Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The troll house...

The other night I was talking with Holly as we were getting ready for bed and she said to me, "You know that little blue house that Dad built out by the dryer?"

I said, "Yes, why?"

And then Holly proceeded to tell me this:

"Well, I asked Danny what it was and he told me it was a troll house.  He said that the law says that if we have grain bins, then we have to have the house for the trolls.   I asked Danny why the trolls need the house and he said it was because they eat corn and make things with corn, like corn stew, corn pie, corn casserole, and other corn things.  The state laws said that Dad had to build them the house if he wanted to keep the grain bins.   Mom, have you ever seen these trolls?"

I sat there in disbelief--utter shock!-- I think my jaw was literally hanging open.

Then, thank goodness, she said, "But I didn't believe him.... right?  There aren't REAL trolls around here, are there?"

And at that, I LOST IT.  I am STILL laughing about it.

Ahhh... Older brothers.  Everyone should have at least one!

Truth be told, the guys built that little house as a moisture testing station for the new drying system they installed this summer.  The dryer is pretty impressive, but as I lay awake at night listening to it hum, I try not to think about the power and propane burning through it...

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Greetings from Northern Illinois!

The trees are gorgeous, the days are crisp and the nights are frosty, and the harvest is in full swing!

The calves are weaned and we've picked out the special ones to take to the fair!

This is all that is left of our garden, a big pile of rubbish to be burned next weekend.

And on top of it all, school is as busy as ever with papers to be graded, lessons to be planned, and help to be lent for my own little scholars!

I love this time of the year!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My contribution to "throw back Thursday" is...


When we moved, I acquired this lovely piece of 80's kitchenware.  

Just about the time we got back into our crazy school life, the tomatoes started ripening by the minute.  This baby was the perfect answer to my lack of time plus too many tomatoes problem.

I washed, sliced, and spread the tomatoes out on the trays, sprinkled with Italian seasonings and sea salt, plugged it in and walked away. I let my tomatoes dehydrate for between 15 hours to whenever I remember to unplug it.  

I have big dreams of adding these lovely dried tomatoes to stews, soups and homemade pizzas all winter long.  

And come to find out, I'm not the only one who a) owns a dehydrator, and b) secretly loves it more than anything in the world, even the waffle iron.  As I've been bragging my phat dehydrating skillz up all over town, I'm finding that quite a few people my own age ALSO own dehydrators!  

Are you one of the cool ones, too?  Share your recipes, please!!!!