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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Visit to a Country Front Porch

After a long day at work, what do you come home to find?

One night this summer after a not-so-wonderful-day, I came home to these little 
country kids on my front porch.  

A Superman, a Great American and a Princess with a duck call.  

And then my day turned into something so wonderful.

Brett and I don't have many visitors at our country home, but when 
we do it's preferred that these kids stop by.  

Not only was a cocktail waiting for me (thanks to my wonderful husband), but a little
 downtime between the hustle and bustle of a day in the city.  

Oh and a new fort in the yard!  Their early evening project was a site to see and something that brought back so many memories for me as a farm kid playing in the woods and building more than my fair share of forts.  

I was a very proud aunt that evening!

Each kid has their own personality and I loved capturing this innocent moment of a sweet young girl playing with an American Flag and letting it blow in the wind she created. 

Then there is the sweetheart of the bunch, the guy who gives me flowers every time I see him.  
"Aunt Katie, these are for you." 

Truly, a Superman.  

And this rug rat is a one of kind ornery kid with his off-the-cuff thoughtfulness at times.  Not so much this evening as he blared the duck call a little too much. 

This little lady loves to water flowers just like her dad and uncle like the rain to water their crops.

And sometimes she really wishes she could water her youngest brother.  And he understands that there might actually be water in there.....he knows he might deserve it.

Once the water hose was found, it was game over.  Time to get down to business and get in the mud.  Just as country kids do.....Superman and the Great American included.

As the sun was setting and bedtime approached, it was time to load up in the jeep and head home. 
With dad and dog in the front seats, I am sure they were plotting their next move or visit in the back seats. 

As they yelled "Love you Uncky Brett and Aunt Katie", we felt blessed to have these kids in our lives and to have a nice, spontaneous visit on our country front porch.    

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Between the Corn & Cows: What Do You Want to Learn?

I have been blogging for almost three months and every so often I wonder, 

"Why are you doing this?"

Well, I have many answers and one is to show you the beauty of our country life.  

Another reason for Fancy in the Country is to tell you stories of us living off the land which includes the beef our family raises, the sweet corn we grow, the delicious vegetables that come from grandpa's garden or my sister-in-law's.

It also includes telling you hunting stories and the fact that living off the land includes hunting, eating the game you kill and then hanging it on your wall.

My blog is about telling you the importance of freedoms and why the scene below is very common in our backyard.  

I want to share the agriculture story and how we grow our corn, soybeans and wheat. 

But what do you want from Fancy in the Country?
What do you want to learn or want me to share?

Do you want to learn about raising livestock and the differences in their feed, how we plant our crops and harvest them, about the different between GMO and non-GMO, what the different types of tractors do?

As I drove home tonight and saw the corn changing from summer green to harvest brown, I was reminded that harvest will be here before you know it.  That means I will be home by myself more because my farmer will be in the fields, and I will be able to write more for you, more agriculture stories.  

So send me a message or comment below and let me know your ideas
And don't look at me like these gals do, and tell me what you want to learn about agriculture or about being 
Fancy in the Country.

As my girlfriend would say, "get involved, learn something, do something."

And while you're thinking, "Why Fancy in the Country?", I will enjoy the peaceful, country sunsets.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What do 1950s Housewives Do?

Well they do the dishes and they drink!

My mom, sister and a few friends of our ours hosted a 1950s housewife themed wedding shower last weekend.  It was a lot of fun decorating and dressing up.  And there were a host of characters at the shower. 

I would like to introduce Miss Amy, a somewhat modern housewife who still loves her pearls but doesn't get out enough so she likes to pose for people at random times.

Then there is Leslie, she is our kind but nerdy friend who loves her books and applied to college instead of getting married, oh my!  She was the first to be submitted to her class and we are so proud even though we still find it a little strange........ 

Sarah is the innocent housewife who sips her Coca-Cola quietly in her classic, simplistic outfits and doesn't gossip at all over a game of cards.......right?

And then there is me.  I will admit that I do love my pearls and polka dots and and my mink, Nelson & Co., who was given to me by my great aunt.  I am the bartender of the group when we get together for cards and for gossip. 

Jello salads, deviled eggs, saltines, a veggie tray, bologna sandwiches and hot chicken salad were a hit. Don't forget, you must always have a rooster in your kitchen for good luck!

We had water for those that didn't want to partake in the cocktails and Tang!  
(For the record, they still make it.....we didn't find it in the pantry from 1995.)

Collectibles and antiques are a staple in our home and my mother collects old cookbooks.  This one in particular is quite fascinating.....and disgusting if you ask me.  A Jello beef mold.......and yes those are olives on top.  We didn't dare make this but just opened it up for viewing pleasure.  

Another classic Betty Crocker Cookbook as a centerpiece with more polka dots!

There was a candy bar with class candies....fizzles, some O'Honey and hot tamales.

Here are a few more decorations at the shower.  See the books in the middle?  Those were yellow stamps you received at the grocery store and you collected them in that book.  Then you could redeem them for all sorts of things from the catalog.  

