Inquiring Minds Ask: Aren't You Bored Out There in the Country??


This afternoon I made a Boston Cream Pie, one of my favorites, something I haven't made in a few years. I hope it lives up to my expectations! I usually just use vanilla pudding for the cream filling, but I didn't have any boxes in my pantry, so I made my own from scratch... TWICE. The first recipe didn't thicken up adequately, so I had to make it again. 4 eggs and 3 cups of milk later, I'm sure I would have saved a few cents if I had just used a box of vanilla pudding!

Yesterday, I finished my fall arrangement for our back porch deck. I bought 2 mums, a few pansies, and one ornamental kale, plus a pumpkin. Then I went across our lane to cut down some grasses and wild sunflowers for my dried arrangement behind the pots, plus I gathered a few pieces of limestone for more visual interest. And how do you like my lil cowboy roper metal art?

Sunday evening we saddled ole Murphy up with my new saddle and I got a few riding lessons from the hubby - sorry, we didn't have the camera, so no pics! Then he jumped up on Murphy and showed me some of the fancy stuff that he and Murphy used to do years ago. That was fun -- Murphy will even stand still while hubby runs and jumps up on him from behind!

He's 25 years old (Murphy, not hubby) and we've been feeding him Purina Strategy the last few months -- boy does that feed make a huge difference! He is so sleek and trim and muscled. We just switched him last week to Purina Equine Senior, and it will give him even more nutrients than the Strategy feed, so he can only look and feel better.

Stormy went to a trainer for the next month, so she can be finished to be a good header horse (team roping) for Tom. It was sad to leave her there yesterday; that girl's been on pasture all summer, so she's had a real easy life lately, and she's a bit overweight. I'm sure she's going to think she's gone to hell when the trainer starts working her - isn't that how we feel when we first start to exercise?!

This morning I put Kilz on the OSB board on the inside of Stormy's new shelter; this took a few hours, as the OSB board really soaked it up. On the outside of the shelter, hubby scraped sticky residue off the metal - he made the shelter with scrap he had on hand, so right now it's different colors. Once we get the sticky edges all cleaned up, and he finishes caulking a few corners, I'll be painting the outside a light stone color. There will be before and after pics once I get it painted!

Sooo, the answer is NO, I really don't get bored out here, very rarely. There's more to do than there is hours in the day. Even when I'm not working a full-time job, I still don't seem to have enough hours to do everything I want to do.

Prairie Nights

Do click to enlarge!

We may not have an oceanfront view, or even a delightful mountainview... but I adore our wide-open prairieland view!! It's infinitely better than sitting on my former home's front porch in the city, hearing cars roar down my little side street using it as a go-around, or the neighbors across the street yelling profanities at each other... well, you get what I'm saying, don't you?

I love our rural life!

Woo Hoo, I Won!

I'm so excited! I rarely win anything - not the lottery (ok, just a few scratch-offs), not any radio station contests, never a store contest, and not even a blog giveaway... whoops, we'll have to amend that last one. I finally won a blog giveaway! Yay for me!

What did I win, you ask? How about a pair of Lee Slender Secret jeans from Leanne Wildermuth's Intricate Art blog? I really needed a new pair of jeans, so the timing of this win couldn't be more perfect. The only thing wrong with this win was that I had to tell Leanne what size/color I needed... and I usually try on several sizes in jeans to walk away with a pair I love. So this was a big leap of faith. Well, my luck prevailed, and they fit TERRIFIC. I love these jeans! They have a lil bit of lycra in them - I adore lycra in jeans. I hate regular ole stiff jeans these days; the lycra gives just enough stretch to be comfortable, but not to be clingy. Ladies, give these jeans a try, I guarantee you will love them! Here's a link to Leanne's original giveaway, with a photo of her wearing the jeans - as Leanne says, the denim is uber-awesome. (Sorry, all my regular blog readers - no pics of me wearing these lovely jeans!)

But first and foremost, Leanne is a pet portrait artist, and her portraits are beautiful. Check out her blog and enter her weekly graphite portrait giveaways. And keep an eye out for more Lee jean giveaways.

