Sunday, August 30, 2015

Minnesota State Fair 2015

My Christmas gift last year from Al, was tickets to see Carrie Underwood at the Minnesota State Fair.  We went yesterday.  It's a part of my 50 things to do before I turn 50.  I plan to post more of them soon....

If you haven't been, this is quite possibly the largest state fair.   We have been there 3 times in the past 8 years and there is a sea of people and I mean sea...waves of me, mind boggling.  

I don't like crowds like that...but, I do love Carrie Underwood.  So, as we made our way through the crowds all day...I became kinda crazy...I actually held my arms up like a robot or zombie and started saying "beep, beep," like a dump truck when it is in reverse...I know I looked crazy, sounded crazy, but I just couldn't take it.  One thing that gives me anxiety - is crowds of people.  Hey, I was already amped up from the 5 lanes of big city highway driving the swerving in and out, lane changes and I was just the passenger.  I think I've found a solution to that problem, on the way home, I just took off my glasses and looked at my phone...if I can't see it, I won't get anxious (I'm terribly farsighted and can literally see nothing with out my glasses).  Next thing I knew we were crossing the Mississippi River into good ol' Wisconsin.  

The concert was amazing.  Her voice is truly a gift from God!  One bad thing about going to a Carrie Underwood concert - everyone knows her songs and sings along....Hey, people I want to hear her sing that!  LOL  

Thanks Al for the fun day and crossing off another thing on my 50 by 50 list.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Intentions -vs- Actions

My friend, Renee, let me come over and share in her bean bounty.  While visiting, she mentioned something that I knew I would blog about:  Intentions -vs- Actions.

What is more important, to have intentions or actions?  I never thought about this before.  

We all have intentions:  I intend to lose 20 pounds, I intend to weed all of my flower beds, I intend to clean out the storage shed, I intend to volunteer at the homeless shelter or whatever your plans or intentions may be.  

Our actions, however is a reflection of our intentions acted upon.  I intended to lose 20 pounds, but the chocolate cake I'm eating won't get me there.  I intended to weed my flower beds, but by the looks of the weeds, I didn't quite meet that goal.  I intended to clean out the storage shed, I'm partially done with that.  I intended to volunteer at the homeless shelter but, where did the summer go? 

In my opinion, one can have the "best" of intentions, but we won't be judged on is our actions that will form other's opinions of us.  

In thinking about this post, the Joker and Batman came to mind.  I know, this dates me...  The Joker has intentions to cause chaos and treat every situation like a joke or game.  Batman on the other hand, is serious and fights evil to protect the people in his city.  Classic villain and hero scenario.  We really don't judge these characters by their intentions, rather we base our opinion of them on their actions.  


I'm sure we can all think of people in history that had intentions, but their actions didn't materialize.  Sometimes it was a blessing that they were unable to accomplish their goals.  Adolf Hitler had horrific intentions not only for the Jewish nation, but the world.  Thankfully he was defeated and unable to accomplish them.  Abraham Lincoln intended to abolish slavery, but was unable to accomplish that due to his assignation.  Just think of all the blood shed that might have been saved had he been able to end the civil war earlier.

I could do a whole bible study on this.  Scripture tells me that God will judge us not only by our actions, but also by our intentions.  

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."  Jeremiah 17: 9-10

Unlike man, who judge each other on our actions, God judges us by what is in our heart, our intentions.  Even our most hidden thoughts...

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."  (red letters)  Matthew 5:28

Yikes, what?!?  What hope do we have then, if God is judging our intentions too.  I think on David.  David was favored by God, truthfully, as a woman, I don't understand it.  David, had several wives, committed adultery, lusted after a married woman and then killed her husband.  How then, did David become such a beloved figure?  It was his heart...David always found a way back to repentance.  

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit with in me."  Psalm 51:10

I may be a simple minded person, but I find comfort in this.  We all are human, we all struggle with our sinful nature - our intentions and actions.  I want to use David's example of finding a place of repentance - "create in me a clean heart Lord."

Lately, I have been so comforted by the following scripture:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."  Philippians 4:8-9

I know it seems too simple - think on good things.  How can we as the world if full of the other.  Worry, depression, anxiety even hate can find a way into our minds and hearts.  Just do as I am trying..."create in me a clean heart Lord" and think on things that are honest, true and of a good report and find peace in the love of Christ - his saving grace.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Trash to Treasure - UpCycled Desk and Chair

Table before...

Chair before....

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Midnight loves to help me work....

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Table and chair, now upcycled into a desk and chair.  Available at Jackie's Antique Mall on Brown, In Rothschild, Wisconsin - $75 for set. Coffee sacks (what I used for chair) available at Water Street Vintage in New London, Wisconsin for $5 each.  