One woman at the shower said, "I remember those!  My grandparents collected enough stamps to buy all the grand kids roller skates!"  


The bride (on the right) and one of her guests matched and it wasn't planned.  
Great minds think alike though....more polka dots!

The rooster really did bring us good luck....lots of food, friends, fun and fancy outfits.

Women love to give advice, so we made them grab a cocktail before writing down their best marriage advice for the bride.  

My favorite from a little girl, "Boys pick their boogers, yuck."  Yep....and so do men....

The bride with her hostesses!  The Baughn women on the left and the Thomas women on the right.  

My mother, on the far right, played another great character.  She was the farmer's wife who never gets off the farm except to go to the State Fair and enter the baking contest.  And she is super intense about it.......

So after we baked our food and prepared for the shower, it was time......

for a cocktail!  Champagne cocktails with orange juice or Tang! or with a little St. Germain and mint.  

And the farmer housewife was extremely busy in the kitchen....

I mean look at those pies!  

So it was a day for celebrating being a housewife and for realizing how far we have come as women.  It was a day to know that in the end as long as you have your girlfriends to have fun with it's okay to go home and make dinner for him, as long as you have your cocktails and polka dots! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Country Cookout with a Side of Fancy

"Hey honey, I think I'm going to have people over on Friday when my friend Paul is in town."

"I am supposed to be gone on Friday!  You can't have people over!  Who will cook the 
cute food and decorate and such?!?!?"  

"We are grilling out, not a huge deal.  It's fine.  I can handle it."

"NO, it's not.  I'm staying home now.  Oh my, what kind of new appetizers can I try?!"

"Oh gosh" he says, "here we go.....".

My husband is perfectly capable of a lot of things, I mean he survived without me before we met and were married!  Well.....he survived by his survival standards.  

And he is perfectly capable of having people over for a country cookout.  

But he is not capable of  whipping up gazpacho and serving it on a fancy tray.  

He is capable of reminding me that the rain that poured down during our cookout is completely fine because our crops need it.  

And he is perfectly capable of encouraging his nieces and nephews to play in the rain on a beautiful
  country night.  

But he wasn't capable of setting up for our fancy in the country cookout.  

And apparently he didn't think to buy the boys water guns for the cookout either.  My country ways come out a lot even though the guns were placed on a fancy table.

But he was capable of grilling our country farm sweet corn and our lamb and beef brats.

And I let him add one thing to the menu, the classic summer country dish.  I am just not sure 
he would have made it look so fancy.

And after all that work for a fancy in the country party, all they wanted to do was make s'mores!  

So after supper time, God decided to listen to the kids instead of the farmer and let the rain pass.  Then these country kids helped build a fire to cook their s'mores.

After all my worry, he was capable of throwing a country cookout without me.  

I made my fancy food and made it all look nice, but all that really mattered at the end of the night was the fact that the kids got to make their s'mores (and so did they adults).

Oh and don't forget about the mason jars full of dead lightening bugs I found on my front porch the next morning.  

The best of  summer nights with a lot of country and a side of fancy.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Priorities: My Nails and the Indiana State Fair

This summer has gone by so quickly, like all of life and every moment.  I know many of you would agree.

This month, though, this household has a lot going on!  I am working in the big city which is far, far away it seems.  Brett is busy with the farm and the cattle and hosting farmers from around the country on our farm.  And this coming weekend we are hosting folks at our house on Friday and then have obligations on the weekend, and all weekends this month.


It's August so it's time for the.....Great....

As I rushed home tonight from the grocery store (you know, my favorite place), I came home to a list of things to do.  I came upon this scene as I was emailing some people and catching up on life....this is my life, my priorities, this month apparently.

Work, drinks and doing my nails (weekly). 

So it's simple tonight, with highlights and sharing my love of our Indiana State Fair because.... 

Well....and I have to do my nails. 

My sister and I grew up watching classic Rogers & Hammerstein's musicals.  And each summer we HAD to watch "State Fair".

Not the most popular musical, but one we loved.  And growing up we loved going to the Indiana State Fair for many reasons.  And these days, we find new ways to love it each and every year. 

We go to the state fair to learn and to teach, farmers and non-farmers.

We go to the fair to exhibit our livestock or other projects or to observe the passion and hobby.

Sometimes at the state fair we dress like our co-workers without even planning it.

 We go to the state fair to see Kevin Costner and his band!!!!!!!!!!


Some of us spend the night at the state fair and wake up to an empty parking lot before anyone arrives.  And waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the city that still embraces agriculture is such a blessing.

And then to dress like our co-workers yet again the following year.....

Some of us go to the state fair to have meetings and work on agriculture education, policy and promotion. 

We give thanks at the state fair for our veterans when we pass a sign they made for us, the very people they are protecting and fighting for.

We go to the state fair to learn, share, meet and appreciate.  I hope you take that opportunity at your state fair! 

And I always make sure my nails are done for the fair too, just like many of my co-workers!

And let me know if you need help deciding what to do at 
Our Indiana State Fair, a Great State Fair!