Welcome to City Hall: Random Photo Friday

Miss Annie decided to step into the frame as I shot this. I decided I liked her in the picture.

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Dear Farmer D, This Makes Me Think of You

Dear Farmer D,

This photo makes me think of you:

Coffee plates and cups at Things Organized Neatly.

And coffee.

Especially the Turkish kind, because I now know it’s supposed to look like this.

"C'mon. Swallowing the sludge is good for you."

And…I love you both.

And I’m happy to discover that you weren’t trying to poison me.

One More Truck, or Why Dad (Is Broke and) Has Grey Hair

By the time you read this post, Farmer D will be with our 16-year-old, two counties away, and once again spending his hard-earned money on the “perfect” vehicle for a kid that will probably get in at least one fender bender in the next two months.

Luckily, this is the last time. We’re DONE buying vehicles.

It’s not so bad when you only have to worry about a kid or two, but when I married my darling husband, he came complete with six kids.

That meant:

  • 13 years of assorted school functions, including plays, art shows, band/choir concerts, and bad dinners
  • Too many parent/teacher conferences to count
  • 2-3 kids in braces at any given time…sometimes with multiple appointments in the same week.
  • At least one doctor’s appointment EVERY month.
  • Always someone who needed new shoes.
  • More dirty towels than ANYONE should wash in a lifetime
  • The stress of teaching 6 kids to drive (which D promptly delegated to ME)
  • And 6 beginning cars

We lucked into a few cars (with family members or friends selling them), but this time, Farmer D and son have been driving me crazy. The talk for hours about engines and mechanics and all sorts of things I couldn’t care less about…all in the search for the perfect used truck.

The boys even made me go to a rather sketchy part of one city last week to look at a truck described as “clean” and “rust free.” Turned out that the vehicle in question was priced  a good thousand dollars over what it should have been, had a bent frame, cigarette burns on the driver’s seat, and a bed topped with a paint-covered rust ring.

Yeah, like we were going to bring THAT home.

The guy on the lot wants HOW much?

It’s definitely a farm thing. Though there are used cars in someone’s front yard on almost every street, boy HAS to have a truck.

I think it’s unnecessary and sexist. Of course, I had secretly hoped that by this time I could get a new car and give 16 the one I’m driving.

I guess it’s not going to happen.

As I’m typing, the guys are headed out to pick up a pickup they described as “rough-looking, but it runs good.”

I can’t wait to see what they bring home.

Luckily, it’s cheap.

And it’s the last time we’ll ever have to do this.

Real Life Farm Wife:

Rodeo the Wonder Dog recommended that I reblog this. He says dogs are very wise. :-)

Originally posted on Fence Post Diaries:

Not every cat is your enemy and not every human is your friend.

Nothing should stay buried.

Chasing chickens is all fun and games….until the rooster gets mad.

Always act happy to see someone (you never know who has treats in their pockets).

There is nothing better than an evening run down a quiet gravel road.

That cat you chased up the tree yesterday? He will be waiting outside the garage door when you go out in the morning.

Me?!? I would never chase chickens. It must have been some other dog with one blue eye and one brown eye.

There is always time for a nap on a sunny spot in the grass.

If you spend all your time sniffing butts, it can be hard to see where you are going.

A good friend is always there for a scratch behind the ears.

Cleaning up your own mess sometimes means you need a helper, preferably with opposable thumbs.

If it looks like a skunk and smells like a…

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Recycled Cow: Random Photo Friday

This 15 ft.-long Holstein on display in Middlefield, Ohio, was created by artist Chris McConnell out of recycled car hoods.

Real Life Farm Wife:

The best way to find out where your food comes from is to ask.

Originally posted on Off the Cobb:

Today, less than 2% of the population are farmers and the average person is said to be 3 generations removed from the farm.  However, even though less and less people are involved in farming these days, it is becoming easier for consumers to stay in touch with those who produce the food products they depend on every day.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and the popular Pinterest.com, seem to be the online places to be these days.  It seems almost everyone has a social media account on at least one of these sites and those who don’t have one definitely know someone who does.  Common uses for these sites are to keep in touch with friends, family, post pictures of a child’s achievements and more, but have you ever thought of using those sites to get in touch with a farmer and learn where your food comes…

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Homemade Cleaners Are Hot

With the popularity of Pinterest, it seems like suddenly everyone is obsessed with the “make your own cleaners” movement. I don’t know if it’s whether people think they’re better for the environment, or if they want to save money, but I’m glad that the mysteries behind many popular commercial cleaning products have been revealed.

