Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wow! It's been a while...

    I didn't realize it had been tis long since I last wrote..Tonite...(Ok, maybe tomorrow) I definately will!
Funny how we have a way getting so caught up in things we forget to take care of other things...


Monday, October 22, 2012

The business of Small Business

           Ever walk in to a store just to be put on ignore by the employee(s)?  Not even so much as a smile, or a simple "Hello"? And if you need help or a special order...sometimes it's almost impossible. Sure makes you want to spend your hard earned dollars, doesn't it?
    Now walk into a small business. Say, your downtown Coffee Shop... You need help selecting the best whole beans for your tastes to take home. NO PROBLEM! Odds are good that the friendly employee there is more than happy to help you..  Do you really think you would that kind of service in a Big Box store consistently?

    Small businesses take the time to get to know you. Find out your wants and needs. And if they can't help you, they are usually happy to point you to someone who can. Many of our small businesses have built relationships with each other, which in turn allows us to give YOU a better experience!

Jo Khalifa & Linda Johnson
   Linda at Home Sweet Home is a terrific example of this! Home Sweet Home sells all manner of items- from Buffalo Gals Biscotti to hand painted china to incredible Gift Baskets. HSW has built long term relationships with many of their customers by getting to know them. It makes all the difference between a good experience and a GREAT one.  At Home Sweet Home the employees (as well as the owner) are always happy to help you, cheerful, knowledgeable and genuinely care.
   In my own business, I find I can be more helpful to my own customers. It's a personal experience. I can customize anything I make to suit your specific want frosted sugar cookies in your wedding colors... not a problem. You need a Bohemian Brew Bag dyed your favorite color? Just ask!
    Often it is easier for a small business to give you more specialized service. We are 'right here, right now' to answer your questions and deliver your product.
                 We entrepreneur's are a prideful lot. We pride our self on our relationships with our customers. You are all unique and special.  We take pride in a job well done. We have pride in knowing we helped you find exactly what you were looking for. We take pride in giving back within our communities.We take pride in knowing our employees are as passionate as we are about our products.
                                    We are in business because of YOU!.
      We do what we do, because we have passion. Because we believe in our products. Because we enjoy seeing YOU, our customers.
   When you support a small business, you don't just support the owner. You support a whole community. Our monies trickle back out into the community...Our employee will get a burger on her way home...her waiter will stop and get gas for his car, the station owner will go to the grocery store that employs the bag boy who will stop by my business for a Mother's Day gift....and so the circle goes. Our monies are more likely to stay right here, keeping our communities strong and vibrant.
                 Small businesses are everywhere! In the city, in the country, on-line...
   So, Take a little 'Me Time' and check out some local small businesses. You'll be pleasantly surprised!



Saturday, September 1, 2012


          Dick Zavodney~ Marv & The Moonlighters.....

Our friend- Dick Zavodney
Last week hubby surprised me by taking me dancing!
We went to the AmVets for the Polka Festival! It's been SIX (yes...six) years since we've been dancing!. When we moved back up here to that farm he said "Oh, we'll go dancing...". He should have put a SOMEDAY in that sentence.

Me & Papa and James
    Much to my surprise, we were NOT the youngest ones there. There was actually quite a number of couple in our age bracket.
   Years, and years ago... Ok- SIX years ago... we used to go to the Vets in Windsor,Colorado on Sunday afternoons for the dancing. I must admit, I was on the fence the first time he said "Let's go!"
     I used to wait on "Polka Paul" and he was forever extending the invitation to check it out. So we did.
   POLKA is as natural as breathing to my husband, as he is from the North Country and a Ukranian to boot.. Not so much for me. But it didn't take long.
          We even started taking the Boyz. All three of them.
an Older James
It's no secret that you can't teach your kids anything. (That's why animals in the wild eat their young). We turned them loose on the older ladies instead. These ladies had the Boyz whipped into shape in no time!  At the time they hated being drug there. Now two have admited that they gained valuable social skills there. Diplomacy, the art of small talk, and how to dance. Skills that will last them a lifetime!

    A funny story: about this time, two of the boys started lifting weights. Each week the ladies would  squeeze thier muscles as they danced. One week, a particular lady went whole hog and grabbed one of the kids butt. You'd have thought the world ended, the way he bellowed "Daaaaaaaaaaaaad" from the middle of the floor! He left his partner standing there and hightailed it back to us. muttering about sexual harrassment... we sent him right back. Telling him to 'suck it up... it's not harrassment at her age!
     We danced there for a long time and many lasting friendships.
Well- at least he kept his promise, and took me dancing!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Tammy Faye moment

NOT my eyes!

