Thanksgiving on Ice

I love Thanksgiving! How about you? Family, friends, food… what is wrong with any of that?

For 7 years we have tried to get the daughters, partners, kids and my parents here all at the same time. Needless to say that has been challenging to say the least. BUT finally it happened! We arranged for everyone to be here the weekend before Thanksgiving. It would be a short visit, but all would be here. We were excited preparing, shopping, planning what to cook and bake and then….







Now on Thursday morning, it was beautiful. By 830 our power was out and it was simply a short inconvenience. It was the day we were going to bake and clean but if it was on by 4pm we would be good. Afterall, we weren’t getting my mom and dad until Friday afternoon and then others would follow in on Saturday morning.

By dark we had flashlights and thought it would be on during the night sometime. Prior to bed we got the ETA from our energy company that it would be Sunday night before we would see power.

So I cried and panicked. I was so sad that this was the first time all together in years and we would be in the dark and have to change our menu. I was concerned for my parents being in a cold house and wandering in the dark.

Then hubby, as hubby does, says to me “I have a plan!” So we got a hotel room for my parents at night and hooked up our generator to get us a light hooked up. With a gas stove and grill and a little shifting in menus, we were in business! (and a headlamp never hurts!)






We added some fun rules to kick things off on a positive note!






Everyone arrived and we had a spectacular time! We picked up many pizzas from Marion’s in Dayton Ohio which is a favorite of all!






And who cares about power when you have a tractor with a scoop, a culvert to explore and gingerbread houses to make?






We took rides and played in the mud…






We had a wonderful time! When the power was restored, we cheered but also felt a little melancholy that our little adventure had ended. As a matter of fact, that evening, we sat in the sunroom with lights off and laughed and talked and laughed and talked. There may have been singing and dancing involved as well. 🙂

It was a great reminder of what Thanksgiving is about– family, love and laughter!

Hope your Thanksgiving was full of great memories and love!

Happy Unleashing,


Deck Prettiness

I don’t know about you, but I cannot see my gardens from my house. They are situated in the back of the property and the land is elevated where they are. Unless I am back there I simply cannot see the wonderful things that are growing.

Because of that, I like to have pots on the deck and flowers from the garden in the house. That way I can see things growing even if I am not back by the gardens.

Here are a few pretty things I get to see all the time from here. Rosemary, sage, cilantro, lemon thyme, orange mint and petunias are gathered together right outside the kitchen door and window.

Outside the sun room we have chives, marjoram and more petunias.

Around the corner a bit of basil, parsley and more pink petunias!

On the other side of the sun room and in the corner of the deck lives more rosemary, mint and parsley.

Currently inside I have some beautiful flowers that I cut from our bee mix and some hydrangeas and flowering oregano.

Outside the front door on the porch I have two pots filled with lavender, rosemary, thyme and eucalyptus.

What pretty things are growing near you?

Happy Unleashing!



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #245

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

Weather has been crazy this week for so many. Some of you are dealing with flooding rains and for some it is scorching hot! It is a challenge for many of you as you have to go outside – perhaps you have animals to care for or you farm for a living and can’t simply ignore those chores for a day or two. My hope is that you are well and safe!

We had a few entries last week as we try to revive our little hop here.

For those of you who love pork loin (I am talking to you mom!) here is a yummy looking recipe from Simply Living the Dream.

And be sure to read the entire blog as it is a cute story!

What do you have to share with us this week? Please enter your recipes, fun stories, farm girl antics or whatever you are doing to bring out your farmgirl this week!

Thanks for joining and reading! Have a great Friday.

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart -MaryJaneButters

Let’s hop!

Einkorn Wheat Berry Salad

What’s better than simple, yummy and good for you? I love when I can stir up something at the beginning of the week and have it for lunch during the week. This Einkorn Wheat Berry Salad is the perfect ticket for this!

If you are not familiar with this grain here’s a shot of my box:

You can use this like rice, add it to soup or salad. It doesn’t get mushy so it works in a lot of situations. It is an old grain (12,000 + years old!) and a 1/4 Cup packs 9 grams of protein with 0 grams of Sugar. In my book that is a lot of bang!

For the salad cook 1 C of Einkorn Wheat Berries in 3 C of water for about 30 minutes. Be sure to check the directions for this on your box if your brand is different than mine. Drain and let cool.

In a bowl start dumping– 1 diced cucumber, 1/4 C Vidalia onion (or use green onions), 1/4 C Cilantro, 3 oz feta cheese, 3 Tbl Olive Oil and 1 Tbl Golden Balsamic. Add the wheat berries when they are cool. Mix it all up and store in the fridge until lunchtime!

