Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Real Cowgirl

Charly (unkygiash's jersey steer) was standing around eating so I threw Winter on his back and to my surprise, he could have cared less. Winter was pretty stoked.

Since Charly was so cool about it, we decided to try out the saddle. It was great! It got too dark to take any pictures, but we saddled him up, threw on a halter and walked Winter around the yard a bit. He is still learning to walk on a lead rope, so it was a bit of a tugging match, but he didn't seem to care much at all about the rider on his back and hey, it was his first day under the saddle. Maybe with a bit of work....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Socks" the Bull

I figure with coloration like this little guy has, you can't help but call him "socks" right? Or am I wrong? If you have a better (more bullish) name suggestion, let it be known ASAP.

Aspiration: Cattleman

This may be no secret, but I have long aspired to be a cattleman. As of just a few moments ago, I hit a milestone...
On my way into town, I noticed a tiny brown/white speck in the field. I drove the truck over, and sure enough, it is our first calf! It looks to be a little bull.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Puttin' up hay for the winter

I found a decent deal for hay today (less than $2/bale) and it was in Leonard! It actually turned out to be pretty decent hay that was baled pretty good. (usually $2/bale hay is loosely baled weeds) Anyway, I bought $65-worth which was enough to fill up the truck pretty good. We probably could have stacked another 10-15 on there without too much trouble, but I only had $65 in cash and what's the point in loading it till you are afraid to go around a corner?

The kids came with (of course) and had a blast running around the guys farm and playing with his kids. Before we left home on this trip, they got a lecture on:
1. Go to the bathroom before leaving home so you don't have to do it at their house
2. No asking/begging for snacks/food
Unfortunately, that lecture was both well needed and even more unfortunately, unheeded. Instead of coming home to the ice cream dessert we had planned, the kids got to come home and go straight to bed. They broke both rules (in style, I might add)
Maybe having to return the chips they were given and losing ice cream privileges on top of that will teach them a lesson, but sadly, I imagine we'll be contending with more of the same the very next time. Man, I can't take these kids anywhere!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The haps

Where I spent the vast majority of my day:What is this all about? It's top secret - to be revealed at a later date...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Acorn Pancakes

Sterling brought a big acorn home from school today and somehow we got on the topic of eating it...which led to a Google search on whether or not they are edible or not...which led to gathering additional acorns from the front yard for pancakes.

It didn't take long to gather up this small mess of acorns (fresh off the low-hanging branches of the tree!)

We then cracked and schucked them, and then ran them through our manual garlic press. After running water over them for some time without getting rid of the bitter tannin taste, we relented and ran them through the blender after all. I was horrified when it looked like ALL the acorn was running out through our dishrag sieve, but when all was said and done, it left a very fine "meal" in the dishrag and this quantity of acorns yeilded just over the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe. Not wanting to waste it, we went ahead and used them all anyway.

It was a little disconcerting that the quantity of acorn meal was matched by a similar quantity of plain-jane flour, and then again by another equal measure of corn meal, but we went ahead with the recipe as planned. In retrospect, based on the time we spent preparing the acorns, I am glad we were able to cop out and only use a 1/3 ration of acorns. I should also mention that this recipe made us a total of only 7.5 pancakes. You will certainly want to double it for a family meal, but it was just right for the three of us (Jessica and Ginger are taking care of G-Gma tonight.)

The result was a success - heavy, filling, and delicious - just the way we like em.

Here's the recipe we followed:

ACORN PANCAKES from Sharon Hendricks
Break an egg into a bowl. Add:
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
1/2 cup of ground and leached acorns
1/2 cup of corn meal
1/2 cup of whole wheat or white flour
2 teaspoons of double action baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of milk
Beat all together. If the batter is too thick to pour, thin it with milk. Pour pancakes into a hot, greased griddle and cook slowly until brown on both sides.
Serve with butter and syrup or wild blackberry jam. Delicious!!