     Once upon a time in a far off land, I was baking pies in the cafe we owned...Back them Miss Maybelline and I were best friends...being the essentially lazy wench that I am, instead of pulling out the oven tray to inspect the pies, I leaned into the oven instead for a closer look....
Thankfully there was a customer with a sense of humor and HE came back there and pried my eyes open.....While laughing his butt off......

    I saw this picture online....And my Mutha reminded me of an incident....A little history first...for those who don't me...I was a Late Bloomer, One-of-the-Guys, Never wore a dress kinda girl.... So.. I was asked to a DANCE by a boy I had known all my life. Very giddy was I! I got a dress and a pair of Candies high heels. Feathered my hair, put on stockings.....

Me 1982
   The BOY came to get me. He came up to the door, jerked a finger towards his car and went back down the walk. I decided if I was going to look like a lady, I should ACT like a lady. So I waited for him to open the car door. BOY went around to the drivers side. I assumed he was going to open the door from the inside.
        He sat in the car. I stood outside the car...Apparently I waited too long.  HE DROVE AWAY!
When he finally came back he asked
          "WHY the heck didn't I get in the car????"
          "Because I thought you'd open the door"
           "I never had to before!"
                                         LESSON LEARNED!

                                                HE's a DayGlo....Not a Dego!!

   We had given our boy some Glo Stix. He asked if he could take them to bed with him. I said YES! Middle of the night in the country s pitch black...He comes screaming down the hall...all we could see is Glow-In-The-Dark mouth and hands!
   He said the more he stared at it, the more it looked like candy.............
                                                         Moonlight and Romance

Randy (#1)   1988
         I was doing the dishes one night (by hand) and my hubby comes up and puts his arms around me and says "It's way to nice to be inside doing the dishes. It's a beautiful night for a walk...The stars are shining. the breeze is gentle.Wouldn't you like to go for a walk?" Me, being all giddy... said YES! he goes "GREAT! here's two bucks. Walk over to Sev (7-11) and grab me a pack of smokes"
       And he was ALLOWED to live....But he's NOT my hubby anymore...:))

   Well- That's it for this installment of my life!
If you have any mis-adventures...I'd like to hear them!





Monday, August 6, 2012

Bulls and Bananas!!!

Our boy, James
                             Holy Bulls, Batman!

    Bull riders are a special breed. It takes some nerve to get on the back of a bucking, twisting, pissed off animal that weighs as much as your car!
   Bull riding has been around as long as man has been chasing cattle! I am sure as a way to blow off steam, show off and hone skills. The PBR (Professional Bull Riders Association) was founded in 1992 and hosts over 300 events each year. The whopper of them all is the PBR Finals in Las Vegas. The top 30 cowboys compete for the World Title. The energy and excitement is astounding!
                   The object is to get on, and hang on!
                             8 seconds doesn't sound like a long time. But it is.
     In a nut-shell~The bulls get judged on 50% of the score, and the rider gets judged on 50% of the score.
    I've been to the Finals many times. We volunteer down there most years and sometimes in Bismarck for the Rider Relief Foundation...
        We have seen some tremendous accidents. These guys get launched into the air, stomped on, walked on, Rolled on and more.
Me and Hubby
     Which brings us to Banana's.  "Bucking-Bull-Nana's" to be exact. These riders get some incredible injuries. And let's face it, they aren't the most insurable guys! Don't get me wrong- these great athletes are  insured... But it doesn't leave any money left for anything else. Like bills. Or getting a spouse to your side in a hospital. Rider Relief Foundation helps these guys at all levels of competition (both Bull riders and Bull Fighters). Without it, many of these guys would lose everything they have. RRF is a 501c3-non-profit company. ( )
     Buffalo Gals Bakery & Country Store makes "Bucking-Bull-Nana" cookies. We give proceeds from these fabulous Oatmeal-Banana cookies to the RRF.  It's our way of saying THANKS. Thanks for the good times. Thanks for the excitement. Just Thanks.
   Do I have a Fave? Not so much this year, yet...But Ryan Dirteater gets me with his youthful exuberance!
  Look for an interview I just had with the RRF! I will be out soon!
Be sure to check out all the PBR has to offer... ... and Buffalo Gals too! or follow us on FB  

See ya there!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just BEET It!!

