I Like Sunshine

I tend to be a fair weather person. I am a realist that has to put a little effort at optimism. I wish everyday was a sunny blue sky, big puffy cloud with a breeze (not wind) in the air type of day. I function well on sunny days with nice temperatures. I like to wear hooded sweatshirts and vests keep me warm enough and comfortable.

This past week we had a few days of sun, warm and blue skies! We also had a couple damp, gray cool days. Last Thursday it drizzled all day; we got nine hundredths of moisture. It’s not much, but better than wind.

I tried a couple new recipes that were a success!

In her book Savor Shauna Niequist describes her style of cooking like this “when I say I used a recipe, all it means is that at some point, some list of ingredients and techniques were involved as I threw things in pans, as I sliced, poured, salted and peppered with seeming randomness.” My cooking style is very similar.

I used this recipe for Cabbage Soup as my latest experiment.
Here are my additions:
*3 small yellow sweet mini peppers (I had them on hand and they were starting to wrinkle). I like lots of color in my dishes. You know, eat the rainbow!

*A couple ribs of celery and celery leaves.

*1 teasp ground mustard

*1 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce

*2 Bay leaves

Here are my adjustments:
*1 – 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes vs. 2 cans.

*I left the rice out. My dutch oven was full and I made Irresistible Irish Soda Bread to eat with the soup.

This soup is delicious and J, who isn’t a fan of soup, liked it! I have to give kudos to J for being a good sport about me trying two new recipes for one meal.

I have been reading America’s First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. This historical fiction documents the life of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson from her youth until the death of her Papa, Thomas Jefferson.

Patsy and her Papa were very close. She spent many of her youthful years in France when her Father was the American ambassador there. Patsy married a Virginia farmer and raised 11 children. She also helped to bring up her Husband’s younger sisters and three of her grandchildren. Her marriage was not poetic or happy.

This book talks about politics during the American and French Revolutions and Thomas Jefferson role in these movements. Patsy was Mr. Jefferson’s “First Lady.” Martha Jefferson, Thomas’s wife died, in childbirth when Patsy was 10 years old and her sister, Polly, four. Patsy’s husband was a congressman and served three terms as Governor of Virginia.

Patsy faced many hardships. Her mother, sister and oldest daughter all died in childbirth with Patsy at their side. Patsy’s husband beat her and suffered a mental illness. Her oldest daughter married a wife beater. Patsy’s husband and father had major financial issues and acquired a great amount of debt. She buried her Father and Husband.

It’s a long and interesting read. Even though it is fiction, the authors did an extensive amount of research before writing this novel. It’s based on letters and historical facts. To make the novel flow the authors made changes in the timing of some events.

On the sunny days, J and I have been working on odd outside jobs. J has been cleaning cattle lots and hauling manure. We had a bank of ice slowly melting and running into the cattle sorting pens. J dug in and hauled out the ice so things can dry up.  I’ve been vacuuming vehicles and sweeping garages. We also got a few winter things put away and went around a little fence.

We have four heifers left to calf and got a couple early calves in the cows.

Last Monday, I got fun belated birthday mail. My ranch wife friends are priceless and I am so lucky to have them in my life! Only a ranch wife can send leather fencing gloves and a note that says “After the snow everyone had, I’m guessing a lot of people will be needing some new fencing gloves.” Not only do I appreciate the thoughtful gift, but it makes me laugh every time I think about it.

A little fun news came on Friday. RANGE magazine choose my photo “Christmas Blizzard Chores” for a Merit Award in the 2017 Outback Roundup Photo Contest.

I hope all of you have a great last week of March!

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7 Responses to I Like Sunshine

  1. Buttons says:

    Fencing gloves what a perfect gift. I love soup. Take care Robyn it will warm up soon. Rainy here. Hugs B

  2. I can’t wait to get this book, it’s on my gift list and will recommend to two of my friends.

    We’ve been extremely busy trying to get our loading pen rebuilt after a month long wait for our lumber but it’s moving now. We also have been doing those odd jobs around the farm when it’s too windy or wet to do anything else. We cleaned out our smokehouse yesterday but hope to work on the pen today before rain comes back tomorrow. We need the rain desperately.

    Our spring calves are coming and we’ve got 12 babes on the ground out of 29 in our spring herd. All total we have about 75 cows and three bulls. We calve from March to May and then again September through November.

    When was your birthday and I can’t think of anything better than fencing and gardening gloves on a farm. Belated happy birthday and wishing you a year full of blessings!
    Rita

    • Robyn says:

      Rita,

      Let me know if you read this book and what you think of it. I was telling my Mom about it and she shared that she is reading a book about William Sherman. She said he has an interesting story too.

      I’m glad to hear you are getting some much needed moisture. My folks got a good soaking Nebraska rain last week. We NEED rain on the South Dakota prairie. We had a dry summer of 2016 and the snow we got last winter has all soaked it. We’ve heard people fencing or doing some digging and there is very little frost in the ground and less moisture.

      Good Luck with the second half of your spring calving season. There seems to always be plenty of little jobs that need attention on the ranch/farm. Enjoy the fruits of picking up little messes and completing big projects.

      Thank You for the birthday wishes. I’m an early March baby who was due the end of February. Apparently I didn’t want to share a birthday with my Mom and wasn’t ready until March. My Grandma (born March 13th) always said the best people were born in March! I don’t think it matters when we are born, but we need to celebrate the special people in our lives!

      Blessings to you!

  3. Betty says:

    Sounds like a good book club read. Fencing was not my favorite job, Robyn. Love you!

  4. Kim's County Line says:

    Congratulations on having your photo chosen! It’s fun to be recognized.

    I’m glad you had more favorable weather this past week. I’m sure it lifted your spirits.

  5. Bonnie says:

    Happy belated birthday. I hope the rain and sunshine stays. We all need some rain. Your book sounds very interesting as does your soup. Hope you get a good rain followed by some sunshine.

  6. Pamela Galindo says:

    What a wonderful thing to have your photo chosen! ! ! I think that’s exciting. I loved hearing about your book; sounds like one I would enjoy, too. I read historical novels because I like the facts of the time period, but I also like the way the authors weave a good story. One of my favorite historical novel authors is James Alexander Thom; he wrote Long Knife, Follow the River and Panther in the Sky, just to name a few. I also enjoy historical novels by Anna Lee Waldo; she wrote Sacajawea and Prairie. Central California was beautiful today; every thing is in bloom and the skies were bright blue and the sun was out ….but……the wind was awful…I was outside for just a short time, and my allergies went crazy. I am not a fan of wind. Your soup and bread would have tasted great today; I guess I’ll need to learn to make them! Pam

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