Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmers' Market:: July 31, 2010

Just thought I'd write a little ditty about today's Farmers' Market in Scottsbluff. WOW, I really think this market is going to be great this year! It just keeps growing and growing!

I sold out of chickens, I should have brought more and I will next week. So if you were one of the unfortunate souls who got there too late, don't despair, I'll bring more next week.

Remember, the early bird gets the worm. The market opens at 7 am and some shoppers come at 6:30 am!!!

The bread man was there today. He is always a big hit. I'll write about him in a later post.

I had planned on writing about Mary Armstrong today and spotlight her Creative Bubbles Soap, but I forgot my camera. Boo-hoo, drat and dag-gummit! You'll have to wait until next week for her little ditty.

Here's a picture of Mary's soap that I took last week.
Isn't it too cute with the little seashell in it?
Mary gave me a sample of this last week and I adore it.
It feels like you are washing your hands with lotion, it is so soft and smooth!

I bought some of Christina's Blazin' Glory jam and can hardly wait to roast a chicken out on the grill and baste it with some of the jam. Ummm, Ummm, Ummm! Ashley said she tried some of the pepper jam on pork chops and said it was really good. I bet it was. I'm going to have to try that too. I also bought some of Christina's Apple Butta. Wowzers, it's delish!!! Christina said she loves the way her house smells when she makes it. Can you imagine? Too bad she can't bottle that smell and sell it in a room freshener!

I bought some of Mary's soap, but I'm waiting to tell you about that when I do my little ditty on her next week. I am going to smell so good after I shower with her soap! By cracky, when I smell like chicken crappy I'll use Mary's soap and be oh so happy!

I also got my CSA goodies from Dan Weitzel of Mitchell Valley Farm. I've got a story about him coming up, but you can also check him out on Here's the link to Mitchell Valley Farm.

Rylee of FlowerFlied Farms gave me some chocolate cake and leaf lettuce. Thanks Rylee, the cake rocks and Dan the Man was especially thankful for the treat. He says thanks you too!! You can also read about Rylee and her family run business, FlowerField Farms on the same web page as Dan Weitzel, just scroll down past Dan's info.

Last week I was talking to Dan Weitzel at my booth when another acquaintance of mine came up to me to say hi. As I was introducing Dan Weitzel to them, they said to Dan, "Oh, you must be Dan the Man!" referring to my husband, cuz if you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I call my husband "Dan the Man." Poor Dan W. doesn't read my blog so he was totally clueless as to what this other person was referring to. We all had a good laugh when everything was explained. Although Dan W. is a man, he is not Dan the Man, nor is he my man, but he can be Dan the Mitchell Valley Farm Man and he will make someone a very fine man, in my own opinion, and I also know that he is single! But I don't know if he available.


I didn't eat any breakfast before I left this morning so I was having a hunger attack so I bought a lemon poppy seed muffin and a zucchini muffin from Ashley Bolek. Thanks Ashley, they were quite tasty and helped me make it through until I got lunch!

Oh, did I tell you I came home with two loaves of Rye bread from the bread man. Thanks dude (gonna have to find out your name so I don't have to refer to you as the bread man all year!), that was so nice of you. We're having grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on your rye bread tonight for dinner. Yum.

So, there you go. Just a little recap of the Farmers' Market in Scottsbluff this morning.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you Sarah, the goat cheese girl had some extremely scrumptious custard stuff that was to die for. I should have paid more attention to what it was when she gave me a sample of it.

Anyway... if you're not making it to the Farmers' Market, you're really missing out on some great stuff.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christina Armstrong and Her Beeloved Jam!

Remember, to see a full screen view of the photos, click on them and then hit your browser's back button to return to the blog.

Christina Armstrong's Beeloved Jam

Our first Farmers' Market was this last Saturday, the 24th in Scottsbluff. I thought it went pretty well for the first one of the season. There are several returning vendors and several new ones too this year. I have high hopes of doing a little ditty on the blog about each one. But as you may have noticed if you've been following this blog, sometimes my ideas don't always pan out because 1) I don't have time or 2) I lose interest!

But I do have someone I want to talk about this first post of the Farmers' Market Vendors Series. The reason I choose Christina is because she is right next to my booth and I could run over there and snap pictures and chat in between customers!