It's that time...To just BEET it...
We like Detroit Reds
          I am the first to admit I hated beets as a child. With a purple passion...My dad loved the hateful things. My husband likes Pickled Beets.
    Even after meeting him, I still did not like beets. ( musta been a Ukrainian thing) Finally I broke down and let him force feed me a 'no thank you' bite. And you know something...They were GOOD.
  So now, they are a garden staple every year.
         I grow.
         I Hoe.
         I pluck.
         I can.
         And Can.
         And can some more.
Hubby will eat a few quarts a week...

    Things I have learned~ They stain. And to always make sure I didn't dribble any on the floor to step in. It really was a sad day when I had little red foot prints on the carpet!
   I also know that Kroger Pickling Spice is hands down the BEST pickling spice ever. Not just for beets. But for all your pickling needs. ( just click on cantact and call customer service for help locating the store nearest you)  It has a taste that makes you want to keep on eating. And not nearly as much cloves as McCormicks.
  Unfortunately, it's not a brand that is just carried in ND. (though I did find out I can order it by the case from the local grocery) I have mine sent up from friends in Colo.
   Here is my Hubby's mom's recipe. It is simple, but good!
                                              Best Pickled Beets Ever!
                                Pick, clean and cut tops off of beets.
                                Boil until tender. Put in ice water to cool quickly so skins come off easily.
                                Cut into small pieces.
                                In a large pot mix:
                                              2 Cups Sugar
                                              2 Cups Vinigar
                                              2 Cups Water
                                              Egg size bag of pickling spice
                               Add beats. Simmer until tender or desired tatste
The little soldiers
                               Pack and seal.
                               Water bath can for 30 minutes

Perfect addition to the table! Happy eating!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Make it do, or do without!

Remember the old adage "Use it up,
                                          Wear it Out,
                                          Make it Do,
                                          Or do Without"?
      My grandparents said that. My own parents said it. I even uttered it to my kids. Once.
What were we called? Thrifty. Penny-wise. Tight. Creative....

           Some people have been making do forever...I am one of them. Mine is more a crafty thing. I almost can't pass up a neglected object without thinking "Gee, I can make a......."
     Nowadays there a boodle of fancy names for it. "Green. Up-cycle. Re-cycle. Re-purpose. Salvage.Re-utilize.
      I know it absolutely drives my husband nuts when I drag something home.  I happen to have a pile of projects. In the spare room, in the potting shed, in the barn, in the basement, and sometimes on the kitchen table.
    Currently I have been making Purses and Aprons. I am very lucky to have friends that give me stuff. I have a good amount of Burlap Coffee Bags that I got from my friend Jo Khalifa at MoJo Roast. She is a "Personal Coffee Roaster". Good for me that she gets some killer coffee bags that she passes on!
    This is a Win-Win situation. She buys some of her coffees from the Cafe Feminino project. A portion of those proceeds go to women's causes in coffee producing countries. In turn, I receive the bags and am able to make purses and other items. The money from these not only funds my business, but allows me to give back in return.
    Leftover wood becomes garden trellis's, (usually painted some shocking color) Old jeans become quilts, Any kind of found boxes become planters....and so on.
   For those who know me, they know that found usually involves me tip-toeing cheerfully through some abandoned homestead, willfully plundering...:)  
    As much as I love Flea Markets, I try to stay away....I have found out that's where the Under Stuffed go to get more stuff! Too easy for this girl to get way too much.
   When was the last time you made something? Isn't creating fun?



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Biscotti, Coffee and Custer & the 7th Calvery

     The other day I had the opportunity to get a first hand look at the Way-it-Was.