The great thing about salads like this is flexibility! Don’t like cilantro then use parsley! No Golden Balsamic in the pantry then grab red wine vinegar or another favorite. Goat cheese could go in for the feta. AND tomatoes would be fabulous in here but they are not in season yet at our house so we are still waiting on that addition because I won’t buy them at the store now that I have grown my own.

If you cannot find the Einkorn Wheat Berries at your store, you can get them on Amazon because well Amazon has everything!



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #244

Hello, welcome and let’s try this again shall we!

I have been out of town the majority of Fridays since March so our little blog hop has suffered and my apologies to you for that. But I am home and feeling like my head is above water so let’s blog hop shall we? I am sure you have been up to all kinds of things lately and I am looking forward to reading the entries today!

Did you see my awesome purse that hubby had made for me from my boots? Stagecoach Bags creates these heirlooms. Isn’t it great?

Let’s do it shall we? Time to hop!

Share a post about what your inner and outer farmgirl is doing and feeling this week. Brag on yourself and your skills! Share what being a farmgirl means to you; you don’t have to live on a farm to be a farmgirl! 😉

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart -MaryJaneButters

Thanks to all of you for visiting again. Please add an entry and let’s resurrect this baby together!

Old Boots to New Purse!

Last Christmas hubby got me new boots. My cowgirl boots were, well let’s say, well used! They were not comfy anymore and I was definitely in need of some new ones! I was thrilled to get a new pair.

I had suggested a few times that we toss my old ones; they were too rough to donate and not up for wear any more. But every time hubby went to take our trash, the boots remained. Several weeks later they disappeared and I assumed they were in boot heaven.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. I unknowingly was opening a big surprise inside a present from hubby at my daughter’s house.

Imagine my shock and happiness as I opened the box and saw a beautiful purse and then realized that I was looking at my boots!

I kept saying how can this be? How did you do this? These are my boots!

Turns out he had been working with the lovely ladies at Stagecoach Bags.  Hubby contacted them (Vicki, Debra and Gayle) after seeing an ad in MaryJanesFarm Magazine. He had rescued the boots from the trash bin and sent them to their workshop that they lovingly call the “Spa.”  My old boots entered their “Boot Camp.”

They cut and condition all the leather. They send options for inside fabric and accents.

They then create a name for the bag and create an authenticity card for a keepsake.

Hubby loved working with this company. Their tagline is “Our Booots Have a New Way of Walkin'” They love doing what they do and it shows!

Look at the final product!!

Please check out their website and consider a gift for you or someone close in the future from them. The purse is gorgeous but so special because of its history. That makes it an heirloom! I get compliments on it where ever I go.

Thank you Hubby, Vicki, Debra and Gayle!

Happy Unleashing those old boots!


Weekend Grilled Sandwich(es)

There is nothing like a great sandwich. Since we don’t eat a lot of meat we do not make sandwiches often. This weekend however we feasted on sandwiches more than once and they were fantastic and yes vegetarian!

This is heaven on a cloud of ciabatta. Yes a cloud…

I think some folks think ciabatta is heavy, but when baked right it is light, airy and just feels like a cloud when you press it. Hubby made the ciabatta using the recipe from “The Italian Baker” and it was magnifico! If you don’t have a baker in the house buy a good quality ciabatta for this sandwich.

Let’s make it!

Heat your grill to hot! I grill at a very high temp – 600 – 700 degrees. Heat to where you are comfortable.

  • Slice zucchini and/or yellow squash lengthwise about 1/4″ thick.
  • Slice a red pepper into pieces. I cut my pepper into 5 nice pieces that would lay on the sandwich after grilling.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Toss on the grill (I use a grill pan with small holes so I don’t lose anything in the process).
  • Grill for a few minutes on each side.

Towards the end of grilling cut the ciabatta lengthwise to open it up. There were only two of us eating so we cut the size of the bread appropriately for 2 sandwiches. Brush the bread with a little olive oil and pop on the grill for a couple minutes on each side.


  • Spread fresh (if you have it) or store bought pesto on the ciabatta.
  • Layer the veggies
  • Add a bit of sliced purple onion
  • A slice or two (or more, don’t be shy) of fresh mozzarella takes the sandwich over the top so get cheesy!

We served this with Italian Potato Salad – which is basically red potatoes with balsamic, olive oil and a bunch of fresh herbs. It was sooooo yummy!

We dined outside with a good red wine and believe me when I say it was GREAT!

