Friday, October 30, 2009


I had a friend come over the other night to do me a huge favor, I told her I’d make her supper for helping me out. One problem… I haven’t been grocery shopping and the pickings in the kitchen were slim.

Since she’s such a great friend I thought I’d make her my guinea pig and just throw some stuff together. She’s always honest and I don’t have to worry about her sugar coating it and telling me it tastes good when it really has the flavor of an old shoe.

So what I came up with was Pizza Burgers!

1 pound of hamburger
1 pound of Italian sausage
¼ onion, chopped
¼ green pepper, chopped
7-8 tablespoons pizza sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sliced Mozzarella cheese


Chop up onion and green pepper, mix with hamburger and Italian sausage. I also threw in a few shakes of seasoning salt. Make 7 – 8 patties. Cook in frying pan until almost done. Spoon approximately a tablespoon of pizza sauce on top of each patty. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and then add the slices of mozzarella. Let cheese melt and serve on a bun.

Verdict was…. Good!

I didn’t take any pictures of the food, so instead here’s a picture of Jenny and myself. Thanks for being my taste tester!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keep Your Peepers Peeled

Well it’s raining again. And those weather forecasters are saying it will rain again tomorrow too.

But guess what? Things are looking up! After tomorrow we are supposed to have NINE whole days without rain. Can you even believe it? I’m about as excited as a fox in a henhouse, and let me tell you, that’s pretty excited!

But with this news, I also have a piece of safety information to pass along…. with harvest being so far behind (it hasn’t been this slow in four decades), and the time changing from Daylight back to Standard this weekend, making it dark before 5:30 pm each evening, it’s going to pose an extra risk to drivers that are not on the lookout for farm machinery. In a normal year, farmers are almost finished with harvest, but with this year’s wetness, progress has slowed significantly and a lot of farm work will be done in the dark.

I don’t like it getting dark earlier in the first place, but to have it come right now, when record numbers of combines, tractors, trucks and wagons using the roads, it poses a risk.

Please everyone keep an eye out for slow moving farm machinery. There are people that I love out there trying to make a living and provide food for your table. Let’s keep them safe, okay?

You may have seen these pictures floating around the internet and I sure don’t want to see this happening around here….

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Destruction

The endless rain isn't only hurting the crops, it's also reeking havoc on the roads!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Kids

We finally had a decent weekend. The fields were still wet from all the rain last week but at least we had a little bit warmer temperatures and no rain! My sister Bonnie and I decided to take advantage of the weather and take Monkey and our niece, Peanut, to a local pumpkin farm.

Peanut had a blast playing on the mountain of hay bales and in the pits of corn and soybeans.

Bonnie even got in on some of the fun!

After all the running around we measured the kids heights (and okay maybe ours as well) and headed back to the car. 

I wish I would’ve gotten a picture of the two of them on the car ride home. It wasn’t five minutes and they were both zonked out. I would’ve been too if the car had an autopilot function!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Betty Crocker I'm not

I’ve already confessed that I’m a junkie, a food junkie that is.

I failed to mention that while I love to cook I am not a skilled baker. I’m more like Betty Crocker’s distant cousin Bertha. Baking involves following recipes and measuring ingredients. Things that I just don’t do.

I’m a rebel baby, a rebel without a cause.

Unless you count experimenting and coming up with divine new recipes a cause, in that case, I’m a rebel with a cause.

I did put on my baking boots and Betty Crocker apron over the weekend. I put them on for two of my darling friends that are getting married in a few weeks. They are a perfect couple and I couldn’t be happier that they’ve decided to spend the rest of their lives together. To celebrate this I wanted to do something special, something more than just the ordinary gifts that people give at bridal showers.

So along with other gifts that I had for them, I also made these.

I even did the icing all by myself! So don’t look too close at them and see all the flaws I made. Betty never has shared all her secrets with me.

So maybe they weren’t the prettiest cookies I’ve ever seen, actually they kind of remind me of something you’d see on this website.  But they were definately scrumptious! 

I offered my services to the happy couple to do their wedding cake. I’m not sure why they turned me down.

Congratulations Jake & Kati, I love you both dearly!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Those Pesky Commies

I recently attended the monthly meeting of my local Rifleman’s Association. I’m not able to go to every meeting with having a little one at home, so I was quite pleased that I’d make it to this one after hearing who the speaker was going to be.

Michael Mitev was born in Bulgaria when it was part of the Soviet Union. 20 years ago he and his family legally came to the U.S. He considers our Constitution to be like a Bible. If only more people would, right?

Mr. Mitev had an abundance of information, so bear with me and I’ll try to condense it down to the most important points.