The Custer House
I was out at Ft Lincoln and was given 'The Tour' by the fabulous actors Nora and Al. Both were dressed in full costume. She as the Laundress, and Al as a Sargeant  (I think). I had look at the house, the enlisted men's barracks and commissary. I have to say that I was impressed! I have been to a number of Living History Museums around the country and this is among the finest. A must see.
        I really got a sense of Who these people were and What they 
                              were doing there.
                                                   A Little History:
 In 1872 a military post was built on former site of a Mandan Indian village. This became home the Colonel Custer & his wife Libbie (Elizebeth) and the 7th Calvary.
   It was a very busy place! There was barracks for 9 (yes, nine) full Companies, 7 officers quarters, stables for all, an entire section for the camp laundresses, hospital, post office, bakery, storehouse, and much more.
Libbie & G. Custer
       Every day the soldiers would drink Gallons of Coffee. Legend says it was so stout you could stand your spoon up in it! Today at the Ft Lincoln Commissary, You can drink a coffee roasted especially for them! "Like It Was! " This is made by MoJo Roast, Inc in Westhope, ND. If you'd like some for your home, it is only available from Ft. Lincoln! Did I mention that today's coffee is fabulous??
      History tells us that the Battle of Little Bighorn, better known as Custer's Last Stand, took place on June 25th and 26th 1876.  I am certain they fought valiantly against the Indians. However the Indians were masters of guerrilla warfare.
  There is also much speculation as to why Custer was NOT scalped. Some say it was because he was not recognised. Some say it was out of respect. One interesting theory I heard a number years ago~ Custer was not scalped because he killed himself. The Cheyenne (they were there too) would not scalp a coward or a madman. I got this from a Cheyenne gentleman who had it handed down through his family lore. It was stated that his direct relative was a participant in the Battle of Little Big Horn.
     Libbie Custer was the 'First Lady' of Ft Lincoln. Beautiful, smart and vivacious, Libbie set the tone for the social events. I myself admire the fact the she followed her man everywhere he was stationed!
My Guide Nora
  An interesting fact is that a Laundress with Army had more 'clout' that any other woman on a frontier post. They were even paid a WAGE by the US Army. The laundresses were considered the unsung heroes. Can you believe that initially there were only 4 laundresses per 100 men? Later that would change to a 1:20 ratio.  These women were also allotted housing and rations.
This is AL
   Along with their Coffee, The soldiers regularly ate HARDTACK. It often meant the difference between life and death on the trail. Hardtack is a biscuit that will hold forever. It is rock solid. To soften it up, it would be soaked in Coffee or water. It would not go bad. It traveled well. Didn't take up any space and had enough nutrients to keep you alive.  AL, the other interpreter at Ft Lincoln, regularly makes Authentic hardtack as part of his demonstration. You can also try a soft tack  version at the Commissary. A real taste of history!
You can also make your own at home with this simple recipe:
                                    2 Cup flour
                                    1 Cup water
                                   =/- 6 pinches of salt
                      That's it! mix together until a stiff dough forms. Roll out to about 1/4" thick. Using a fork, poke holes in the pieces (like a cracker) front and back. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes. Viola! Your very own piece of history.

    And by now I know you must be wondering What does Biscotti have to do with Ft Lincoln??? I make a number of the goodies for sale in the Commissary. Including the Soft Tack... and Biscotti.
                  Want to know more? Check out or or
 Come on down to Ft Lincoln! It's a great Stay-Cation! ...Fishing, camping, history....Memories.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Would you read a BOOK? Would read a Nook?

I can FEEL my mom looking to see if any of these are hers!
  Said Sam I am.
Ok, maybe Sam wouldn't have said that. But I did!

A Book. A precious commodity. In any language.
Reading a book is like talking to an old friend. Sometimes it makes you laugh. Sometimes it makes you cry. Sometimes it takes you on a journey to far away places.  Sometimes it can teach you something.
           Somebody once said "IF you can learn to read, you can teach yourself anything"
   My mom taught me to read very, very young. Thankfully I have always enjoyed it. I know I made her mad a time or two when I would be 'involved' with my book when she was trying to 'talk' to me.~ I would just look up blank and go "were talking to me?" ...I never quite got WHY that annoyed her until my oldest son did it to me.
    It was also difficult in school right from the get go. The other kids would be sounding out words and I would be done or very far ahead when my turn came.
   For some of us reading is as natural as breathing. We read anything...Literally. Everything from Cookbooks to Charmin labels. If it's the printed word, we are just naturally drawn to it.
    When we first moved back to ND, hubby charmingly suggested that I get a LIBRARY CARD! (snicker, snort, giggle). He just didn't get the whole owning the book thing. Still doesn't. But I humored him and went down to the little town near us to get one. I came home without one. Hubby asked me Why?...Because I already OWN most of what they have! (and what I don't my mama does, and it will someday be mine....big smile) Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against going to the library. I have spent many, many hours in them.
  I recently tried to move into the new century (finally). First I downloaded a book on my laptop. Don't get me wrong. It was a good book and I enjoyed it. But I had a very hard time actually reading it....Anyone who knows me, knows that I can sit down with a book, tune out the world, and just READ. 
  (  *this book is "Letters of a Woman Homesteader"  here is the link:
   I had a hard time with not being able to just mark, use the flap, or dog ear (Yes, Mom...I said DOG EAR) where I was. Just as hard was not being able to just take the laptop to the kitchen to read while I cooked dinner. Couldn't just leave the laptop outside on the swing, because the dog, garden, cows etc want attention while I am out there.And it might rain, get licked, walked on by a cat or any manner of outdoor things, while my attention is turned for a few moments. 
             NO, Mom...I do NOT take my best books outside for abuse!
 I also borrowed one of those NOOK things. That I can see the merits of. Very nice for plane rides. Fits in carry on nicely. Once again though, I found the negatives outweighed the positives for me. Still couldn't use it in the kitchen to read while kneading bread or frying chicken., ...would still be worried sick I laid it on a bench somewhere and forgot my pricey toy.
   Mostly though, I think for me it's the inability to just have a couple of three, four books going at any given time. ~Without having to bounce around electronically~ And also not being able to just loan my books. I was under the impression, that you can't just 'transfer' your book electronically to your friends device. Maybe that is not true. Don't know. Probably will never know, unless someone tells me otherwise.
   I think I will stay happily ensconced in the past as far as my reading material goes. I like looking at the covers and reading  the flaps (and maybe a chapter or two) before I buy it. I like have a bunch of well loved paperbacks to read while needing a distraction in the kitchen. I like the smoothness of the cover & the texture of the pages as I turn them. I like that at a glance I can pick a book out of my line-up on sight. I like the comfort of having a book tucked in my luggage for later. I like that when my boyz ASK me a question I can say "GO LOOK IT UP!" ....Yes...this person STILL has a full set of encyclopedias!  (They hated that.. They'd ask and we'd say "5 minutes...Go look it up and come back and tell me")
   I find it amusing that now my son circles my books like a little vulture the same way I circle my moms!
    Old books, New books, Funny books, History books, Not so much Sci Fi books, Trashy books, Any books...I love them all.
  Pick one up and enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Down on the Farm

