I tried baking bacon in the oven . . . it works!

The yellow glow of the the oven light shines on the kitchen floor, providing the only light in the house. A steaming pot of coffee and a rack of bacon sizzling in the oven should soon wake the household, letting them know morning has arrived. Until then, I will sit beside the dining room window, with a wilting vase of cream and yellow dahlias sitting on the kitchen table, writing.

This morning’s sun, letting us know it’s about to rise.

Now looking at the bacon, it appears it’ll be ready sooner than I thought. I still have to figure out what kind of breakfast to go along with the bacon, I can’t just serve bacon, right?

The gentle morning light looks favorably good against our still-somewhat-new picket fence. With the grass below it, and the tree tops behind it, it provides the perfect backdrop for my white clothesline.

One clothesline pole is beginning to lean. I know why too. Last summer-or the summer before-I ran into it with the lawn mower. I didn’t notice the roll bar on the mower was up, until it hit the horizontal part of the clothes line pole. The mower lifted up on it’s back two wheels. Instantly I looked back, expecting the pole to be ripped out of the ground, it wasn’t. My husband and my brother did a great job of cementing the poles into the ground. My laundry isn’t going any where.

The bacon’s ready now and I still don’t know what else to make. Maybe pancakes, or eggs. Something simple, so I think pancakes it will be.


I want to do some chores at home yet before I leave. I’m headed to a baby shower this afternoon. But us ladies, the ones who are setting up, are going to have lunch at church first. So, I’m deciding which chores to tackle first. Cut and freeze the bell peppers, fix my dress, so I can wear it later, start laundry or spray the gravel for weeds. The weeds behind the picket fence need to be sprayed as well . . .

I trimmed behind there last week. But when I heard a rattle snake, I decided to leave the snakes territory and wonder back to my own. Where I could see a snake if it came to visit, Although, I’ve fully thought out what I plan to do should a rattle snake visit, which is: load my husband’s shotgun, and aim toward the belly crawling creature. I don’t that I’d fire the gun, but I doubt I would have the nerve to walk close enough to the snake so the bullet could hit it.

Ah, who knows. 😀

But needless to say, I did not finish trimming the entire area. The weeds were so big I couldn’t see the creature, so I didn’t dare myself to continue working amongst two-feet high weeds.

Canning is mostly behind us. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to make strawberry jam and two months from now we’ll can pineapples, neither of which I plan to keep. I have a lot of jam and my husband and I don’t eat pineapples that much.

However, tomato canning has began. I’m making all things tomato every time I have enough tomatoes picked so it pays to get the canning supplies out. I did my first batch last week.

Last week Mom and I canned the last batch of pickles, beets, and froze enough corn to last us another year. Thursday I helped deep clean the church building; afterword I spent two hours in town, running every errand I’d pushed off for months. I also picked up a grocery order. That evening it rained one inch and thirty hundreds.

It’s was a busy week. But it ended with a slow, relaxing weekend.

Colorado Springs is a Great Place for a Mini Vacation With the Family

The week before last it rained a good amount so the family (Willie and I included) packed up our luggage and drove to Colorado Springs. We ziplined over streams and pine trees, in the most untouched area of the Rockies I have ever seen. We booked with Soaring Adventure Ziplines at Seven Falls. I highly recommend it, the view was amazing, the staff was supper helpful and friendly; overall it was the best ziplining I’d ever done. We also visited Cave of the Winds. Thirteen years ago, I visited with my family, but I don’t remember hardly anything from that trip.

We also visited Cave of the Winds. Thirteen years ago, I visited with my family, but I don’t remember hardly anything from that trip.

I can’t speak for my family-I know they like it-but I really enjoyed it. I hope to visit a lot more caves from now on. The whole time I marveled at God’s creation, pointing out almost every beautiful thing I saw.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. I cherish these moments with my husband, brother and parents. Life is so short, I want to take in every minute of it.


There’s so much I’d like to write about (haha) but no one wants to read that much. (haha) No, I better get on with my day. Hoping you all have a wonderful week.

Until next time,

-Maria 😀

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Enjoying Summer While it’s Here

Sometimes I find myself needing that little bit of “quiet time,” even though I’m by myself almost the entire day. Sometimes I just need that little bit of time to sit and rest my mind. I have a very busy mind. If I’m not thinking, I’m sleeping. And sometimes I’m simply not sleepy. (haha)

I can see my family and friends raising their eyebrows if they’re reading this. They assume I’m always sleepy. Because it happens quite a bit, but not as often as they think.

Every now and then I need to rest my mind and just enjoy the life God has given me. I don’t always allow myself to do this. I tell myself, if I’m not working, someone else is. Taking time to myself is a challenge I accepted, and this past week I allowed myself to do just that. Yesterday, I sat in the shade of our elm tree and literally watched the corn grow. I savored every cucumber bite from my Kansas cucumber salad, and relished in the flavor of my cucumber water. Then I read a book for ten minutes. After fifteen minutes, I felt rested and ready to go back to work. It doesn’t take a lot of time to feel rested-depending on how behind you are.

I’ve learned that sometimes we just need to take the time and rest.

And boy, those cucumbers were good! I’ll write out the ingredients, incase you’re also up to your knees in cucumbers and need a good way to use them.

Kansas Cucumbers

Recipe from Sandhill Favorites Recipe Book.

1 c. mayonnaise

4 T. Sugar

4 T. Vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

3-4 large fresh cucumbers, peeled and sliced

Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour over fresh cucumbers.