- Both of his parents were heavily tied to Communism, his mother a teacher, and his father in the military.

- He first started to question Communism in high school. Because of his questions he was kicked out of school.

- He eventually spoke out against Communism and in favor of the U.S. Constitution.

- The secret service followed his actions, and in 1983 he went to political prison for the 1st time and was put into isolation. At this time Regan was talking of bringing down the wall and provided inspiration to him.

- He tried to leave the country many times but was unable to. In 1987, he was planning an escape to Turkey when he was arrested for the 2nd time. His family wasn’t even notified.

- After a trial that was closed to the public and lasted 6 days with the prosecutor preparing 45 witnesses against him, he was put back in prison. He served 2 ½ years before the political climate changed allowing him to be released early.

- In February of 1990, Mr. Mitev started the process of coming to America. In September of that year, with nothing but $150 and his wife and baby, he arrived in New York. He ended up in Champaign, IL with a family who sponsored his flight to the U.S.

- He became a U.S. citizen in 1995 and is now finally able to visit relatives in Bulgaria. That government is still run by former KGB criminals, and the people are unable to protect themselves.

- Mr. Mitev takes issue with the term “gun violence” and notes that the number of kids 18 and under who die from gun-related violence is much lower than those who die from drowning, gang violence, and drug wars. The fact that our southern border is completely open lets drugs come in, perpetuating more violence.

- Karl Marx’s Manifesto called for the abolition of private property, and the implementation of national banks and media. Quite the opposite of what our Constitution calls for. The Founders knew that governments will turn oppressive if given the chance, so they gave us the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Mr. Mitev sees many of these rights being taken away. We must protect our rights if we are going to keep them.

It was really impressive and inspiring to see a man who chooses to be an American, who appreciates what this nation has to offer more than so many American-born citizens. Since history has a tendency to repeat itself, we could all do well to remember what he went through, and what we was willing to do to make a better life for himself and his family.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

It’s raining. Again.

It’s almost the end of October and only 11% of the crops in Illinois have been harvested. Many years farmers are done by now. If not completely done, then well on their way. It’s depressing. I hate depressing.

This is what the fields should look like right now.

Or better yet, like this.

And some do, but most look like this.

Do you see all that green? Here, let’s get a closer look…

All that green is not good. Not good at all, especially for being the end of October. You know what’s even worse though?


This was in Iowa last week. They had between 5 and 7 inches of that dastardly white stuff fall on their fields. So yeah, it’s raining here and it’s depressing. But hey, it could be worse.

Glass half full people. Glass half full.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Save The Ta-Ta’s

For those of you who haven’t noticed the Pink Ribbons around this month, let me remind you what it’s for… it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

In the last few months a few friends and family members of mine have been diagnosed with breast cancer and while they are all fighting it with tooth and nail, I feel helpless that I’m not able to fight it for them.

So I thought at least I could remind all of you about the importance of the Breast Self Exam. It is very important for women of ALL ages to do this on a regular basis! The earlier you detect any changes in your breasts the better. Doctors recommend that women over 40 should get a mammogram every one to two years. Yet three of the brave women I mentioned earlier are all under 40! If you aren’t giving yourself regular exams, please start now.

If you aren’t sure how to do an exam or have other questions, here is a great site to help. Let your husband or boyfriend take part, or if you’re single ask a good lookin stranger! Only kidding…. Or am I?

Now go forth and Save Those Ta-Ta’s! And tell all your friends to start touching themselves too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh Yum. White Chicken Chili

Hello, my name is Becky and I’m addicted to food.

There, I’ve said it. I’m in love with food. All kinds of it. I love eating it but even more, I love cooking it. I look forward to trying new recipes and better yet, making up my own.

So I thought from time to time maybe I could share a few with you. Here is one that I made last weekend for family and it was a hit!

White Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
Salt and pepper
1 medium yellow or white onion
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 cup of mild or hot (depending on your taste buds) tomatillo salsa
4 cups chicken stock
1 can (15 oz) Great Northern white beans
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
Shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
1 bag uncooked instant white rice
A few shakes of Chipotle Tabasco Sauce

Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil.
Add the chicken to the hot oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.Cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and coriander and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
Continue to stir.
Add the tomatillo salsa, Tabasco sauce and the chicken stock.
Bring the chili up to a simmer and add the beans.
Simmer the chili for 20 minutes, add uncooked rice and simmer for another 20 minutes, this will thicken up the chili.**
Remove from heat and add the cilantro and lime juice.
Serve with shredded cheese on top.