That would be THE FARM (with emphisis) as opposed to the Other Farm. We live on THE FARM, and the rest of our land is at the Other Farm.

        I have cows. They are trained. They all have names.
There's Barbie & Q, Rusty, Bubba, Wheezy, Teriyaki, You're next, ....

    We have a horse...Pricess Di. There were others over the years... Bambii the Amazing Albino Elk, Ebony (Black Irish-hahaha), Mini-Me...
Assorted other animals...Cats 'Faahhhsssaaaah' ( like Mufasa from the Lion King), Smokey, Wild Kitty and more.
The lone dog- Missy.  She is the only animal hubby named.

Rusty and crew
      Hubby says we have Catholic Cowz. I have a bunch of them trained to line up and stick their tounges out for Cheese It's. All in a row. He says it looks" COW-munion".
   My Girlz also know when Mama is in the garden and come running.. They are accustomed to hand outs over the fence when I weed.
   Bambii The Amazing Albino Elk was the favorite horse. We grew older together. When we moved back to ND, I brought her with. And what an ordeal that turned out to be! Up until that point Bambii and I had NEVER been anywhere that I couldn't ride her to.
Bambii the Amazing Albino Elk
  So, hubby bought a very used trailer AND hooked it to HIS pick-up. Now mind you, I had NEVER towed anything. Ever. (except for time we tried to tow the silver-bullet with duct tape and panyhose)
Bambii gets in. The lone goose gets in. The last chicken followed the goose. The dog tried to get in.
       A little bit like Noah's Ark
And we're off. Hubby got a CB radio for the truck. So he could yell at me every couple miles, I presume. In Nebraska it was WINDY & RAINY. And everytime a semi would pass the trailer would move. So I would slow down to a crawl. I was parinoid to say the least. Worried I would wreck and hurt my Bambii. And (a little less) worried I would do something to HIS truck. I was literally in tears on that ride. And when he tried to call me on the CB I was maybe blubbering a bit about my girl. In SD we stopped at a little Chinese joint for lunch. We parked towards the back of the parking lot. I let Bambii out and tied her up. In we go to eat. There was only one other customer the whole time we were there. In retrospect- I'm sure it must have looked pretty funny to have a horse tied up outside the backdoor!
   Eventually we made it here, to THE FARM. I could have kissed the ground. Bambii could have cared less.

That's it from here!

Friday, June 1, 2012

I could be a very happy girl!



