Happy Birthday Melissa!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Melissa! I'm sure this year will be as great as your last!

Load'Em Up

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Over the course of Memorial Day weekend, Ron and crew got 15 trials in the ground, both here in Urbana and in Dekalb. A long weekend for sure, especially when you hit the road at 6 am on Sunday. But it was well worth it. On the trip home that afternoon I introduced them to Ziggies Restaurant. Nothing fancy, just great diner food. If you're near Mendota, stop in!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boozy Cupcakes

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Around Cinco de Mayo, I saw lots of recipes for margarita cupcakes. And being the foo-foo drink loving girl I am, wanted to try them out.

My first attempt at these was a non-alcoholic version for a mother's day cookout. They didn't turn out too bad, if I say so myself. This generated a request for my nieces birthday this last weekend....but with the "good stuff".

No problem! ..And A Cookie For Dessert has directions for the boozy and non-boozy cupcakes, with a lime buttercream frosting. The lime frosting is pretty good, but I don't know if I'm in love with it. It's a little strong for my tastes. Any ideas for a substitute frosting?

For the cupcakes I made this last weekend, I just used the TGI Fridays margarita mix that comes premixed with tequila. Now, margaritas are okay, but I LOVE daiquiris and pina coladas.

I opted to make a second batch of cupcakes, substituting a strawberry cake mix and the TGI Friday daiquiri mix. I found a great rum buttercream recipe to top them off.

I could really get into this cupcake business!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Leslie!

I just got done with your birthday cupcakes!

It's What We Do: Staking Trials

Friday, May 22, 2009

Remember way back when I started explained how research trials are conducted and promised to share more about the whole process? Well, things have been more than a little wet around here.

That doesn't mean that Ron hasn't been working though. They were able to get a couple locations in other parts of the state planted as well as a few trials close to home. I just haven't been able to get out there to get you some photos of it.

Before any field trial goes into the ground, there's a bunch of stuff that needs to get done before they even get to the field, including seed sorting and packaging, planter and chemical calibration, among other things. Once the preliminary stuff is ready to go, its time to work ground and flag the trial.

Each trial is testing one or more hybrids, chemicals, or seed treatments against each other. Each on of these is put into a plot. These plots are then replicated several times. Each replication will have one plot of each treatment in it. Confused yet? (I'm trying really hard to keep it very simple.)

When Ron and crew head out to the field, they need to mark the trial area. They've determined the area of the trial by multiplying the width (based on the number of treatments in each rep) and the length (this is determined by Ron). Hey---how about me bring some math skills into your Friday blog reading?

Armed with extremely long tape measures and flags, they first mark the perimeter of the trial.

Once the perimeter is marked, they start subdividing the area -- they are marking each rep and also putting an alley in between each replication. Wait! You ask what is an alley? Just like there are alleys between buildings, there are alleys between each of the reps. And, they serve similar functions - they let you walk between plots. They're also there to make it easy to see the breaks in the trial and for equipment to get through when they have to do post-emergence treatments (another day, another story).

As they're measuring, they're putting flags in the designated areas to help know where to go when planting. Once the corn is up, they will use stakes to show the different plots.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remember this picture? Some people were wondering if it was our house. Thankfully, no. But it is a house we know.

My family has farmed the land that belongs with the house for many years. Its just down the road from my parents old house. Fortunately no one was hurt as a result of the fire, but that doesn't take away the fact that all of the owners possessions were lost.

An interesting note ~ The farm is listed in the Illinois Centennial Farms Program. The program was established to honor the generations of farmers who have worked to maintain a family farm in Illinois. To be classified as a Centennial Farm, descendants of the original owner must have owned the agricultural property for at least 100 years.

The Janvrin farm was originally 25 acres, purchased on November 26, 1852, by George Janvrin. Elmer Janvrin bought the farm from his father on January 1, 1916, and sold it to his son, Clyde, and wife, Merna, on February 28, 1967. Upon Clyde’s death on May 20, 1970, Merna took over ownership. The historic farm has grown to 145 acres and is owned by Clyde and Merna’s heirs.

The centennial sign with a fire hose draped over it.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guess what? It rained again Friday. That's more than 15" of rain since March 1st. And close to 6 inches alone in the last week. That set the table for some flooding around here. Central Illinois seems to be getting rain every couple of days. These rain events are occurring just when things start to dry up and the farmers start to dig their planters back out of the shed to get started again.

The Good: Ron's been able to get several plots in the ground here and others parts of the state. The Bad: He's only about one third of the way done.
The Ugly: Farmers around here are dreadfully behind on planting.