Notice I did not give amounts on any of the ingredients. Since it is a sandwich it is up to you! Use whatever you think is reasonable for whoever is indulging (then add a little) 🙂

The next night we made paninis with the ciabatta on our griddle and added grilled large portobello mushrooms, red peppers, chipotle mayo and swiss.  Hubby made baked beans and it was again a feast. We were so excited to eat another sandwich, that I forgot to take a picture!

And what would a weekend be without a good breakfast sandwich? Eggs, peppers, mushrooms, pesto, avocado and mozzarella on the ciabatta. Many of these ingredients were left from the evening sandwiches and it was a great way to not waste!

Enjoy and happy unleashing with sandwiches! What are your favorites?


Life Happens

It has been so long since I have sat to blog. But as they say “Life Happens.”

March, April and May brought a variety of things that life brings– family connections, travel, laughter, death, illness, sadness, joy, upheaval, and well just a feeling for many weeks that things were out of my control.

I guess deep down I know things are out of my control. I know there is a higher power, that I choose to call God, that is in control of my life. I also know I have choices and so do others. And sometimes choices and simply life brings a feeling of being out of control.

I am back home now after several weeks of coming and going. The peace here at home is welcome and refreshing. I also acknowledge that doesn’t make everything simply “go away.”

But it does mean I am trying to get back on schedule, look forward and regain some control on those things that are within it.

With that being said, I am happy to be back blogging. I have some yummy food blogs to share, a little day trip to share, a special gift that I received to share, and of course my green babies and gardening happenings!

So hang with me as I get back into it. I have missed you and we will chat again soon.

Until then smell the flowers along the way.

Sunflowers in South Georgia







Happy Unleashing life today!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #243

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

It doesn’t matter whether you are a first timer or visit weekly; I am glad you stopped by! This is a great place to share what you are up to and to brag a little.

I am always inspired by what is shared here. I loved the quiet, peaceful post from Mid-Life Blogger last week, Be Still. She found herself without electricity and truly made the most of the day in stillness and enjoyment of her surroundings. I think we all need a “Be Still” day every once in awhile. Thank you for sharing!

And we had pretzels and refinishing and multiple entries on chickens and eggs and yummy goodies and well just so lots of good stuff to look at. Thank you to all that participate. You make Fridays so much fun!

So let’s do it shall we? Time to hop!

Share a post about what your inner and outer farmgirl is doing and feeling this week. Brag on yourself and your skills! Share what being a farmgirl means to you; you don’t have to live on a farm to be a farmgirl! 😉

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart -MaryJaneButters

Jack and the Tomato Stalk – Part 2

Below is my first blog on my little tomato in the basement experiment. If you have not read it please do. BUT for those that have, my little tomato is turning red! I am so excited! The plant is still getting blossoms and soon may be able to go outside again and I may get a BLT soon.

Part 1 (published 2/14/17)

So we have all read Jack and the Beanstalk but I have my own stalk growing to the ceiling in our basement!

Although most areas of the United States treat a tomato plant as an annual it is actually a perennial in its native environment which is Central and South America. If those are terms are confusing, an annual is a plant that has a life cycle from germination of the seed to production of new seed within one year and then dies. A perennial‘s life cycle is two years or more.

Last year while cleaning out our garden of its 80+ tomato plants, there was one tomato plant that was thriving in its pot on the deck. We had a very late frost so it had been outside for several months – it was started from seed in February and it was October and no frost yet.  I wondered if I brought it inside, placed it near my grow lites and kept it from frost if it would survive the winter. Would I get tomatoes? Would it simply survive and I could move it back outside in the spring and get tomatoes from it in the summer? Would it simply whither and die in a few weeks?

After being inside for a couple of months I saw flowers. Then I wondered if pollination would occur. Tomatoes don’t need bees to pollinate but they are not true self pollinators. They typically need wind or assistance from a pollinator or an animal. Animals can create enough vibration and movement for pollination. Inside I did not not have any of these available near the tomato but thought I would try it anyway.

The plant is growing and growing as you can see. Honestly I have forgotten which tomato variety I have in this pot and the tag is no longer legible. It is obvious that it is indeterminate – it is viney and tall. If it was outside it would be growing in all directions and sprawling in all directions. In our basement, it is now between the joists. I told hubby we would have to cut a hole in the basement ceiling to allow it to continue to grow.

I have recently, to my pleasure, discovered a tomato! I hope it will ripen under these lites and I will be able to figure out which variety I have here. Can you see it in the picture below?

If the plant continues to grow and thrive I will pop it back on the deck in the spring and see if it continues through the season.

The experiment has been really fun. I may bring more tomatoes in next year if this is successful. Do you think I will be eating a fresh tomato soon?

I will let you know!

Happy Unleashing your experiments!