**If you don’t like rice, you can add one more can of white beans to thicken up the chili. With a fork, thoroughly mash the second can of beans and add to the pot. I personally prefer the rice, but you do as you wish!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cribs, as in Corn

I had a discussion with some friends and co-workers recently about what they envision when thinking of a corn crib. Several of us automatically thought of something like this:

While others pictured this:

A few even conjured up this:

Or this:
We wondered if this was a generational thing or regional. So tell me, which do you think of? Or do you see something else entirely?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, It’s About Time

For several years now Illinois has been one of only two states that doesn’t allow youth in 4-H to participate in shooting sports. FINALLY the University of Illinois’ 4-H program has gained approval to become involved in National 4-H Shooting Sports.

The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youths as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. In the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program, youths learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery and more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people the opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics. The program has an enrollment of approximately 300,000 youth and 46,000 instructors across the United States.

I grew up being around firearms and spent many a summer day outside shooting with my family. My parents taught us that first and foremost you respect any weapon and know that it’s not a toy. Safety is the number one priority when dealing with firearms.

There is not any gun that can be completely child-proof, none. Therefore, you should, no you must gun-proof your child. That doesn’t mean keeping them away from guns, it’s actually just the opposite. You teach your child about them, that means how to operate them, how and why to respect them, but most importantly the safety aspects. That way when little Tommy is at his friend’s house and they discover a gun in his dad’s closet, Tommy knows not to play with it. If you remove the temptation and curiosity that comes with ignorance of firearms, a child is much more likely to handle the situation safely, should they come upon one.

My siblings and I NEVER acted inappropriately around firearms or played with them as if they were toys. Our parents taught us the correct way to act and most importantly the SAFE way. I am very happy that the 4-H youth of Illinois will now also have this opportunity. There is no reason why our kiddos here shouldn’t learn the same skills as kids across the nation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Other Man in my Life

I love dogs. We have one now, he’s a three year old Jack Russell Terrier that answers to the name Dewey. He’s a sweet little pup that loves to cuddle.

He has a syndrome though. A syndrome known as “Big Dog Stuck In A Little Dog’s Body”. He may be small but he’s ferocious! And he likes to protect his Momma from any and all predators.

Such as this thing that attacked me one day not long ago, while I was in the basement barefoot and pregnant.

I was minding my own business when this bat, I’ll call him Baxter, dares to swoop down right over my head! Our cat happened to be in the basement with me and pounced on the flying object. Baxter was able to get away and I very quickly grabbed the nearest trash can and trapped him underneath it. While I was debating on how to get rid of the pesky thing (Should I grab a pistol and shoot it? Stomp on it with my foot? Just leave it 'til the hubby got home?), Dewey must’ve heard the commotion and came down to see what was going on. He knocks the trash can over and gives that bat a what-for, saving me from having to make the decision on what to do. My hero!

And then a few weeks ago, once again minding my own business in the yard, when this monster makes an appearance.

Dewey got a whiff of it and came running. Or maybe I actually screamed and hollered for him to come save me. Whatever the case may be, he was there once again to protect me!

He not only looks out for me, but for my family as well. This creature was hiding outside of my parents’ house behind their front steps over the 4th of July weekend.

He took care of that waskly weasel as well.

So here’s to the other man in my life…. Dewey. You may be little, but you kick some critter ass and I love you for it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We Miss You Already

I mentioned the other day that one of my best friends, Annie, was home from Oklahoma for the weekend and that Monkey and I were jetting off to meet her and her fiancĂ©, Scott, for lunch. We had a wonderful time with them and only wish they could stay longer…. as in forever.

I am by no means a professional photographer, I wouldn’t even classify myself as an amateur, but I love taking pictures and stocking them away to look at down the road and reflect on the wonderful memories they hold for me.

I was able to snap a few photos while we were at lunch and I love love love the way Monkey has her hand on Scott’s arm and is looking up at him while he speaks, like he has the most interesting story to tell her and she is just captivated.

Or maybe it’s that she’s patting him on the arm saying, “It’ll be alright buddy, this rain will stop soon.”

Or it could be a plea, “Please don’t leave, you just got here. I’ll be so OLD by the time I see you again, I’ll have teeth and be walking and talking. If you go back to Oklahoma now, there’s a good chance I might develop a stutter. Puh-puh-puh-please don’t do this to me!”

Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination and I’m projecting my feelings of not wanting them to leave on to my baby.

Nah, that can’t be it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'll Take My Monday's WITH Meat Please.

If I haven’t already mentioned this, I’m a farm girl. My family raises not only crops, but also cattle. We never had a day where there wasn’t beef in the freezer, usually more than one freezer. Never went a day without having meat in at least one of our meals. Sometimes I’m sure we were even over the recommended daily allowance, yet I’m still standing here as a healthy adult. And my parents are both healthy. We are Red Meat Survivors and proud of it!

