A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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… and meanwhile, back in Kansas – What is John Coyote up to?  Let’s take a look at his latest videos!

http://youtu.be/xlWjvaKDpGk

He said this video was taken at Little Walnut River, ten miles southeast of Augusta. Kansas.  There is a unique beauty here in Kansas – or maybe I’m just biased in my opinion – ya think? 

http://youtu.be/yoqQ95QLcOk

I want today’s post to serve as a gentle reminder that we should get outdoors while we still can.  Before long the weather will be too bad and we’ll be stuck indoors – and you know what that means…  CABIN FEVER!  What will you do before the first snow of the year?

If you live in or around Kansas, you might want to take in the 16th annual Homemade Holidays Craft Show in Ottawa on November 14th.  It’s held at the Ottawa and Franklin County Visitor Information Center at 1230 S. Ash from 9am – 4pm.  I believe it’s free – (at least I saw no mention of a charge).  For more information you can call them at 785-229-8030.

Are you in the mood for some relaxing music and a bunch of friendly folks?  THIRD SATURDAY is also going on in Ottawa through December 19th when everyone in the community comes together for a fun relaxing day.

November 21st is the annual Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights in beautiful downtown Salina, Kansas.  I didn’t see what time it begins, but I’m guessing it’s around 10-ish.

The Downtown Holiday Parade in Hutchinson, Kansas is also on November 21st at 10am.  Good luck being in two places at the same time.  Why do they do that?

Kansas has a Swedish community not far from Wichita called Lindsborg.  It’s a college town and they have unique shops and restaurants.  Every Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat from November 8th – January 24th they will have the Birger Sandzen Holiday Gift Show at the Memorial Art Gallery at 401 N. First St.  For more information about that you can call them at 785-227-2220.

An evening stroll may be a little brisk these days, but in Wellington, Kansas they have the First Friday Art walk at the No. 7 Coffee House at 115 S. Washington from 5pm – 7pm.  I guess you grab a cup of their coffee to keep warm before you walk – or even while you walk – good thinking, No. 7!  For more information you can give them a call at 620-326-6777.

There’s still time to get out and go before we get stuck indoors!  These are all fun activities – but I think my friend John has the right idea – just go out and enjoy nature!  You never know what you may learn.  🙂

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DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Is it silly to want to take a trip out to Applejack Pumpkin Patch if you don’t have small children with you?  Can I tell you a secret???  I’ve never actually been to a pumpkin patch before.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have kids – but the second part of that secret is…  I’ve always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch!  It just looks like a lot of fun!  Having fun is not a sin – last time I checked.

So, this photo, taken just outside of the Applejack Pumpkin Patch is of my friend, Susan.  She posted it on facebook and I wanted to post it here today.  I love it when my Wichita friends post their day trips (even though I think she was technically on the job – which explains the vest).  I appreciate her giving me permission to share it with you.

The Minion Hay Bale... LOL!!!
Susan & the giant Minion Hay Bale… LOL!!!

I’m so thankful she posted this because we drove past it on the way to an antique store just a few days ago – and did I have my camera???  Well of course I didn’t!!!  I was kicking myself from that moment on.  I even suggested we take another trip just to get a photo of this.  That idea was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, to say the least.  :-/

Applejack Pumpkin Patch is in Augusta, Kansas.  They have a facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Applejack-Pumpkin-Patch-306961532736120/

There are scheduled activities and loads of fun for everyone (even the childless – well – probably).  I may not have kids – but I feel as though I’m still a kid myself…  for better or worse!

I’ve seen bales of hay made into a lot of different things – I must admit this is the first Minion I’ve seen – how creative is that?  Usually we see hay bales made into  jack-O-Lanterns…  you know, painted orange with the scary black face – that’s usually what we see.

Susan’s husband posted that if she had her way, Susan would take this giant Minion hay bale home with her and put it in their front yard.  I replied by saying, “She would be fighting ME for it – LOL!!!”  In reality, could you imagine either one of us – or both of us together – lifting that thing???  I’d say the argument is moot at best, wouldn’t you?

If you would like more information about Applejack Pumpkin Patch, click on this link:  http://applejackpumpkinpatch.com/activities/

Click image to enlarge

I enjoy living in Kansas, especially this time of year!  We have a lot of farms, which means we have tons of corn mazes, apple festivals, fall harvest celebrations and of course, pumpkin patches!  Now, we apparently have added a giant Minion hay bale to the list.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not!  Wink!  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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9-22 FOR THE WATCHFUL EYE

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I’ve shared a bit of the fun we have in late summer/early fall here in Kansas!  Our menus change from salads to stews!  Every woman in Kansas is reviewing their recipe cards and stocking up on slow cooker liners.  I’ve found a few coupons for those liners (they are expensive, let’s admit it).  The most important small appliance in my kitchen is my crock pot.  I use it quite often because it’s so simple to dump and cook.  That’s my style – dump and cook!  🙂

I was inspired by our trip to Louisburg, KS for the apple festival on September 10th to search for recipes that use apples.  We brought home a couple of jars of their wonderful sugar-free apple butter, but in my search today, look what I found!

