challenge tomorrow morning and post it on my blog...I'm too lazy to try it out tonight!

    Feel free to stop by our place anytime at:


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be sure to hop on over and say hello!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Nell, I tried to post a comment back to you on the little thread. I am not sure how to do it, the box wouldn't come up! I was just going to say, "They keep us in eggs -- the entire church at 3$ a dozen! They have turkey eggs too." ;) How did you did you activate the comment reply? That is neat.

    1. Ok, I know you asked about how to activate the comment reply on your blog forever ago, but I just found out how mine worked, so I thought I would share it with you. Sorry for the delay. If you click on "settings" and then click "posts and comments" just select "embedded" and you will be able to reply right on your blog. Hope this helps!

  10. Okay, I've been wanting to let you know what's in our neck of the woods for weeks...but life is full and insane...and just takes over...so I FINALLY answered one...just ONE of your points! :)