                                          Would make me a very happy girl!
      I need a commercial kitchen here at the farm. We have some ideas. Of course there is the tug of war of  Mine vs His. Hubby needs Vision. To be able to think outside the box. ~ Or barn, as the case may be.
    In my wildest dreams, my space would have a full Atomic Kitchen from the 50's. It would be bright, cheery, wildly colorful and comfy at the same time.
     Many years ago I visited an old man who was remodeling his kitchen in Flagler, Colorado. It was a complete Pale Pink Atomic Kitchen. Rounded counters, under the counter refrigeration, pull outs, over-under matching double ovens....Ohhhhhh myyyyyy. I was in heaven!
    I also about cried when he just 'junked' it to the pile. Poor Kit couldn't even begin to understand why I was so distraught!
      When we needed a new stove and fridge for the house, I headed to my favorite Antique store in Sacramento. (I was on vacation) There I found THE kitchen for me! I tried to reason with hubby. I could buy this 'whole' kitchen...working even...for the price of a new fridge. He wouldn't budge an inch. I'm still kicking myself in the shorts over that!
       I spent many hours next to Grammy's massive old stove in the kitchen in San Francisco. I recall it had a warming drawer and a place where you could hook up tubing for hot water. Grammy used to make my favorite round grilled cheese on it. She also heated her metal curling iron on it. (for the rare occasions I would sit still long enough...)
    Around 2003 hip magazines started touting the "Joys of Housework"  calling it 'theraputic', 'self-esteem building',  yes....even 'thrilling'.  Fiesta Ware and metal tumblers started making a comeback. And Martha rocketed to stardom!
       Funny, ain't it?
Where is this NOW?
Fun fact***** In the '50's Ladies Home Journal Art of Homemaking suggested that a ladies (house)dress should be "Wide enough for action, but not so wide that it will get in your way or make you trip on stairs or a ladder...."
                             Can you just see me now? Stop laughing already!
   But I digress...
In a nut shell, I want to bring some nostalgia to my little space. To be comfy and cozy. And have you want to come by, have a cup of coffee and a chat. I want to share my recipes with you and gardening tips.
    And speaking of...How about this recipe for Cheese Straws... A friends mom used to make these.
                (the paper it's on says it came from a Kraft Cheese box)
                             1/3 cup grated American Cheese
                             1 Tbs Butter
                             1 1/2 Tbs milk
                             4 Tbs Flour
                             1/2 c Bread Crumbs (seasoned to taste)
               Cream together cheese and butter. Add milk. In a small bowl combine flour and seasonings. Add to mixture. Knead lightly until smooth. Roll to pastry thickness. (about 1/4 inch) Cut into strips 6" x 3/4". Bake on greased cookie sheets in oven until browned.
           * these are good with soups and salads*
 I have the Vision. I WILL make it happen! (soon)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Potato, Pataaahhhhhtoe

Me and my huge Reds
      So here I am. A smidge after 5 a.m. The sun  is up, the birds are chirpping away and I am doing nothing. Just sipping my coffee and thinking that I should be out hilling my potatos before it gets hot today.

     Instead, I know I will end up eating some potatos first!
    We eat so many potatos, you would think we were Irish! - Mostly fried in the cast iron skillet with onions and peppers....YUM

potato field...100 hills
There are many ways to grow potatos. And just as many types of potatos. We generally grow Red's..Pontiac is fave. Though we occasionally have Yukons. But rarely standard Russets.
The =K guard 'Mingos (I like this shade of lipstick!)
  I hill ours. Not because I think it's the best way...But because my Holstein painted yard 'Mingos look cool out guarding the potato patch! :)
   My uncle puts in rows of Potatos out in the field and just leaves 'em to make it on their own. And they grow just fine.
  I have also has great success growing some in cardboard boxes with layers of newspaper and dirt alternated. This is great for patio gardeners!
  This gardener has always wanted to try the 'Tire' method, but hubby Vetos it...that's where you would use old tires in stackable rings. I know a lady in Denver that does this to save on garden space and conserve water. She starts with one tire on the ground filled with dirt. She usually puts about 4 potatos in it. as they grow, she adds more 'rings' and dirt. When they are 3 or so tires high, she stops stacking. And just waters for the rest of the season. After the first hard frost she takes off the rings. And presto...Many potatos without the back-breaking work of hilling!
   Storage- Most years we just dig, and store in the basement. We put ours in cardboard boxes (no lids) and don't pack them in. We pack loosely so they  can 'breath'. The reds seem to hold the best and we can eat ours all the way through April most years. Then we use whatever is left for Seed when we plant again.
  One year we had the Great Potato Fiasco. I personally planted and hilled 100 hills! -My cousins had just moved here from California and I said I would share my garden with them the first year... Fall came, hubby and boys dug the potatos. We were also still 'in the field' at this point. So hubby told the boyz to fill every barrel they could find with potatos and to drag them to the barn. He swore he'd have the boys sack 'em up and bring  'em in sooooooon. Well, soon turned out to be at Christmas when we were completely out in the house. He sent the boys out to the barn to grab a barrel and bring it in. Lo and behold... every single potato was FROZEN solid!!!....
   Did I mention that we like Potato Salad??? Every family has their own 'recipe'. Some like mustard, some put in jalapenos, some like it warm. I like it cold.
   Here's our 'family' recipe...