Leanne has been chosen as a Lee Fit Ambassador - she loves being able to give Lee Jeans away to her readers (and we love winning them!). The countdown is on to Denim Day, October 2, when thousands of people across the U.S. will be getting out their jeans and donating $5 in support of this day and breast cancer research. Leanne is honored to be part of such a meaningful cause. She lost her own sister-in-law to breast cancer several years ago, so her participation as a team leader is a very personal one. Join her team as a contributor. Donate $5 and wear your jeans (even if they aren't Lee!) on October 2nd. Leanne's goal is to reach 100 people by October 2nd. Even with Christina Applegate on board, we can’t do this alone!

Please go to Lee's National Denim Day website to join her team and donate. Her team's goal is $500. As of today, September 24, they have $470 to go. Let's all pitch in and help them reach this goal! Thanks everyone!

And a big thank you to Leanne for my new favorite pair of Lee jeans!

My Newest Middle Name - Sidetracked

Sooooo, this morning I thought I would check out some of my new followers and their blogs. I clicked on my most recent new follower, "Nancy", and was disappointed to see there was no link back to a blog. But my oh my, does she have a long list of country/farm-type blogs that she follows. My guess would be that she either lives in the country or wants to -- badly. I clicked on the first blog she follows, as the name piqued my interest. Back to Basic Living - hey, that's what I've been trying to do for years now!

And so for about an hour I travelled all over this self-sustaining couple's website and blog, devouring how they got started down this road and how it's working out for them 2 years later. What an interesting read!! And it got my wheels to turning - we live on 26 acres and there's no reason why we can't be more self-sustaining than we are. Sure, time is always an issue since we both work (except I'm in-between jobs right now!) We wanted to put in a garden this past spring, but fence work took priority, and there was a TON of fence repairs needed on this property. So, NEXT year, FERSHUR, we are putting in a garden. That, I believe, is the first step to self-sustenance.

I was reminded by her dog food and dog treat post -- I used to home-make my own dog food years ago. Why am I spending all these dollars on organic dog foods for my girls, when I can make my own?? And so this gal has propelled me to get back to my homemade dog food basics. It really is so easy -- I would make a huge batch on Sunday afternoons, keep some fresh in the fridge and freeze additional batches in Glad food containers. I've always made my own dog treats, but I'm going to try to do it with more regularity now.

Someday down the road, I'd really like to have a few chickens. We have the coop already here, although it does need some repairs to one side where hubby burned it (you remember his spring pasture burn?! you can read about it and see pics here)

Bit by bit, piece by piece, I think we'll get there and be better at self-sustaining ourselves. One step at a time, right?!

Ohhh, and I'll get back to checking out my newest followers.... soon. After I stop allowing myself to be sidetracked so easily!

The Queen of WHAT??!

It's time for me to get caught up on everything I should have done on my blog this summer, but haven't!!

So first and foremost, some awards that my fellow bloggers have awarded me... obviously not well deserved, as I did not thank them appropriately when they graciously gave me these awards.

The first award that I have been remiss in recognizing... Linda from "Crone and Bear It" gave me the Queen of Awesome award back in July. JULY?! Can you believe it was that long ago? Hey, at least I kept it on my list of "to-do".

Hey, look at that! A tiara, for lil ole me to wear out here in the stix. The cows will be dumbfounded, as much as the horses I am sure - they've never seen a tiara before. It will look "awesome" with my slippers. Ha!

Of course, there are RULES for this award. *gag* Y'all know me, I don't follow the ole blog rules too well. First, I'm supposed to list 7 awesome things about me - suffice it to say I'm skipping this step. Second, I'm supposed to award this to 7, ok, 5 fellow awesome bloggers that I love.... I don't usually do this either because I'm lazy so busy... but I'm actually going to put forth a little bit of effort this time. Hey, knowing me, it's going to take me the next hour just to list FIVE bloggers. Yeh, I'm slow like that...

The RULES say that I'm supposed to tag the bloggers I award, and they are supposed to link back to me. Welllllll, since I'm so bad at accepting awards and following through on my acceptance speeches, I hardly expect my nominees to follow the rules! Accept your award with a smile, post it on your blog if you want to, and just enjoy its beauty! You are all so deserving of this award. :)

From My Front Porch in the Mountains - I adore Misha's blog. Is it possible for one country gal to be jealous of another?! She has beautiful horses, adorable cats, and sweet, sweet dogs. She makes me want to get even more dogs and cats. Check out Misha's blog and keep an eye out for Miss D - she's about to foal any day now!

