Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Is my pillow really full of dust mites?

It is 5 am on Sunday morning and I'm wide awake and thought this would be a good idea to write a post asking for advice.....I mean aren't most people up at this time on a Sunday? There are a couple reasons I am wide awake. 1.) I swear something bit my wrist as it was dangling off the side of my bed. Could it have been a dream? I'm not sure but woke me from a dead sleep in freak out mode wanting to flip the light on and see if it was a spider, bee, vampire under the bed? Options are endless. However due to the sleeping husband I decided to abort the light and intensive search. 2.) I'm so excited for breakfast my taste buds won't let me fall back asleep. This new little cute restaurant opened in town (town consists of one stop light....population 600....maybe?). They have the most AMAZING cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy. My mouth is salivating.

Back to the issue at hand. So I have this pillow....it is my favorite pillow I have had since childhood. It could be paper thin and not really provide much at all support but I find it to be amazingly comfortable (perhaps due to the 2 other pillows I put under it). I recall watching an episode of Oprah back in the day when they were going through all the stuff in your house that is gross and you don't know.....here is my question....is my 15 year old pillow really full of all the dust mites like they want me to believe it is? Is it time to let go of old trusty? I have pondered this often but convince myself....not my pillow. These are my questions at 5 am on a Sunday morning. All professional medical advice is welcome. Do I keep it or trash it? Is it really that bad?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pinterest Christmas Success!

Hello All!  I hope that Christmas was an epic success for all of you.  After what seemed to be a week of holiday dinners and gatherings I am now attempting to work off all the food consumed so I can get out of these sweat pants....I really feel sometimes they should include them as professional attire especially after the holidays.  I'm not sure how the weather is in your part of the world but here in the Midwest we are getting what they would like to call a snow storm.  Now my thoughts of a snow storm and the weather man's thoughts of a snow storm must be quite different because I would expect 12 inches or so to be a storm not so much 2-4......but who am I?

While sitting here listening to the wind blow while tucked away in my warm house I would like to share some pretty cool things i created this holiday all thanks to Pinterest.  Now I feel that most people have heard of Pinterest but if you have not you need to check it out HERE asap!!!  It is a virtual pin board that has some of the most amazing things you can cook or make or buy. It is genius. 

For our family Christmas this year we decided to have a pinterest Christmas and make each other things instead of buying them!  Here is one of my favorite creations I found on Pinterest and made for my sister.

How cool is this coffee table?  Now the link on pinterest takes you to an etsy page where they are selling these for $340 dollars!!!  Here is a little secret....you can get these crates at Michaels and make this table for under $40!!
I also went to pinterest to get ideas to make food for all the different gatherings and here are some of the recipes I chose:

For Christmas morning I made this yummy potato bacon egg casserole.  It was super easy.  Layer shredded potatoes then bacon then cheese and layer again.   Pour a couple eggs with milk over the top and bake at 350 for 50 min.  voila!

This dip is AMAZING!!!  We had a cousins Christmas where all of the cousins got together since we all seem to live far apart and only see each other at holidays.  We also had a gift exchange with the "As Seen on TV" theme.  Hilarious to say the least.  I made this dip and it was a hit.  It is a different take on spinach artichoke dip.  You can get the recipe Here

And last but not least...the dessert.  This was the most amazing dessert ever and it was SUPER easy which is always a bonus!!  It is called Pumpkin Better than Sex Cake!
Photo and recipe courtesy of www.somethingswanky.com
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 small can pumpkin puree
  • 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 - 8 oz. tub cool whip
  • 1/2 bag Heath Bits
  • Caramel Sundae Sauce
  1. Mix together the cake mix and the pumpkin puree (DO NOT add the other ingredients on the cake mix box).
  2. Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350ยบ according to the directions for a 9x13 cake on the cake mix box.
  3. Let cool for about 10 minutes after baking. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, filling the holes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Spread the cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top (just to your liking). Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight (best).
DO NOT USE PUMPKIN PIE FILLING. YOU MUST USE PUMPKIN PUREE IF YOU WANT THE CAKE TO BAKE CORRECTLY. The cake mix + pumpkin puree version of pumpkin cake may not be for everyone. I like it just fine, especially when it's soaked in SCM and caramel. But if you're not sure about it, feel free to substitute your own pumpkin cake recipe as the cake base. DO NOT mix together the pumpkin, cake mix, and the other ingredients on the back of the cake mix box!!!! ONLY mix the cake mix and the pumpkin puree. You must let the sweetened condensed milk soak in all the way. Letting it sit overnight will yield best results. Use the bottom of a wooden mixing spoon to poke the holes in the cake-- it's just the right size.
Try some of these out....you won't be disappointed!!  What was your favorite thing Santa left you this year?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time to get off your high horse