This recipe book is loaded with a bunch of good recipes. A lot of them are traditional Mennonite recipes, but there’s a bunch of other good ones too. Here’s a link to a publishing company I found that sells the recipe book online, incase you’re interested.

I went for a ride this morning with my horse, Scarlett. Usually, before breakfast I work on my novel, but this morning I really wanted to go for a ride. I had a feeling it would be a beautiful morning, and it was. The sun’s light glimmered through the cloud cracks, slowly peaking over the light blue clouds, that stretched along the eastern horizon. The corn stood still and the birds sang in the trees, as we walked along the road, carved into the earth after years of farm traffic. Scarlett snatched a few corn leaves, unable to resist the greenery, I don’t think she was impressed though. She didn’t go back for seconds. 😛

(Last time I mentioned how we don’t farm sweet corn; to clarify, the corn crop I’m talking about will be chopped while it’s still lush and green, for cattle feed during the winter. Also, it was planted late, so growing sweet corn in it was not an option.)

This picture was taken while I enjoyed my Kansas Cucumbers, a day after I groomed the dog.

The dog trimming was a success. For a first-timer, I think I did verily well. But goodness, to anyone who grooms animals for a living, y’all do hard work. After that, my back was spent. The dog walked into the house, plopped down on the kitchen floor, and acted like he was tired. He just stood on the porch steps, sitting occasionally. (Haha) He was a good boy though, he did a good job.

I had a good week, full of work, friends, and family. We didn’t get the corn freezing done, but I’m hoping we’ll get that done next week.

I also spent one afternoon at a coffee shop, laughing and talking with some amazing friends. One of these days I will take my laptop, order an ice coffee, find a cozy corner in our local coffee shop and work on my novel. Or I’ll read a book. That sounds like a vacation to me. 😀

One day . . .

I will talk to you all back here in a few weeks,

Have a good weekend guys,

Maria-

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Exciting things are happening in the garden . . .

It was a pleasant day. The sun gleamed on the ripening pumpkins, providing the perfect light for a quick photo, by my poor quality phone. (I refuse to get a new one until this one breaks.) Flies buzzed passed my ears, while others hovered over the dogs head, sneaking the occasional sting of blood from his ears. The dog huffed even under the shade of the small elm tree, for the weather wasn’t unbearable, but not enjoyable for a husky/golden retriever, with fur as think and long as broom bristles. I have planned to cut his hair this week yet. The groomer does an amazing job, but Buddy needs a trim so often it drains the stashed coffee pot. By grooming him myself a few times a year, I hope to save a few dollars.

I wanted these pumpkins for fall decoration, but looks like they’re going to be ready to early. 😛

After I swept the kitchen floor, made the bed, washed the dishes, tidied up around the house, and set out meat to thaw for lunch, I jogged down the porch steps and walked to the garden. I keep the garden hoe hung on the tomato trellis; it saves a lot of steps from the shed to the garden in the summer. But before I began the hoeing, I picked the ripe vegetables, brought them into the kitchen, washed them, then laid them out on a kitchen towel to dry before I set them aside for storage.

Today’s harvest.

My mom and I are planning on canning cucumbers tomorrow. We always can in her kitchen, she has all the supplies in her storage room. Because we share the produce in my garden, it makes me feel better about using her supplies and her kitchen.

The Days Spent at Home in the Kitchen

Plus, there is something about working in the kitchen you learned how to cook in. It brings back memories of “the old days.” When warm summer air seeped through the kitchen window screen, apple pie filling bubbled over the crust edging as it baked in the oven, and steak sizzled in the pan as it fried on the electric stove top. The best part was when I stepped out the dinning room doors and yelled toward the shop, “lunch is ready.” Mom would over hear, and everyone quit their task and walked toward the laundry room door. They would ooh and aww while they washed up. I would always stand beside the stove, my smile reaching across Kansas, while my brother taste tested the food. Obviously, I was proud of what I had created, because I didn’t cook often, growing up. That’s probably why I remember so vividly the times that I did cook; it was such a rare occasion.

Anyways, back to today . . .

A part of my garden (a far away look at the corn stocks).

Mom has planned to also cut and freeze sweet corn this week. We always get a big batch from our farmer friends. Because my family farms alfalfa hay, we don’t plant acres of sweet corn. It’s easy for the corn farmers, they just leave a patch in their feed corn crop for sweet corn and treat it exactly like they do their feed crop.

I’m growing corn in my garden this year, I tasted it this morning–I’m glad we got the farmer’s corn to rely on. This corn I planted–we’ll I musta done something wrong, it doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not as good as the farmer’s corn . . . oops. I’ll try again next year. 🙂

After I fried fish, cooked rice and steamed vegetables (for myself, Willie doesn’t eat veggies) for lunch, I washed dishes, mowed, trimmed, raked the cut grass and laid the grass out in my garden as mulch. This is the first year I’m laying down mulch in my garden. The books and YouTube videos I read and watch say, “do not let your ground be uncovered.” So far I’m seeing good results–also, it helps keep the weeds away. But I still have to cut a lot of grass before the garden is completely covered.

A few other chores were done, but we won’t go into detail about those.

I did put together the stand up mirror my husband gave me for my birthday though. Here’s the link to the one my husband got me, in case you’re looking for one. I’m loving it! You wouldn’t want to have it standing in a child’s room though, it seems to wobbly for that. The children might run into it and I don’t think it could withstand that. But it’s prefect for an adult’s room.

It’s seven thirty and Willie’s going to be home soon, so I’m gonna prepare dinner by reheating leftovers, 😛

Until next time,

-Maria