And just like that… Coronavirus day 6

It has been an interesting last few days… to say the least. Life is never boring on a farm, that’s for sure. While we’re supposed to be self quarantining, you can’t quite do that exactly when you live on a farm. Anyway, you can’t stay indoors because there are animals that rely on you. 

My parents live the next place over and then my grandma is the place after that. So I have a couple hundred acres to keep me occupied in this self-containment time.

It seems like these days there is a bad rap on people who are farmers. They are horrid people who don’t take care of squat. Well, I have pictures and stories to prove that’s just not so. Today is a prime example.

My uncle lives with my grandma. Moved in after he and his ex-wife went through their divorce. (more…)

Wear the Damn Helmet

The other day, in a matter of 5 minutes I saw no less than 4 posts where WHO was calling the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a Pandemic. Okay, so what does that mean?

Epidemic – noun – a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

Pandemic – adjective – prevalent over a whole country or the world.

Okay, what does that mean though? We know this is prevalent in multiple countries. We know countries like Italy are on lockdown and the U.S. has put a ban on travel in and out of regions around the world. But 4 different places telling us it is a pandemic, do we need to panic now or something? That really didn’t tell us anything other than something we already knew, they just declared what we already knew. I’m still scratching my head. (more…)

What Camera Lens Should I Use?

Once upon a time back in September 2009, I bought my first dSLR. I didn’t have a friggin clue what a dSLR was. A couple of friends of mine and I decided we were going to take a photography class at a local technical school. Honestly, I hate to say it, but it was a pretty worthless class. The teacher threw a lot of information at us in a very short amount of time. And instead of encouraging us to learn to take better photos, we just took random photos and moved on with life. The only thing I learned from the class was there was something called a dSLR. Said dSLR was different than a point and shoot camera. Bam, now you learned what I learned and it was a lot cheaper.

That first class I came home and had to do some research on what a dSLR camera even was. Now, here we are a little over 10 years later and I’ve owned a Canon Rebel XS, (2) Nikon D5000, a Nikon D90, a Nikon D7100, a Nikon D610, and recently upgraded to a Nikon D850. To say I like Nikon cameras might be obvious. However I keep up-to-date on Canon’s as well so if someone is looking for suggestions on what to buy, I know both models. I’m not so good at Olympus or Sony although I did own a semi dSLR Olympus for underwater photography. I didn’t own it long enough to do anything with it though.

A Kit lens vs body alone

There is a lot of controversies when buying a new camera. Do you buy just the body and then buy a lens or do you buy a kit lens with the body? There are a few things to consider before you totally make up your mind. First, if you look at the lens itself, it has a lot of information that looks like jumbled letters and numbers. What do they all mean? (more…)

Book Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary

 

I know this is a movie that came out, oh gosh, way back when. But here’s the thing with this book… prior to starting Grad School, I bought this book, at a book sale at work for a quarter. It sat there waiting for me to read it for years. I’m talking years! Jump forward to grad school. I took a British Comedy class. I really had no choice. And this was actually on the book list that we had to read. Shhhh… I still never read it. I glossed over it enough to be able to talk in class about it, but I didn’t read it. I had this class the same semester that I had comps and this was the furthest thing from my mind. Oh, and watching the movie DOESN’T help unless you’re comparing how the book and the movie are DIFFERENT!

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:
a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise (more…)

Just Retired Tiered Cake (Vanilla)

Just Retired Tiered Vanilla Cake

I sure hope you didn’t try to come to my blog last week. I woke up on Wednesday and would have sworn it was April Fool’s Day (by the way, I hate that day). When I came to the blog, it redirected me to some weird website.

It was trying to get me to click on a button to back up my Window’s machine. Well joke’s on them because I don’t have a window’s machine. But whatever. Anyway…

Over the weekend, I was able to knock 2 things off my Baking/Cooking Bucket List. I made a tiered cake which I haven’t done since I took cake decorating classes. And 2, I made a mirror glaze cake.