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Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Self Employment - A One Woman Shop

I've been a paper "girl", babysitter, dishwasher, kitchen help, nanny, retail sales clerk, secretary, bookkeeper, probate assistant, night office cleaning staff, seasonal cookie and candy sales (selling my own creations to customers), telephone book delivery, hobby farmer (selling produce, eggs, meat, chickens, turkeys), auction helper, auctioneer, personal property appraiser, estate sale staff, estate "buy-outer", event promoter, artist, craft and flea market vendor, antique dealer, guest speaker, blogger, teacher....the list goes on...and will continue... until I take my last breath. 

(my friend Sue, who has supported me all these past 19 years and her husband, Dan - who has passed on - was one of my mentors in the pickin business)

Originally, I left my 9-5 to be a stay at home mom.  We were blessed with the financial security so I could do it.  That was 19 years ago.  In the list above of my work experience, most of those titles happened during this past 19 years.  I have always had the drive and desire to make my "own" money.  This was instilled in me by my mom - as she was the most ingenious and creative person I knew.  Some of those job titles above - she and I did together as a team.

Over these past 19 years, I've heard many comments..."you're so lucky," "I wish I could stay home," "how do you buy out an estate?" "if I were home, I would be able to those things too," - these any many, many others.  

I'm writing this today, because of what I read here:

"Don't be Jealous, Just Get Busy," blog post by Funky Junk Donna.  It was so appropriate for me today.  I love this quote on her post... 

Luck is like buying a lottery ticket, hoping you’ll win.
Success is working to earn your win.
It will officially be a year tomorrow that Alan and I started our new stage of life - empty nesters.  The thought of going back to a 9-5 crossed my mind, but I've been self employed so long, I just don't think I can do it.  You know the old saying, "you can let the cows out of the barn, but it is much harder to get them back in,"  I'm too independent to work for some one else.  I have enough faith in my own talents and abilities that was built through my experiences over the past 19 years.

Donna's focus for her "success" is different than mine - that's fine - but, as fellow bloggers, we all know we write or post for a reason.  I've been inspired by reading other's blogs, looking at pictures on Instagram, following business facebook pages, tweeting - this has propelled me this past year.  

I recently read this article:  

An important statement was, "you only work for one person, yourself"  I often tell people, "I can make me or break me."  

If you are reading this and have hopes of chasing your real dreams and leaving your 9-5 - it won't be easy.  There  is no magic pill or get rich quick idea - however, there is a work hard at it idea!  Be prepared, Donna is right - many people will be jealous - heck, I have been too - it's hard not to compare your path with others - but, DON'T - as Donna said "just get busy."     You might have noticed that I have been writing and sharing alot on my sites - it is for a reason...I'm just getting busy.  Thanks for following along.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homemade Corn Nuts

While on my recent visit to Peru, I was so inspired by their agriculture; especially, all the varieties of potatoes and corn that they grow.  Maybe those just interested me more, because we do the same here in Wisconsin.  Peruvian corn, monte pelado, is the large white corn.  You might know better  in the form of  Corn Nuts. While visiting Anna in Milwaukee, she took us to an international grocery store and I bought some of this corn.  

The directions on the package tell you to soak corn overnight.  Well, I didn't - I put 3 cups of water to boil and added 1 C corn, put lid on and let sit all day.  

Most of the corn was floating to the top so I figured it had soaked long enough.  I dried it off on a towel, put it in a bowl and drizzled with a few tablespoons of corn oil.  Pour this on a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning salt.  Bake 375 for about 25 minutes - stir every 5 minutes or so.   The next time I make these, I will bake first then sprinkle with seasoning salt - the seasoning burned a bit.  

These were good.  I can't wait to make some more.  

Blessing from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Spicy Re Fried Beans

Spicy Re fried Beans - (from my own beans)

Last fall, I dehydrated some of my beans - see the post here:

These look so pretty in this vintage jar.   Here is a recipe that I came up with to use with dry beans. 

Boil 3 cups of salted water.  Add 1 cup of dried beans.  Turn down to simmer and place of cover on it.  Let this simmer way several hours.  Once the beans are fork tender, add chopped onion, garlic and a jalapeno pepper - add to your taste.  

Cover and let finish cooking on low till beans are soft and tender.   Put the whole thing in a food processor blend until smooth.

Put back in pan, keep warm until ready to use.

See this post as to how I used them: 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Spicy Beef Tacos

I was in the mood for some I made this for supper.

 In the crock pot add some oil, add your stew meat.  Add 1 diced yellow onion, several cloves of chopped garlic and 1 jalapeno pepper.  This will only be used to flavor the meat.

I just left this alone on low all day.  

Take the meat chunks out of crock pot and dice into smaller pieces.  Dice up 1/2 onion and several cloves of garlic saute in 2 T. of butter, add the chunks of meat to crisp them up a bit.