Flat Creek Farm - Yes, I know, another "farmie" blog. I can't help it, I just love reading about the adventures of other like-minded rural folk! And Tammy's blog will definitely make you yearn for the country life.

For the Love of Chester - ah yes, a fellow chocolate Lab lover and owner! This is one of Ringo's fav blogs, and I'm forever fighting him for the computer... hence why he's outside right now, so I could get my fair share of time and get caught up on my blog today.

House of Spots - I will always be a dalmatian lover, since my very own first dog was a dal, and my best friend dog too. Even if you're not a dal lover, you just have to check out Kim's blog for her amazing photography. She takes the most beautiful and stunning photos of her dals!

Adventures of the Painted Creek Farm
- Another dog loving girl, like me, with aussies! Do check out Paint Girl's blog when you have a minute, you won't regret it. She has a menagerie of horses, dogs and cats, like we do... but she has goats too. And she has a new mustang love, Chance, who is the cutest thang!

I absolutely love all the above blogs - new friends met through the world of blogging. Such wonderful women, all of them! And Croney, thanks so much for thinking of me when you gave me this award over 2 months ago... and I'm really, really glad we got to meet last week, in person! That was so much fun, and I highly recommend to all my blogger friends: Meet your fellow bloggers whenever you have the opportunity!

Tomorrow, I will thank Misha for her generosity in awarding me the Honest Scrap award.... back in July. What can I say? I'm just oh-so-S.L.O.W.....

Why I Should NOT Walk to the Mailbox in Slippers

Go ahead, click to enlarge and take a look at his beady eyes!

Sorry, the ole camera didn't have the close-up lens on it, but I think you get the idea. Let's just say that I came so close to stepping on this big ole wolf spider that I jumped a mile high and yelled, to no one in particular since no one is awake out here in the boonies this early in the morn.

The cats were milling about while I tried to snap a few pics, and then Fluff walked right on the freaking spider, which made it curl up and shake its legs (can you say EWWWW??!) and then start running, towards ME of course. I yelled loud enough that even the spider cringed. I kid you not.

See what y'all miss by living in the city??! :-)

I Love Our Little House on the Prairie

Finally, we have finished painting the house! My only regret is that I didn't go two shades darker with the trim paint. You can barely tell that the porch columns and the trim around the windows and on the peaks is darker. Maybe next summer, a darker shade for the trim.... shhhhh, don't tell hubby! Next on the agenda... a new screen door.

BEFORE: The summer of '08, with peeling gray paint
and a purpley trim color. For some odd reason, the porch columns
were a shade of blue ???

BEFORE: You can just barely see the porch foundation (above) - the seams
were not totally concreted and it was never primed or painted.
Note ugly light. We replaced the light - see photo below.

IN PROGRESS: Foundation has been patched between the blocks.
Porch interior has been painted, and new light has been installed.

This evening's stormy sky to the west of us.

I made cupcakes to take to work tomorrow - these are homemade
all the way, batter and frosting! They turned out way too deelish, which
means it's uber hard for me to keep my grubby hands off them. Of course,
I doubled the recipe so there's plenty to leave home for hubby.

Never Fear, I've Not Disappeared!!

I've been buried under "have-to's" the last few weeks! Trust me, I'm going to have plenty of time to catch up on my blogging as I only have two more days at my temporary job -- which includes several awards I am oh-so-overdue in thanking the recipients for, a thank you to another blogger for a pair of Lee Slender Secret jeans I won in her giveaway, and pics to show y'all what we've been busy working on around the ole property for the last few weeks! After my last day at work, I'm heading to Ohio on Thursday for a visit with family and friends. I should be back home by Sept. 16th or 17th, and ready to get caught up with my blogging duties.

I'm standing in the pasture to get this photo... you can see I got the foundation cleaned up and primed with Kilz, all ready to paint! A few months ago, hubby mixed up some concrete and filled all the cracks in this foundation, which is newer than the house foundation but was obviously never finished by the previous occupants. Now all I need to do is get house paint on it to match the house. How do you like hubby's solution to get to the top of the house?! Extension ladder propped and tied down in the back of the pick-up truck.

Of course, as I was leaving the pasture, I just had to get
this shot of a wild sunflower! :)