  Potatos & Hard Boiled Eggs  2:1 ratio  (we do 10 & 5)
  MAYO!!!! (not miracle whip)
  Onions - diced small (usually 1 good size onion does the trick)
  1 Stalk Celery - Minced
  1 can Sliced Black Olives
  Dill - lots
  Mustard - standard yellow. No fancy stuff
  Dill Relish - or a couple-three pickle spears diced up

        There is no exact recipe...You just kinda start putting it all in a big bowl and add until it tastes 'right'. ....You'll know.

( And yes... I know that the correct plural spelling is p-o-t-a-t-o-e-s)

   Have a favorite Potato recipe or story?
I'd like to know....


Thursday, May 17, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Forever stuck in my mind is the nursery rhyme:
     "Let's marry" said the cherry.
     "Why me?" said the pea.
     "Cuz you're sweet" said the beet
     "Say you will" said the dill
     "Think it over" said the clover.....

And YES, I know the remaining 36 verses!

     Over the years have honed my gardening skills. Some of my methods are unconventional. Some are handed down tips. And some I just learned as I went. There were definitely many failures. But just as many successes spurred me on.
   I think I just absorbed a love of the dirt and the whirrrrr of the mower. My Dad was forever puttering in the yard, My Grandpa was a master tomato grower and my Grammy always had geraniums in buckets on the stairs in San Francisco.
My dad and me
   My first flowers were Nasturtiums. It remains a favorite. We planted them in like the first grade at school as a Mother's Day project. On the way home with my precious plant, my brother knocked it out of my hand and the pot broke. I think I've been growing them ever since just to prove a point!
  One year my hubby brought home 'seed' potatoes from one of his customers. I planted them with care and hilled. And hilled. and hilled some more. Fall came. We went to dig up the potatoes...and imagine my surprise to find out they were Fingerlings! Nice, pretty, fancy, itty bitty potatoes.
  One year we had potatoes as big as my head!

I usually plant a double row of corn all the way around my garden, leaving little 'gates' on all four sides. The first year I did it I called it Corn-wallis...It wasn't so funny after I had to explain Cornwallis.
  The cornwall protects everything else. It can blow gale force winds and nothing on the inside is ruined. The corn just stands back up. It also helps to keep it a little more humid in the square, which makes my plants happy. You can also plant shade loving plants near the corn.
  Hubby likes hot radishes, so they are planted with the onions.  I make my tomatoes grow bigger and sturdier by pinching off all the bottom leaves and most of the first blooms as well.
   An old kettle BBQ is a planter for my carnations and petunias. And We have a HOT PINK Adirondack chair and ottoman one of the boyz made in school. ( he swore he would take it when he moved....he didn't so now it's mine) That's where hubby sits to watch me garden.
                    For me I think it is the satisfaction of knowing 'I did it!'
   In a later post I will have my favorite pickled beet recipe and one for corn relish.
     Some tips I have learned..*Never plant a full 25 ft row of lettuce at one time. You will never eat it all!
* Do not forget your potatoes in the barn...They WILL freeze solid in the winter in ND * As in the field, you should rotate your 'crops' in the garden. * When you are stressed, you can work it off in the garden by beating the hoe on the ground and imagining who is annoying you!

This how part of my garden grows!

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's all in a name!

                                        I have been called many names.
                                                     Rarely the one I prefer...
Me and Hubby
    Honey, Baby, Kate, Pita, Sweetie, Sweetheart, Mutha (it's an Italian thing...) Darling, Sugar, Katherine, LeMoo (a nickname for LeDoux) Mom, Mama, Mother (one word and two!) Mommy, Cookie, His wife, Kathy, The Boyz's mom - as in "Hey! James' (insert kid name here) mom..."  Boo Boo Kitty, Queenie, Light of my life, Katchya, Katya, Mom-Kat, Mrs. TomKat, Jim's daughter, Stace's sister, Hey you, Damnit!! -usually attached to a Kate or Katherine...
                              But rarely KATY!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

And a story about Leggs, brings us to Eggs!

     They come in all sizes and colors.
                 Some are Brown
                 Some are Blue
                 Most eggs are good for you!