I’ve made and used all of the following cleaner recipes, except for the wood floor cleaner.

I’ll try it as soon as I get up the energy to bend over that far.

The quartet of products I couldn't clean without.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  •  1 tsp.       Borax
  • ½ tsp.      Washing Soda
  • 2 Tbs.     Lemon Juice
  • 1 c.         Hot Water


  •  ½ tsp.      Baking Soda or Washing Soda
  • 2 tsp.       Borax
  • ½ tsp.      Liquid Soap or Detergent
  • 2 c.         Hot Water

In a spray bottle, combine all ingredients; shake to mix.

Multi-Purpose Deep Cleaner

  • 1 c.         Ammonia
  • ½ c.         White Vinegar
  • ¼ c.         Baking Soda
  • 1 gal.       Warm Water


  • 1 Tbs.     Ammonia
  • 1 Tbs.     Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • 2 c.         Warm Water

Mix well. Pour into a spray bottle to use.

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Nature’s Ice Sculpture: Random Photo Friday

Ice formation on a tree branch along the Mahoning River. I've been cleaning too often...this reminded me of a mop.

Real Life Farm Wife:

You’ve gotta love a lady who loves cows. Check out Dairy Carrie’s unique take on cow FAQs.

Originally posted on The Adventures of Dairy Carrie... I think I Need a Drink!:

So awhile back I told you guys that I would soon be adding some new things to the blog in 2012. Well here is one of the things I promised… The very first #DairyCandidCarrie post. So what is #DairyCandidCarrie? My friend Carrie, you met her here, is a Sheboygan mom and business owner. She has questions about food and farming and I hope to try to answer those for her. I hope you enjoy these conversations.

Today we chatted about cows….. but the conversation started when I asked her how her crazy busy life was going. @CandidCarrie is building her own business.

Let's talk about cows....

@CandidCarrie - Building a dynasty is a lot of work.

@DairyCarrie- So very, very true. Maybe you should just copy the Ming dynasty. It’s old and maybe no one will notice if you use it?

@CandidCarrie- I’m not a fan of Chinese. I never know…

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Ready for Canning Season (in the Middle of Winter)

Life is pretty quiet right now, which is a good thing, but it makes it a bit hard to find something worthwhile to write about.

So today, this is as good as it gets.


When I stopped to visit my folks on Sunday, Mom had a small bag on the table for me. Her cousin found some canning lids while cleaning and determined I was the most likely person to actually get some use out of them.

Mary certainly didn’t do much canning…when I opened the bag I saw these lovely boxes:

Where can I find this stuff for $.79?

Though I only learned to can seven or eight years ago (shortly after Farmer D and I began dating and he started bringing me laundry baskets full of hot peppers and tomatoes), I had never seen any of these boxes…and I have to admit, the Anchor Hocking Mason jar caps box fascinated me.

So, being a bona fide geek (and research junkie), I decided to see what I could find out about the lids in the lovely brown box.

(Hooray for the Internet!)

It turns out that these old-fashioned one-piece Anchor Hocking canning lids were new fashion in 1976.

Did you know there was a canning lid shortage in the late 70s? (Not me. I was more concerned with playing softball and going roller skating with my friends.)

I found an article in the July 28, 1976 edition of The Milwaukee Journal about Anchor Hocking’s new one-piece canning lids, created to meet consumer demand. Of course, the funny part is that the article goes on to talk about the so-so results of testing.

“In a Pennsylvania State University study of nine types of canning lids, Anchor Hocking one piece cap-lids did well. ‘Three lids buckled during heat processing, but formed seals during cooling; four lids were extremely difficult to remove.'”

Just what you want after all that hard work in the garden.

(That must be why there aren’t more one-piece canning lids around.)

However, if  you’re into vintage kitchenware and canning supplies, there are 2 boxes of these  Anchor Hocking one-piece lids listed on Etsy for $12.50. That’s a far cry from their original price of $.59, but they are kind of cool (and would be fine for canned foods that are refrigerated).


Do you can, freeze, or preserve?

Would you like to learn?

The OSU Extension has all sorts of helpful info.


02/09/12 ADDITIONAL NOTE:  Since I wrote this, I’ve contacted Canning Across America and questioned the safety of one-piece canning lids. Read what they have to say.