So when I saw that last week the Baltimore City Public Schools system became the first in the United States to pledge to offer “Meatless Mondays” for school lunch menus, I was taken aback. This move denies 80,000 students of a meat option. Let me say that again, 80,000 students. That, to me, is absurd.

The Baltimore school officials have taken it upon themselves to relieve dietitians and nutritionists of part of their duties, at least for the first day of the school week. How is it that on Mondays, the school officials know better than dietitians what is and is not fit for the students?

According to the USDA, children ages 9-18 years of age should consume about 5-6 ounces of meat per day. Like myself, I’m sure many Americans don’t have a problem reaching this recommended daily allowance of protein, but there are also many that do. There are three out of four children in the Baltimore Public Schools system that are eligible for free or reduced meals. Those meals may be the only significant source of meat and poultry in their diets. So for the school officials to not allow them to even have a choice of a meat option on Mondays is ridiculous. What happened to free will in our country?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against having a vegetarian option on Mondays, heck, I’d even be okay with kids having the option to eat vegetarian EVERY day of the week. But why not offer that as well as a healthy meat option? Instead of having chicken nuggets or nachos with cheese as the main course, why not offer a grilled flank steak, grilled fish or turkey burger? You don’t have to eat vegetarian to eat healthy and live a long life.

As proof of this, there is a recurring article called “Confessions of Red Meat Survivors” in one of my favorite magazines, Range. I recommend you check it out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

We Did It!

I'm not a runner. I don't necessarily enjoy it and I'm not good at it. I was in track waaay back in high school, but I really only did that as a means to keep in shape in the off season of volleyball. And now that I've got a few more years under my belt, I'll just be honest... it hurts. Hurts my ankles, shins, knees, and hips. They all hurt when I run and I'm not a fan of that.

So a few weeks ago when a very dear friend asked me if I would run a 5K with her to raise money for our high school, I was apprehensive to say the least, but figured what the heck, let's do it! We had both recently had babies and while she's run many races in the past, she assured me she wouldn't leave me in her dust. And besides that I'd surely have plenty of time to train.

Then she told me when it was and I literally had 3 weeks to prepare for it. THREE weeks. Like I've said before, I'm a procrastinator sometimes and this was one of those times. I've run twice since I agreed to do this and neither time was for more than a mile. What had a I gotten myself into?

Well the race was this past Saturday and I am happy to report that that we made it! We finished and the best part is that I'm still able to walk!

My younger sister also ran the race. This isn't her first rodeo though, er, I mean race. Here we are at the beginning of the morning.

And here we are after finishing the race.

I would never stage a photo for comedic relief. No I wouldn't, not ever.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Big Win!

I don't have much time today, seeing as a good friend of mine is home from Oklahoma. A good friend that I haven't seen in months and I've got to get myself and Monkey ready to go so we can meet her and her fiance for lunch.

I'm a bit of a procrastinator sometimes and decided I just had to put something up here for today since I just started this blog and can't be neglecting it already. So instead I'm neglecting my child. Just kidding, she's actually taking a short nap before we go. So I have to hurry!

As I'm sure anyone who has any interest in firearms knows, Illinois is known for hindering our rights as gun owners. In a huge win yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgement, announced that an enclosed center console of a vehicle IS considered a legitimate case for transporting a firearm. I could go on and on about this and what a victory it is for us, but as I said, I don't have time. So if you are more interested, click here, and learn about the case in question: People vs Diggins.

Also, if you are one of the many who wish to make Illinois a License to Carry state, like ALL the other great states in our nation (excluding Wisconsin), please sign this online petition. Results will be sent to IL Gov. Pat Quinn and state legislators.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just Gettin Started

Welcome to my life!

Arms, Farms and Fam pretty much sums it up as a whole. I'm not a really political person, but I do have my beliefs, one being that the Second Amendment is MY right. A right that shouldn't be taken away from me. I'm also a farm girl that cherishes being a part of the farm life, and family is THE most important thing to me. I am a new mother; little Monkey is almost 6 months old now and she's perfect.

No, really, she is.

Right now... I'm not saying how she'll be at 15 or even at 8. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, she's 6 months and she's perfect, that's all that matters, okay?

So enough about the title of this whole other world I'm diving into. The whole other world being blogging of course. I have friends that are bloggers, and I've never really wanted to venture into it. Until now.

I need a place to air all my random thoughts and I'm just not a diary sort of girl. Never have been and I never will be. It just doesn't suit me.

So I'm going to try this on for size, maybe it will fit, maybe it won't. Only time will tell!