For the spicy beans recipe, made from my own beans, go here:

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Seasonal Salt Box Pop Up Update

 I took my friend over to the other old farm house we own.   The one I originally was going to call the Seasonal Salt Box and host sales at.  That was my intentions anyway.  Right after we bought it, put a new roof on and updated the electrical box, Anna was diagnosed with cancer.  Other more important things happened in the past 10 years...that idea can wait.  

I wanted to do a "pop up" sale there and let vendors each have a room.  The old farm house has 8 rather large rooms and 1 small pantry.  Anyway, we found 2 black and white friends....yes, 2 dead skunks in the - stinky!!  Obviously we could smell it outside - but, I didn't know if it was dead or alive...we cautiously went in..."there it is!" she yells.  I ran one way, she the other.  I grabbed a hatchet and proceeded to flush it out the open door.  I didn't have to, it was dead...behind the door and another at the top of the steps....ya, now I'm thinking a pop up here in the spring.

There are 2 outbuildings on the site.  I could tell someone was digging around and trying to get into the old garage.  The door was pushed in and broke.  Al has a camera in, we are going back to see what is on didn't look like anything was gone as the items are too big to get out a broken door.  However, we will be going back to get some items, I forgot about, to take to the Urban Farm Girl show next month.  

Anyway, I saw this empty nest that a Robin so creatively made on this old ladder.  

So, my "pop up" friends and customers - in light of the current state of the old farm house, I won't be able to "pop up" there this fall.  

I am working on something ...keep watching...

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

No Bake Energy Bites

No Bake Energy Bites:

1 cup peanuts
1 cup pretzels
1 cup dates

blend together


1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

blend together

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate spread

Use a tablespoon to scoop out and roll into balls.

These are easy to make and a nice sweet treat.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Familiar and Unfamiliar Roads

While listening to the message Sunday morning - I was thinking about writing a blog post about a portion of what my pastor (and brother) Frank said.

We just went to Iowa last week.  We prepared ourselves by researching things to do, ordering tickets for the fair, talking to others who have been there and looking at a map.

When we first left, we were very familiar with the roads we were going to take:  Town Hall road to Hwy 29 on to 39 to 90/94 to Madison; 12/18 to 151 to the corner of our state.  I have been on these roads before, I knew what exits, where it would take me.  I have not however, ever crossed over into Iowa.  That was unfamiliar to me.  

Al had the GPS on, I looked at a map (I detest GPS) and we were off on unfamiliar roads.  Now, even though we looked at the map, the map didn't tell us everything.  Yes, it navigated our path - but, it didn't tell us anything else.  Would we run into road construction, would there be detours, maybe we would want to stop at something interesting along the way, what was the speed limit...questions, that the map didn't answer.  However, we put our trust in the map; watched for signs on the way and proceeded forward, Hwy 20 to 35 to Des Moines, Hwy 80 west to 169 on to Winterset, Iowa.  We arrived at our destination.  

Now, I use this analogy to make this point.  Even though we have made plans, talked with people, researched our ideas, have all the "tools" - moving forward in whatever new stage or adventure you are facing - still requires us to go on unfamiliar roads.   

Yes, I could have NEVER crossed over 151 into Iowa - just stayed on my familiar roads, but I would never have seen the covered bridges of Madison County.  Staying in your familiar stage is unproductive.  We all must move forward - time marches on.    

Changes in our life, as unfamiliar as they may be, help us grow.  If we are wise, the lessons we learn from previous stages will help us in our new stage.  

I don't know everything about being 49, an empty nester, a mother-in-law...these are my new stages.  Would I rather keep my girls little and at home with me always...of course, but that is ridiculous.   Life is funny - just when you master one thing - you need to move on to the next.   Yes, I will cherish those memories, and use them to help us all, as we grow into our new stages.  

We all want to be successful in life, right?  Time moves on and so should we.  Challenge yourself to embark on new adventures.  Whatever your new stage is; new adventure, think on this little post:  move on and embrace the new stage, new adventure with confidence.  Use your past experiences to your advantage and travel on.  Afterall, you don't want to miss out on seeing "your" covered bridges.   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Veggie Quiche

I've never made a quiche before - Al isn't a fan.  However, I have been getting so many eggs lately, that I thought I would try it.  I looked at a few recipes and came up with this, mostly because I had a bit of this and a bit of that to use up.

I put 1 sleeve of ritz type crackers and 1 1/2c rice chex cereal in the Ninja.  Blend up and add 1/2 stick of melted butter

Press into a dish and bake at 400 till golden brown and set.

While this is baking, I put 10 eggs and 1/2 cup milk into the Ninja - blend up.  I then added few chunks of red onion, 1 diced potato and a few chunks of Swiss cheese - blend up in the Ninja (I love my new Ninja).  Pour this into the partially baked shell.

Sprinkle with S&P and parsley flakes and bake at 400 till set and light brown.  When you poke a knife in the middle it should come out clean and dry.  Let cool slightly to set and cut into pie shape.

I had this for supper, it was so good.  I now also have breakfast for a few days.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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