So, without further ado let me introduce to you Christina Armstrong of Beeloved Jam! Wow, I don't know what all to tell you. Let me start here... She has a website which tells all about her jams and jellies. But I'll try to hit some of the highlights of her business.

Click here to go to BEELOVED JAM.

Such a cute name for the jam don't you think? And such a cute girl, inside and out! I have a hard time not staring at her tattoos. Sorry Christina, but if you didn't notice, I'm probably old enough to be your mother and old school enough that a person with as many tattoos as you have fascinates me in a weird sort of way. LOL!

Christina serving up some jam to my dear little friend Ashley!
Thanks for coming Ashley, it was great to see you.
See what I mean about Christina's tattoos?

PS Christina, I really do like them, but so much better on you than on me.
I can't imagine what Dan the Man would say if I came home with tattoos like yours! LOL

Back to the jam...

All of Christina's Jams and Jellies are VEGAN friendly, made with the freshest fruits and veggies, 100% natural pectin, and sugar. Whenever possible she strives to use organic fruits and vegetables. Christina offers samples at her booth and you must stop by and try them. It is better than the "tasty sample ladies" at Sam's!!

Christina serving up another taste!

Oops! The cracker broke and the taste went all over the table!

I sampled the BLAZIN' GLORY (Apricot, Habenero, Bell Pepper and Onion) and let's just say... I am in love with this stuff. No joke! It is absolutely delicious on a cracker with cream cheese. Christina said she thought it would be tasty on my chicken. I say... I'm gonna have to try that!! I'm buying a BIG jar this Saturday. (Make sure you put my name on one Christina!!) Christina gave me four little sample jars to take home and try. You ROCK Girl! They were all scrumptious!

Let me share with you how I tasted them. I got a package of club crackers, a package of cream cheese, the jams, a knife and a tall glass of iced tea. Then I sat my butt down at the table and began spreading cream cheese on each cracker along with the jam. I sampled BLAZIN' GLORY (again, like I really had too), WICKED (Raspberry & Peach), VERY VERY VERY BERRY (Strawberry, Raspberry & Blackberry) and HOT, BUT NOT REALLY HOT PEPPER JAM (Bell Pepper & Jalapeno). When all was said and done and I felt like I had given each Jam equal time and tasting I had finished off the entire jar of BLAZIN' GLORY and at least half of each of the other flavors, half of the package of cream cheese, yes that's right, 4 ounces of the stuff and a whole sleeve of club crackers. Go ahead and say it... oink. I know, but I don't care!

My taste test results: BLAZIN' GLORY is the best, like I said I am in love with this stuff. VERY, VERY, VERY BERRY is my second favorite. It was very tasty and not too sweet. Too bad it has seeds in it, my sissy can't eat stuff with seeds in it. Sorry Lori, you can't have any! HOT, BUT NOT REALLY HOT PEPPER JAM was hot, but not really hot! It was good, but I didn't like it as well as the BLAZIN' GLORY. WICKED was also tasty but a little too sweet for me. I bet it would be good on ice cream though. Oooooo, better try that.

Go to Christina's website to see all of her other flavors. I will never buy another jar of grape jelly at Wal-mart. NEVER! Christina, your jams have won their way into my pantry.

Look at this one, Kitchen Sink! Gonna have to try that one too!

Gift Baskets!

Christina plans on being at the Farmers' Market in Scottsbluff every Saturday. You can find her right next to ME! The Market is from 7am-11am at 18th & Broadway, downtown. If you go to check her out, make sure to mention that I sent you! Hee, hee! Maybe if I send her enough business, she will give me a jar of jam! Just jokin'! I will gladly dish out the moola for her stuff!

The Spider, Again!

I think I have finally decided that the spider is a Barn Spider. After my last post, Lisa suggested we name the spider Charlotte, which spurred the "heated" conversation between Dan the Man and I about what kind of spider was Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web." Dan the Man is convinced that Charlotte is a Black Widow. I say no way! So I did a search on Google to prove him wrong.

Let me just say this about Dan the Man and his spider knowledge... every black spider that Dan the Man sees, he thinks is a Black Widow. Dan the Man has never ever even seen a Black Widow before, but if the spider is black, he is convinced that the spider is a Black Widow!

With that being said, I did a search on what kind of spider is Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web." The general consensus is that she is a Barn Spider. This knowledge sent me on another search for Barn Spider where I found this picture which looks just like my spider when it was on the chair.