CROCK POT APPLE BUTTER

Approximately 3 lb. apples ( make sure 1/2 are Granny Smith )
Gala , Fugi, Or Granny Smith
3 cups sugar (I will definitely use Splenda)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
Dash of salt
3/4 cup water or fresh apple cider

Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.

If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.

Mash Apple Butter until chunky or smooth with hand-held masher or blender
Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
Put in jars with water bath processing also.

Found on Pinterest and Holly’s kitchen

I found a video tour from 2014:

https://youtu.be/khCFDem01YQ

I don’t think I’ve shared my photos from Louisburg with y’all.  If I have, just humor me and look at them again.  😉

APPLES-screenshot

top left:  I wish you could have heard that sign squeaking as it blew back and forth.  Squeak…  squeak…  sounds so much like autumn to me!

top right:  The business of this business is apple cider!  This is the barn where all the apple cider is made.  You can’t tell from this photo, but behind the barn there are apples floating around in water – they go up a conveyor belt and through all the different processes from there.  I wish you could have smelled the APPLE scent inside that barn – it’s better than any scentsy wax melt I’ve ever used!

bottom left:  Their own label of sparkling apple cider!  Ah – it is amazing!

bottom right:  Yep – it’s an apple cider donut!  Hey – I’m not gonna drive all those miles and not have one little apple cider donut.  That was lunch – and mmm…  it was yummilicious!  🙂

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Ah…  we had so much fun today!  I need to share.  While the country focuses its attention on the Republican debate, we decided to go to our KANSAS STATE FAIR in Hutchinson, KS.

I made a little photo journal…  I hope you enjoy it!  Have FUN!

KANSAS STATE FAIR #1KANSAS STATE FAIR #2KANSAS STATE FAIR #3KANSAS STATE FAIR #4KANSAS STATE FAIR #5KANSAS STATE FAIR #6KANSAS STATE FAIR #7KANSAS STATE FAIR #8KANSAS STATE FAIR #9KANSAS STATE FAIR #10KANSAS STATE FAIR #11KANSAS STATE FAIR #12KANSAS STATE FAIR #13KANSAS STATE FAIR #14KANSAS STATE FAIR #15KANSAS STATE FAIR #16KANSAS STATE FAIR #17KANSAS STATE FAIR #18KANSAS STATE FAIR #19KANSAS STATE FAIR #20KANSAS STATE FAIR #21KANSAS STATE FAIR #22KANSAS STATE FAIR #23KANSAS STATE FAIR #24KANSAS STATE FAIR #25

Whew!  I’m tired tonight.  I think sleep will come quickly.  Goodnight everyone!  Sleep Well.  Remember, give your worries to God – He’ll be up all night long!  🙂

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

I know to people outside of Kansas this may seem a little silly…  but we get excited about the state flower…  the SUNFLOWER!

I LOVE KANSAS

FARMER TED'S SUNFLOWERS (1st week of September)

Early September in Kansas is pretty amazing!  There is a field of sunflowers about 3 hours northeast of Wichita – and we just got word that they now have ONE MILLION sunflowers in their field – and what a sight it is!  The farmer’s wife posted on her facebook page that on September 5th the flowers were wide open.  This is how Kansans know that autumn is around the corner!  They only stay open for two weeks.  They don’t stay open long, so it’s important to go see them right away – or you’ll miss them.  We didn’t get to the field until the 10th of September, and sadly, the rain came the night before, so the sunflowers looked a little sad.  Their little heads were bowed.  😦

IMG_1024
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

Sunflower Panoramic (1)
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

https://www.facebook.com/GrinterFarms

Visitors call it the “sea of sunflowers”.  Farmer Ted Grinter has been growing sunflowers for almost 30 years. More than 10,000 visitors came last year.  I get a kick out of reading posts from the farmer’s wife – she is so funny!  She wants to make sure we know that there are no restrooms (apparently, she’s been asked that a few times through the years).  😉

IMG_1020
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

She also said that they are a row crop farm that just happens to grow a few sunflowers.  A few?  Yeah – one million!  But sunflowers are the essence of Kansas.  They are the Kansas state flower.  We wake up in September – the sunflowers brighten our wit and give us energy!

IMG_1030
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

And guess what?  Kris, farmer Ted’s wife – has a blog!  Check it out:

http://krisgrinter.blogspot.com/

May God bless the one who made this You Tube video!  It’s amazing.  Grab a cup of coffee and take a tour of the sunflower field for yourself.

https://youtu.be/EtoMQSrDrcI

It was an amazing trip!  Soon we will go to the State Fair eating Pronto Pups, but that’s for another blog post.  Now…  be honest, don’t you wish you lived in Kansas???  Wink!  😉