Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goodbye to Another Great One

As I am sure all of you have heard, Paul Newman died last Friday. It is very sad. He was a great actor and did some really great stuff. Besides making good movies he also donated all the money he made from his line of food products (Newman's Own) to charity (over $220 million), and he served in WWII. I have not seen all his movies but two of my favorites are Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I can watch these movies over and over.

Here is one of my favorite scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This scene seems a little out of place for a outlaw type movie but maybe that is why I like it, it is just such a feel-good scene.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hay is for horses, but not on this farm.

Winter is approaching, and I completed one more task in preparation. Yesterday, we hauled the last bit of hay that we need to feed the animals through the winter. Hauling hay is not one of my favorite farm duties, as I have talked about in previous posts, but it is necessary. I actually don't mind it so much if it is not super hot outside and I am not hauling several hundred bales. Yesterday was one of the times it was not so bad. We did it in the morning so the temperature outside was like 60 degrees, we were getting it out of a barn so I didn't have to haul it out of the field, and I only needed around 40 bales to complete what I needed for winter. Altogether this summer we got about 130 square bales for the winter. I will probably get a couple round bales to put out as well when we are going to be gone and can't be here to feed hay everyday. I wish I could do all round bales but I don't have a tractor and I am not quite strong enough to lift a round bale.....yet. If any of you have a tractor sitting around that you are not using, I would gladly take it off your hands. It will still be a while before I have to start feeding hay but I am glad to have what I need for the year. It won't be long though, there are already some leaves starting to change and fall. I love this time of year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's That Time Of Year Again

It is officially fall and the weather is starting to get a little cooler. That means it is almost time to start having fires in the wood stoves and fireplaces all across this great land of ours. And you know what you need in order to do that......wood. And guess who has wood? That's right, yours truly. I thought I would give all of you, my loyal readers, the first chance at buying some. I will probably put it on craigslist tomorrow. Anyway, I have 12 ricks of wood for sell at $40 each and I don't deliver. Some of it is seasoned and some is green. It is mostly oak but there is also a little bit of hickory in there as well. Last year it sold in about a week after I advertised it in the paper so if you want some you better come get it. First come, first served.

From Farm of Hale

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

B to the third power.

In case any of you don't know this week (Wednesday-Saturday) is Bikes, Blues, and BBQ in Fayetteville. BBB is estimated to now be the third biggest bike rally in the U.S. and it is the fastest growing bike rally in the U.S. They don't have official numbers but somewhere around 300,000-400,000 people come to it and over 100,000 motorcycles. It is considered the most family friendly of all the bike rallies. They have Dickson Street closed off and all the bikers park their bikes along the street and it is wall to wall people. There are tons of vendors south of town at the university track center and they have the state barbecue cook off. There are also several stages set up with music going. There is a big concert every year inside the indoor track building, this year it is the Allman Brothers. It is lots of fun to go down and see everything and be around tons of bikers and other people and eat some good food. I wanted to make sure you all know about it and hope that you will all go check it out if you live around the area, it is a really good experience. We love going down there every year. If any of you want to go but would rather go with someone, Margo and I will be going down there on Friday for sure and maybe another night as well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How do you like them apples?

I made an awesome apple pie tonight. We were given some fresh picked apples last week. A friend of mine from work brought them to me. They are the kind of smaller, tart apples that are perfect for pies. I decided to make it tonight because we were having some friends over and the wife of this couple does not like chocolate. Yes, you read correctly, it is not a typo. She does not like chocolate. It literally blows my mind. Anyway, I thought it would be the perfect time to make my pie. I have made apple pies before but I tend not to always use the same recipe when I cook. And a lot of times I even make up recipes which Margo does not always like so much. One thing I always forget to do is write down the recipe that I use or make up and then I end up forgetting it even if it was really good. This pie turned out really good so I thought I would share the recipe with all of you and at the same time it would be a way of saving the recipe so I can use it again and not forget it. I did not make up this recipe completely. I took things from several different recipes and put them together to make my own recipe. It turned out really good, one of the better apple pies I have had and I am not being partial just because I made it. So here is the recipe...

I decided to use store bought crust this time. The kind that comes with two in a box that you roll out. I have made crusts before but these already ready crusts are good and easy. If you do make your own crust I would recommend using one that calls for using Crisco, it makes it much better.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8 apples - peeled, cored and sliced (you may need more or less apples depending on size of apple)

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and bourbon; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cinnamon
2. Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Mix pecans with apples and fill crust with apples, mounded slightly. Pour the sugar and butter liquid over the apples. Cover with top crust or a lattice work of crust. Cut a few small slits for steam release.
3. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes. (to check for doneness stick a tooth pick in and if it goes in easy it is done, if you meet resistance then the apples aren't done and it needs to cook for a few more minutes)
*If you want a pretty brown crust on top you can brush lightly with egg before cooking.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I planted some cantaloupe this year in my berry bed. I figured it would make kind of a ground cover and use some space in between the berry plants that was not being used. I planted it kind of late, so we got our first cantaloupe just a couple days ago. What makes this cantaloupe awesome is the variety it is, Hale's Best. We cut it up and took it to our old friend, Adam's, birthday party. It tasted really good. This was the first cantaloupe I have raised myself so it is kind of special. Here are some pics.

Here it is

Here are some slices and pieces. Do you have your tickets to the wrist show?