Wikipedia Picture

My Picture

My Picture

Here is the link to the Wikipedia page concerning Barn Spiders.

Barn Spider - Wikipedia

Last night after we got done irrigating I went to check on Charlotte to see what she might be eating for dinner. We still hadn't eaten and I was wondering if she might have any ideas. She was actually out on her web! AND... there is a little baby spider by her too! How cute! Too bad I couldn't get a cool picture of the web. It really is neat.

Charlotte out on her web.

"Little Charlotte" or maybe we should name it Wilbur!

Here what Wikipedia has to say about the Barn Spider:

The barn spider (Araneus cavaticus) is a nocturnal, yellow and brown spider with striped legs and a marking on its underside that is typically a black background with two white marks inside the black, although color ranges can be quite magnificent. It is about three quarters of an inch long with a large round abdomen.[1] Like many other species of orb weavers, it takes down its web and rebuilds another web every evening, consuming the silk from the remaining web to conserve its resources.[1] Its "orb" web is the archetypical web that contains symmetrical spokes connected by a spiral inside. They hide during the day and at night will sit in the middle of the web and wait for an insect to land on the web when hunting.

These spiders are aggressive toward each other. They will attack each other if in close quarters, though many may inhabit the same structure or area at any given time. They are most commonly found in rafters and wooden structures in suburban and rural structures or areas, and on boats near lakes, thus getting their name, "barn spider".

They are mostly found in North America in late summer and through autumn. Barn spiders are most common in the Northeast US and Canada.

When agitated (by a puff of air, for instance) these spiders sometimes bounce up and down in the center of their webs, possibly in an attempt to look larger and more threatening. This reaction could be due to its response to vibrations in the web when prey is trapped. The Barn Spider will shake or sway the web to instigate further reaction from the prey caught within the web or to confirm that it was debris or other environmental disturbances (fallen leaves, sticks, etc.). If the spider senses a likely meal has been caught they will move to it and immediately begin wrapping it with silk.[1]

This spider was made well-known in the book Charlotte's Web by American writer E. B. White, with a particularly interesting point that the spider's full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica, a reference to the barn spider's scientific name, Araneus cavaticus. Also, one of Charlotte's daughters, after asking what her mother's middle initial was, names herself Aranea; which ties in with the Order in which this spider is classified.

So interesting. And there you go, today's zoology lesson.

Good bye, that's all I have to say about that. Dan the Man is yelling (that might be a strong word, he really doesn't yell) at me it's time to go to work. Sorry blog land, but I must be off to tend to the chickens.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Spider, an Update!

There sure was a lot of interest in my last post, Wow, That's a BIG Spider! So I thought I'd post an update on Mr. Spider, or maybe it's Ms. Spider! Maybe there will be several more of these spider running around in the near future. I won't mind as long as they stay out of my bed and my irrigation boots which I keep outside near the spider. I now shake each boot for several seconds before I stick my foot in each one! LOL

After my "photo session" last week with the spider, I wanted to show it to Peggy, my neighbor, but it was nowhere to be found. I looked all around the chair where I had found it and couldn't find it. A couple of days later I noticed a new spider web on this old dresser I have sitting outside on the porch and upon further investigation I found the spider. Well, I'm 99% sure that this is the same spider. But guess what? It is now a different color! Yes, that's right, I think these spiders can change their color to camouflage themselves to their surroundings.

Remember what he looked like against the chair? He looked almost like the chair, the exact same colors!

Don't forget that if you want to see a full size view of the picture
click on it and hit your browser's back button to return to the blog!

Well, look now.

Freaky, huh! I added most all of the comments that were left on Facebook concerning the first post, so you might want to go back and read them if you're interested or bored. After several people putting their two cents worth of spider knowledge, I have come to the conclusion that this is a Garden Orb-Weaving Spider. Someone posted this link SPIDER IDENTIFICATION CHART so that's where I went. The info on this spider says "the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds." It also says, "often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes." My spider definitely does not have a 6 foot web! Ewww, can you imagine walking into a web that big in the day time or at night.

Yuck, I'm giving myself the Hebe-gebes so I'm going to stop now. Oh... and aren't you glad you are not that grasshopper it has wrapped up for dinner?

Oh and PS... maybe we should have a "name that spider" contest, so leave your suggestions in the comments!

That's it. Goodbye.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wow, That's a BIG Spider!

