Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My new FAVORITE kitchen must-have!

I love to cook. It doesn't really matter if it's baking, cooking, or my newest endeavor, grilling. When I moved this spring for my big kid job, the kitchen was the first room in my house that was set up and unpacked. Every other room has taken days (and even months in the case of my office!). Once my kitchen was set up, my house felt like "home". Maybe I'm crazy, but does anyone else feel this way towards their kitchen??

Just before Easter, I was in Walmart looking through the kitchen section and the new Rachel Ray cookware caught my eye. I decided to give her "trash" bowl a try and I LOVE it!! I have used to put cut up veggies in for the grill, baking banana bread, and even to serve salads in. They come in fun, funky color combinations that I really like! A couple of features the bowl offers - it's made of heavy plastic and has a rubber foot on be bowl that keeps it from slipping all over the counter when cooking. Really handy. I liked it so much that I got one for my mom for Mother's Day...I hope she will enjoy it as much as I have! I think one of the best gifts you can get someone is something that you have enjoyed using. I'm curious, had anyone tried any other Rachel Ray pieces??

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grass is cool!

Since making the transition from grad school to "big kid world", I'm quickly learning (just as everyone told me) that I spend 80% of my working day dealing with grass. For this animal science girl from SW Kansas, this is a big deal and the learning curve is pretty steep! :) I am welcoming this challenge with open arms and am discovering that grass is actually really cool! This week I have been at a pasture and forage crop conference and have had the opportunity to see a lot of different forages and forage systems.

We toured the Overton, TX experiment station.

I found these friendly ladies! The quality of cattle at the station was exceptional!

Some of the F1 tiger striped heifers. (This results from breeding a Brahman cow to a Hereford bull or vise versa)

Looked at a lot of different grasses, clovers, and identified several weeds.

Toured the 7P ranch which was gorgeous!

I had a great time and enjoyed the chance to see agriculture in a different part of the US!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The CHICKadees have arrived!!

Today is an exciting day at the office...WHY?? The baby chickens for the 4-H Chick-Chain project came in the mail! Thats right, the US Mail! We weren't expecting the chicks until yesterday and we got a call this morning from the postmaster saying, "Can you please come get your chicks, now??". For those of you who have been around baby chicks you can atest to the fact that baby chicks, for such little bodies, they can make quite the racket! This reminds me of when I was little and we would order baby chicks. My brother and I would sit around with a chicken catalog and pick out the ones we wanted to buy. Once the order was placed we would wait in anticipation for the big day when we would get the phone call from the postmaster.
What is Chick-Chain? It's a project that 4-Hers can sign up for. They pay a small fee upfront and have to attend a mandatory meeting before receiving their chicks. At the meeting we cover chick care, management, the equipment they will need to purchase and how to build a "safe place" for their chicks once they get them home. It's sort of like preparing for a new baby - you have to get a room ready, buy food, get waterers, feeders, a heat lamp, wood chips, etc. The kiddos will pick up their chicks on Friday afternoon and feed them for about 20 weeks. The chicks are breeds that will end up being laying hens and roosters. This is neat because it gives the kids an opportunity to start their own flock! The kids will take home aproxamately 10 chicks and then bring they back for the county fair. There they will show their chickens and be rewarded for their efforts by getting to sell a few chickens to people in the community. It's a neat project that teaches responsiblity, record keeping, and many other virtues!