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Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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Fearless Fourteen

Janet Evanovich Fearless Fourteen Book Cover

Guys, I’m back at it. This time let’s discuss one of the Stephanie Plum Novels, Fearless Fourteen. Now here is where I should say that I started reading this prior to grad school and then BAM! Grad School hit and I had no time for personal books. I know I’ve been out of Grad School since May 2016, that’s almost 2 years, but I finally got around to reading this… again.

Fearless Fourteen

Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.
The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.
The Cousin: Joe Morelli
Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

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Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night

Just One Trilogy Book Cover

Just before Christmas, I was wandering through Sam’s with my mom, aunt, and Abug. Now if there is one thing I can tell you, Abug LOVES Books. I love that about her. By the way, Tbug loves books too! Score!

Anyway… we were wandering around Sam’s Club and Abug took us over by the books. Since Grad School, I haven’t read a whole lot of books, to be honest. And truthfully I felt like something was missing in my life. At the same time, I read such intense, thinker type books in grad school I wasn’t sure what to read now.

When I was in Grad school one of the classes I had made us think about how we read literature. So you could read a book in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s and have a different opinion on it every time. I wish I could remember which professor told us that. It was either Dr. Carlson or Dr. McCallum and I can’t remember. Either way, they taught us that your life experiences help mold your impression on things. So a book you read in high school that you absolutely adored could have a different impression on you once you got into your 40’s. I had a lot of thought-provoking classes like that.

So back to Christmas time. I keep picking up books not knowing if I really want to read them or not. But there was a book that caught my attention. It was a 3 part trilogy all in one book. Score! (more…)

French Macarons

I attempted French Macarons… again. The first time I did them, like how many years ago, they were okay. At that time I wasn’t sure what they were supposed to taste like. The recipe turned out okay I would say. I didn’t feel like filling them because I didn’t want to make a filling so we used some strawberry jam I had in the fridge. Other than that… meh. These are kind of time-consuming cookies really.

So a couple months ago I decided to try again, but this time I planned on making them Coffee French Macarons. Holy cow, they didn’t work. They didn’t bake. They were awful. I threw them all away. It was sad. Also, I didn’t have any heavy whipping cream so I tried to thicken half and half to make the ganache. My Friend Google told me I could. He lied. It was just a nightmare.

At that point, I thought I had given up… But then I ran across a blog called Bigger Bolder Baking. Gemma is Irish. She does/has a YouTube channel and listening to her accent is fun. So I decided to see if she’d made French Macarons. By golly, she had. I watched both videos she made and then I got the urge again.

Now, I was ahead of the game a little. One thing you need to do is have egg whites at room temperature and aged 24-48 hours. Over the weekend I made Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie. After we went to the Merchantile, everyone was raving about it. I had a bite but really don’t remember it. We had a family game night over the weekend and I made dessert. You guessed it… Chocolate Pie. It uses egg yolks so I had egg whites sitting in a bowl. I guess you could say I was already preparing to try French Macarons again before I came across Gemma’s recipe. Guilty.

French Macarons

Gemma said that these are temperamental cookies. She’s not lying. And truthfully it is not difficult, you just have to be precise. This is where the scale I got for Christmas comes in handy. Especially because she said you had to measure in metric measurements. Hello Grams. Thank goodness my scale measures in those…. whew! Saved by the scale.

She also recommended using a hand mixer, so I dug it out and did. So you want to whisk your egg whites, 55grams to be exact, until soft peaks form. Then you add sugar, turn the mixer to high and let it form stiff peaks. (more…)

Meet Thumper and Ginger

Yup, we’re going to try our hand at rabbits. Wish us luck!

Backstory

Last week (yeah, this hasn’t been going on for very long) was Tbug’s Spring Break. She got to spend most of it with us. On Thursday, for whatever reason, Abug started in on wanting a bunny. So Friday afternoon we went and got a few things to start working on rabbit cages. I used to have bunnies when I was younger and thought I still had the cage, but couldn’t find it. Must have been hauled off as scrap a while back, I don’t know. (more…)