Monday, September 08, 2008

You Decide '08

Well, we made it back from our Ohio vacation and had to start back to work today. It was a nice vacation overall. It was good to see my sister and family and to see our friends Travis and Kate and their awesome girls. You can see some more pics from our time with Trav and Kate that they took and put on their picasa site, just click here. We had quite an eventful weekend after we got back. We found that our cows had picked up pink eye while we were gone. So, I had to get them all in our corral and give them antibiotic shots and I decided to try putting patches on their affected eyes. You can buy patches for this at farm supply places. It just glues on around their eye and helps keep dust, bugs, and light out of the affected eye to keep it from getting more irritated and help it heal. It was quite a event trying to get these patches on our non-tame cows. I eventually got them all on though and now we have a gang of cow pirates. I need to take a picture so I can put it on here for you all to see.
Now to the point of my title. I mentioned on one of my blog posts from our trip that I was not going to shave while we were on vacation to see what happened. I have lots of people ask how it turned out so I thought I would answer that question. We knew from past smaller experiments like this that it was not going to be very impressive. It seems I only made it halfway through puberty because I can't grow much of a beard and have a total of like 10 chest hairs. I wish I could grow a beard because I would if I could. Anyway, last night we took a picture of my poor mangy beard before I shaved. I then shaved a portion of it to see if I could pull off a hip goatee mustache thing and took a picture of that and then shaved it all off and took a picture. I thought I would post the pictures and see what you my readers have to say (of course you may not care and think this is all a childish waste of your time). So, vote for which you like the best and whichever wins might become my new look.

Here is the growth after 10 days, it is really kind of sad that this is all I could grow

Here is my "cool" goatee mustache thing, Margo says I look like a pedophile

Here is post shaving

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Columbus

Yesterday we arrived in Columbus to visit our friends Travis and Kate and their 2 kids Annika and Olivia. Travis teaches at The Ohio State University (apparently you are not supposed to just call it Ohio State, you have to say "The" Ohio State). Today we drove through campus to check it out. It was alright, not as good as the UofA campus of course. It was huge though. They have 60,000 students there compared to 17,000 at the UofA. We have eaten at some really good places while we have been here. Last night we went to the cool area of town that reminded me of Dickson Street and had a nice little park area by a creek with ducks, a farmers market, and fountains. There were lots of shops and restaurants and cool places there. We ate at a good place called Old Bag of Nails. After that we went to a ice cream place that we have heard multiple Ohians (is that what they are called?) rave about called Graeter's. It was really good ice cream. It is kind of crazy how they make it: only 2 gallons at a time and it has to be hand packed into the containers because it is so thick machines can't do it. It is rated by a lot of connoisseurs as the best ice cream in the world. If you buy a half gallon it is $15. Crazy but good. Yesterday afternoon after we arrived I helped Trav bottle some beer. He brews his own beer and had a batch ready to be bottled so I served as his lovely assistant. Here are some pics.

Here is us siphoning the beer out of the big brewing container into a big plastic bucket.

Here I am siphoning the beer into bottles

Here I am putting caps on the bottles

Tomorrow we are returning to the land of milk and honey (Fayetteville).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Today Margo and I actually went into Cleveland. My sister lives in a suburb and everything we have done so far has not been in Cleveland. I don't think that there are really that many exciting things in Cleveland but we found a couple things to do. First we went and ate lunch at this place I found online that is supposed to be a true Cleveland type place. It is called Great Lakes Brewing Company. It is a microbrewery and restaurant. It is supposed to be one of the top 25 microbreweries in the United States. We both had burgers that were really good. I found that I really like blue cheese on a hamburger. I also had their signature beer, the Dortmunder Gold Lager. It has one the gold medal 9 times and was the world champion 4 times at the World Beer Championship. It was very good. After our meal, we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

It was pretty interesting. They had lots of paraphernalia and interesting stuff. They also had lots of cool short videos about the history of rock and roll and interviews with famous musicians. It was definitely worth going to but it was not as good as I had hoped, it could definitely be a lot better. We think the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was better and we don't even like country music as much. The most interesting thing I learned is that John Lennon was really funny. They had some interviews of him that they showed. He was cracking me up. The museum is right on Lake Erie, so after we left the museum we walked around down by the lake a little. It is crazy that it is so big, it feels like you are at the ocean. Tomorrow, we leave my sister's house and go to our next stop on the trip.

Here is us with the big part of the city in the background

Us with Lake Erie in the background

Margo by a seagull

Monday, September 01, 2008

German Day

It's day 3 of our little trip. Yesterday we did not do much. We went to church with my sister and her family and just hung out the rest of the day. Our original plans for our trip up here was to go to Niagara Falls for a couple days. But our friends we are going to see later in the week in Columbus had a death in the family so we had to re-arrange our plans. With the plan change we are not going to Niagara Falls but we did get to go to Cedar Point unlike we originally planned. Not going to Niagara will just give us an excuse to come back sometime to go up there. Back to today. Today we hung out with the family more since it was a holiday and the kids did not have school. We also got to go to an Oktoberfest in a local town. It is kind of weird that the Oktoberfest is in September but we read about it online and it looked like fun. So, we all packed up and went this afternoon. It was a pretty good time. They had lots of German food, arts and crafts, dancing, beer, and lederhosen. At this festival they also have the national championship wiener dog races. It was a fun local event. It made us think of Walt and Annie living in Germany, maybe Walt will start wearing lederhosen. Here are a few pics.

Here is my plate of food: 2 bratwurst (they were awesome), sauerkraut (I don't like sauerkraut, I tried it again just to make sure), and german potato salad

Here is me enjoying a brat, also if you notice I have some random facial hair, I decided not to shave this week and see how nasty of a beard I can grow.

Here is a wiener dog race