Yesterday, one of the cats decided to regurgitate something that obvious didn't agree with them right on one of my chairs outside. Nothing like seeing that first thing in the morning. At least it was outside on something that could easily be rinsed off with the hose.

As I was hosing down the chair this scary looking guy came out from between the cushions! Eek! A spider! A BIG spider!! A BIG SCARY LOOKING SPIDER! I had to run and go get my camera to show you.

I had to put my finger in the picture to show you how big he was. Let me tell you this was not an easy feat! It gave me the Hebe-gebes. I was certain he would pounce on my finger when I was least expecting it!

Okay all you bug freaks, what kind of spider is this?
Look at those hairs on his legs?
Looks like my legs a couple of months into the winter!

I finally had to run back into the house and get an envelope so you could have something in the photo to compare the spider to so you could have a better sense of it's size.

I'm not going to tell Skyler that the spider was on the chair he always sits on when he is "waiting" for us to finish up a job instead of helping us finish the job before we move on to something else!

Hee, hee...

Is that wrong? Okay, maybe I'll tell him next time I see him sitting there.

Well, that's all.
Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs (or scary spiders) bite!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So much to blog about, so little time....

I'm so disappointed that I have had so little time to blog this summer.

Oh how I miss the light workload that I so enjoy in the winter time.

How can it already be the middle of July?

So much has happened this Spring/Summer that I would have loved to have blogged about, but after I get done working for the day, I'm too exhausted to do anything but go to bed.

Here's a quick run down of what all has happened around here since May. And I mean it is going to be quick. Random rants, probably misspelled words and incomplete sentences. I might not even proof read it, so there!

May 5th, Colton turned 20 year old!! How is that possible?

May 14th, I think, not even sure about the day, it was so long ago... Chris graduated from Western Nebraska Community College with an Associate of Occupational Studies in Powerline Construction and Maintenance. But if you read my blog you already know about that. I must have found time somewhere to blog about that.

Colton leaves for Washington state sometime the end of May to begin his summer internship with Microsoft. Drives all the way from Phoenix to Seattle (actually Redmond, I think) all by him self. Is provided with a super nice apartment with a cleaning service... Must be rough! Makes more money in one summer than I did in one year when I was his age.

The end of May, Nick, our oldest son came home from Japan!! He's in the Air Force and was stationed at Yakota AFB for the past two years. Before that he was in South Korea. Nice to have him back on US soil. He spent a week here along with his girlfriend and her daughter. Was so nice to meet them. After a week here in Nebraska, they took off to visit Jerrica's family in Arkansas for two weeks. Nick came back here for a week and is now at his new base, Cannon AFB near Clovis, NM. Can't wait to go visit him.

Nick, Jerrica and Jettica

During the time that Nick was in Arkansas with Jerrica, I got stuck baby sitting the dog, Bo. We had several adventures together, too bad I didn't have time to blog about them!

Me and Bo

Hello, my name is Bo!

Spent Memorial Day with sister Lori and her clan at Springer Lake!

Adam and Shaina

Lori and Chris


Jerrica and Jettica



What chew talkin 'bout?

Lori and her Dr. Pepper

Springer Lake

Dan the Man sitting on his can!

Nick, Bond, James Bond that is!

Jett and Bo

Nice "do" there Spanky!

Katy and Chris

Adam and Shaina

Jerrica and Lori

Chris and Katy

June 12th, Skyler turned 17 years old????? How did that happen? Is that really right? If you were born in 1993, are you 17 years old this year?

June 18th, Nick turned 22 years old. Egads, my children are growing up and becoming adults and I am getting older and turning into an old lady.

June 30th, Danny turned 44 years old. Finally as old as I am!

Somewhere in the month of June Chris was offered a job with Charter Communications as a locator (how do you spell that? you know someone who locates utility lines) in Kearney, NE. This required two trips to Kearney in one week. One trip to find an apartment and one trip to move him there. Katy, Chris' girlfriend, accompanied us both times.

The following is what happens when you've been on the road for 5 hours in the middle of Nebraska.

What are you guys doing back there?


What does that mean?

Poor Katy, hope he doesn't drool on your shoulder!

Hey, I have an idea, let me take a picture of your eye!

Then you can take a picture of my eye!


1200 chickens have come. Have been working on new freezer ever since April. New freezer still not up and going. Don't ask, it's a sore subject that I don't want to talk about.