While sitting here in Detroit at the airport while they attempt to repair our plane that has a leaky fuel tank I figured there was no better time to write a blog post than now.....mind you if they don't do a very good job repairing it this may be my last post! Ha! Only kidding....hopefully

Recently one of the inspiring people I follow on Facebook posted a picture that said "No Farmers, No Food, No Future". What I absolutely love about Anthony Pannone is that he gets you to think outside the box. He did this with replying "No Customers, No Money, No Future". I feel he pretty much nailed it on the head.

Many times I feel the we in the agriculture industry feel entitlement. Like if it wasn't for us the producer everyone would die. Now to an extent maybe but I think we get a little too high on our horse sometimes and need to be brought back a little. I think that if there were not all of us out there producing the food for the world many people would take it upon themselves to grow their own food. They don't because it is easier to go to the store and buy it and they've never "had" to produce their own food while some may just not have the capability to do so. We see the whole "Thank a Farmer" campaign but where is the "Thank a Consumer" campaign? These are questions I have.

I believe now we as producers need to start giving a little more thanks to the customers because if they don't buy we don't have a market and for people who rely solely on farming/ranching this is a big deal. It's time to create a balance!

With that being said the snap on truck just drove up to the plane which can only mean something may get fixed.....hopefully I make it to Vegas in time to catch the rodeo.......wish me luck!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Featured Farmer Friday: End-A-Lane Dairy

Today I am featuring Perry Cisco who is the owner of End-A-Lane Dairy.  Perry currently milks 220 cows and has been in the dairy industry 35 years!  When I first met him I thought that the name of his farm was quite interesting until you drive down his road and see that it literally dead ends at his house.  Hence the End-A-Lane.  Perhaps others picked that up a lil quicker than I....don't judge.

I would like to start off with giving a quick disclaimer.  Perry is the type of guy who is going to tell you exactly what he thinks and will not sugar coat it for you.  Which I think is great and what the Ag industry itself needs more of.....transparency.  So while you read his comments and answers to my questions please note that these are his thoughts and comments and not everyone will agree with him and that is perfectly fine.  That is what this series is about.   To get the views from all sorts of people across the country!

To begin: What is your favorite thing about the Ag industry?
         He honestly said " My milk check and deer hunting, and probably my cows too.

Where do you see the industry in 10 years:
        "I think it will all be bought and run by wallstreet.  Investment groups are buying so much land these days so at some point small farmers will be gone.  That's pretty much all we have left in the industry is land and food.  What happens when these investors buy up all the land?  There isn't much industry left that is independently owned.  Many of us in agriculture are lucky to say that we are, but for how much longer I don't know."

Do you believe that there is a gap between producer and consumer and if so how can we help to bridge that gap?
       "Yes there is a huge gap.  Most people believe that their food comes from the grocery store.  That is scary.  It will be hard to bridge that gap because people are so far removed anymore.  Back in the 60's probably 80% of people lived on some sort of farm.  We are close to 3 generations now removed from the farm.  That is what makes it hard.  We do the Breakfast on the Farm which brings a lot of people out and we also do farm tours but do you think that is really enough?

I feel he has some good points and it would be great to hear some of your thoughts on these same great questions!  Also if any of you would like to be the feature farmer or know a good candidate shoot me an email!

Have a great weekend!