1. Pick up several cupfuls of acorns. All kinds of oaks have edible acorns. Some have more tannin than others, but leaching will remove the tannin from all of them.
2. Shell the acorns with a nutcracker, a hammer, or a rock.
3. Grind them. If you are in the woods, smash them, a few at a time on a hard boulder with a smaller stone, Indian style. Do this until all the acorns are ground into a crumbly paste. If you are at home, it's faster and easier to use your mom's blender. Put the shelled acorns in the blender, fill it up with water, and grind at high speed for a minute or two. You will get a thick, cream-colored goo. It looks yummy, but tastes terrible.
4. Leach (wash) them. Line a big sieve with a dish towel and pour in the ground acorns. Hold the sieve under a faucet and slowly pour water through, stirring with one hand, for about five minutes. A lot of creamy stuff will come out. This is the tannin. When the water runs clear, stop and taste a little. When the meal is not bitter, you have washed it enough.
Or, in camp, tie the meal up in a towel and swish it in several bucketfuls of clean drinking water, until it passes the taste test.
5. Squeeze out as much water as you can, with your hands.
6. Use the ground acorn mash right away, because it turns dark when it is left around. Or store in plastic for freezing if you want to make the pancakes later.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I drove back from Tulsa last night. It gave me lots of time to listen to the President's speech (which felt something like a punch to the gut followed immediately by a half hour of cuddling) and the subsequent debate, but it also gave me time to consider the uproar about the journalist who was rescued by NATO while his interpreter was killed. The thing that struck me most was that this situation, which resulted in the death of a NATO commando, 2 civilians, and an interpreter was entirely caused when this reporter disregarded warnings about the area and put his own life/freedom in jeopardy by going there. I felt like the media did us all a disservice by 'glossing over' the fact that this journalist indirectly caused the deaths of 4 innocent people, but it really blew my mind to see this article this morning which puts the blame for the death of the interpreter on the "actions of a NATO commando unit." Are you kidding me? In my view, the blame for any and all deaths lies squarely on the shoulders of the journalist who disregarded warnings about the area and got himself and his interpreter kidnapped. The media has this one all wrong.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rockin' the T-Town

En route Americana within Creek Indian Nation boundaries:

Not too exciting, I know, but hey, how often do you drive under a motorgrader in indian territory?

And since (so far) this blog post really stinks, here is a link to my 3rd version of an advertisement for employment. Previous versions seem to be attracting folks that are wanting my salary for a hourly-wage type position: Click here to see the ad
So far, this ad has brought in some decent applicants (including a return missionary)

Monday, September 7, 2009


Since we live so close to my parents, it can be tough to set aside real time to dedicate to spending with them in the same way we would if we were to come down here on a vacation to visit. So this weekend, we spent a good two days down there for a staycation. It was good times:

Saturday - They took us to this crazy place called Amazing Jakes which is essentially a large portion of the mall which is sectioned off and is full of games/rides and all you can eat food. It is not really the kind of place I would normally want to go to, but the kids really did have a great time. About half-way through, they discovered some machines that spit out tickets and from there on out, it was a quest for more tickets (which were later exchanged for awesome trinkets such as "sticky hands" and spider rings.

Sunday - After going to my parents ward for church and then having a HUGE nap, we all packed up and went to the Dallas Arboretum where they had an orchestra playing for about an hour and then an outdoor screening of E.T. The Extra-terrestrial. The kids loved that too and I have to say, for me, the highlight was watching Jessica walk around handing out free watermelon to pretty much the entire crowd.

Monday - We slept in, had homemade pancakes, played a few games and headed home.

It truly was a great time.

After arriving home, I spent the day in true TX fashion fighting fireants, poison ivy and wasps. Hurray! I did get all the hedge trimmings (three nights work worth) shredded up and bagged/piled, the lawn mowed, swimming with the kids and that is it. Seriously, trimming the hedges around here is a major project. They are on all 4 sides of the house, 3 sides of the shop, and in between the house/shop. Sheesh!