The Good: Early planted corn plants are emerging.
The Bad: Storms came through again on Friday and dropped almost another 3 inches of rain.
The Ugly: This trial has been under water a couple of times. In fact, the guys spent Friday pumping water (from Wednesday's rains) off of the trial, only to turn around and do the same thing on Sunday.
The Good: The trial is relatively free of standing water and the forecast is bright and sunny for the entire week.
The Bad: It will probably take at least a week to get the soil anywhere near planting-ready
The Ugly: Odds are looking good for giving up our memorial day weekend to work at the university....but maybe at least the corn will get into the ground!

Sunday Stills: Eyes

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The challenge this week....EYES. What better way to see, than through the eyes of a child.

For more Sunday Stills photos...head on over here

Five for Friday

Friday, May 15, 2009

I've been pretty lazy about posting this week. I have an excuse....but its not really good. I guess things have been pretty mundane around here and I just didn't think you'd want to hear about them! Anyway, five random things that have happened this week.

1. I got hit by a line drive at softball Sunday night. This is a photo of my leg on Wednesday.

2. Abbey had a checkup at the vet on Tuesday. Crazy dog -- she loves going to the vet to see everyone, including the other dogs.

3. The first Wednesday night since January that Ron doesn't have class. He's finished with the semester and can add another A to his GPA! Three more classes until he's done with his master's degree!

4. Last night we met Doug, Angie, and Noah at Buffalo Wild Wings - YUM! And then a quick shopping trip. The boys let us head to the mall while the checked out Dick's Sporting Goods.

5. Today marks the last day for Ron's boss at the university. We've both had the pleasure of working with him and he's shaped both of our careers much more that he could possibly know. While things will be quite different, it will open opportunities as well.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Raise the roof! It's AJ's Birthday today!

Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here's to all those mothers out there!

Sunday Stills: Black and White
The challenge this week....use a theme from a previous week, but in black and white. I admit I cheated on one of the photos and used one from my files. I can't help it - I love black and white photos! For more Sunday Stills photos...head on over here

This is the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. A beautiful place to visit..

Five for Friday

Friday, May 8, 2009

The last trips we've taken...
1. St. Louis

2. Louisville Farm Show
3. Arizona - Phoenix, Sedona & Grand Canyon
4. Reno
5. State Fair....not really a trip, but lots of fun!

Thousand Word Thursday

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In honor of Mother's Day this coming Sunday....I'll even dig out some old photos!

Some people say we look alike... :)

Cheaper Than Therapy

Stop by Cheaper than Therapy to check out other Thousand Word Thursday participants.

Something To Think About

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I received this as a forward yesterday:

This is from an article in the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday.

The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?"
I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that may use the money for their own company's benefit or worse (squander the money on lavish parties and bonuses ) use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. - Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. This creates Forty million job openings - Unemployment is fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry is fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis is fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and their constituents pay their taxes...

Now that is something to think about!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Softball season has snuck up on me. Our first game was Sunday night...luckily I was able to walk on Monday. Our first fastpitch practice was last night. I had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning, but at least I survived.

I said I'd catch Sunday night, what could be the harm in that? Oh, if you only knew my pain. Too much up, down, up down. My legs are screaming at me. Swearing actually, like a sailor.

Now last night wasn't too bad. As a coach, you don't have to do a lot physically, but I chased a fair number of balls down. This year's team is going to be a lot of fun. We only had one near catastrophe, which is pretty good for the first night. Let's hope we survive Saturday without any bumps, bruises, or contusions.

Sunday Stills: Flowers and Plants

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This week's challenge for Sunday Stills was flowers and plants. Stop by to see what everyone else has done!

This is one of my favorites - taken in our front yard. Too bad these flower don't last very long!

I came across this tree while walking the dog last week. I love the buds just starting to break.

And then there's the tulips I threw in for good measure :)

Soggy Saturday

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Remember yesterday when I mentioned one of the corn trials was under water?

Well, it now also has two inhabitants with webbed feet...

In other news, girls fastpitch starts today, and that means my schedule gets a little busier. I suppose coach better get her butt out the door and check if that field is under water too.

Five for Friday

Friday, May 1, 2009

TGIF! This week has slowly dragged by. Maybe everyone's moods will brighten over the weekend. Why so glum you ask? Let's see....

1. It's been dark, cloudy and rained all week.
2. This causes great concern in our house as it means the planter hasn't left the machine shed this week.
3. This causes greater concern for farmers statewide as only 4% of the corn has been planted here.
4. Though Ron has gotten several trials in the ground, there is now at least one under water.
5. But things are looking up. The sun is supposed to come out tomorrow, and next week may be a little drier!