    Here at Buffalo Gals Bakery, we know a thing or two about eggs! We get ours from a nearby farmer that raises only real free range chickens. They feed on the grasses that grown naturally and are not given any hormones.
  *Did you know that truly fresh eggs are nearly impossible to peel? Their low Albumen PH level causes the albumen to adhere to the inner shell.
     If you let your farm fresh eggs 'age' for about a week and then boil them, the shells will come right off.
  * Most supermarket eggs are already 3-5 weeks old before they are even on the shelf. The expiration date on the carton is a 30 day expiration  from the time they were packaged!!!
  * Farm Fresh eggs have on average seven times more Beta Carotene, twice as many Omega 3's, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4  less saturated fat and three  times the vitamin E than 'store' bought eggs.
                  And they taste better!
    According to an old joke "the best way to keep an egg fresh, is to keep it in the chicken!"

Mike the Headless Chicken
is an entirely different story!
   * You CAN keep fresh eggs for long periods of time. Stored UNWASHED in cool pace- whether it's the basement, fruit cellar, refrigerator- fresh eggs will keep for for a couple months and still be perfectly fresh.
   Why??? Because they are unwashed! Hen Fruit, right from the chicken, is coated with a natural sealant called "Bloom". While washed eggs are definitely prettier, leaving them unwashed protects them against bacteria and aging.                                                 

        Uncle Sam & our local Health Department sez No Way!

     As a consumer YOU SHOULD KNOW  that chemicals are used to wash the eggs from factory chickens before they go to the grocery. Some of these chemicals are : Chlorine, Ozone, Hydrogen Peroxide, Potassium or Sodium Hydroxide (that means LYE) . Since egg shells are porous, a portion of the chemicals will be absorbed into the egg. That's the part to be concerned about.
         I'm not saying you Shouldn't  eat 'store' eggs, I just wanted to point out some facts.

  Julia Childs once said "The egg can be your best friend, if you just give it the right break."

 Manga! Manga!

Never tow a car with duct tape and pantyhose

....A lesson I have learned!

    Living the life of a veritable nomad for many years has led to countless adventures. ( I now live permanently in North Dakota!)
Must be Silky, Sheertoe & Control Top!
   One such adventure happened waaaay back when women still wore NYLONS. Because it was the IN thing to do- that's why. Some friends and I had gone out to the country for giggles. Somehow one car just quit working. After mulling it over (... a drink or two) and batting around some ideas- we had an 'Ah Ha' moment.
  Since we were positive it had been proven somehow, somewhere that pantyhose have the textile strength of a tow rope, we ladies were persuaded to fork over the pantyhose we had on. The men then used duct tape to attach the pantyhose to the car.  Much wrapping and taping and yelling went on...
    And they're off! One to steer the broken car, the rest to ride in the other car and 'help' the driver.
We got going alright. And then  a funky noise.. and poof! The other car is waaaaaay back there. Apparently pantyhose are NOT that strong after all!
                                            Ahhhh-My trusty Leggs let me down!

      Stay tuned for more adventures!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Doing good feels good!

Marine Jean Quilt
                 An Evening of Art & Fashion for a great cause.

     High fashion, Generous donations and a fabulous group of ladies from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University made a difference in the lives of Military families.
    With a motto of " Breaking thorough barriers for women and girls" The OSU chapter of AAUW  put together this fundraiser to provide computers for Deployed Military Women to continue their educations online. And also funds for Single mothers to finish theirs.
                                           An Evening of Arts and Fashion
Ali B's Original Designs
   Among the donations was a Marine Jean Quilt, made by me. I got the jeans from the quilt from my son Cpl. Dillon Tapparo. He originally was acquiring jeans from his buddies on post so I would make him a new blanket. Luckily he gave me enough for two. Jeretta Nord Horn (director of the OSU chapter AAUW) decided that my quilt would do much better in the live auction-(Which also featured items from world renown designer Stella Thomas). There was fierce bidding for it .
      The Marine Jean Quit eventually was sold for 800 dollars. It was able to purchase THREE computers!
   Among the other donors was the incredibly talented Alanna Beoppre of Ali B's Originals in Bottineau, ND. She makes outstanding custom jewelry.
  Jo Khalifa of MoJo Roast in Westhope,ND "Your Personal Coffee Roaster" also generously gave of both her time and talents. As a friend of Jeretta Nord Horn, Jo was asked to be of assistance. Jo put out the word to North Dakota companies to provide donation items for a silent auction.
Original Stella Thomas Designs
                          The evening was a great success!
And what's more, these women that are benefiting from this event are leading the way with their Can Do Attitude. They are proving that anything is possible.
                                                   May God keep them safe.