Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Corn Patch

We did it, we actually have a good looking corn crop. The lack of rain, hasn't been in our favor but Carl made up for it with a lot of watering. We have quite a few hoses on the Ranch now - about 1000 feet actually. We, I guess I should say Carl, planted the corn on May 26th. The engineer has to make sure every row is measured and straight but since he used this small corn planter from my parents that kind of bounced around over the dirt clods, the rows aren't perfectly straight - at least to Carl's liking.

We, yes I helped too, hauled off a lot of weeds to get this area ready for the corn but they just keep coming back. I can't even remember how many hours we have spent out there weeding but it's a lot. And there are still a bunch of weeds out there, the weeds are winning this battle for sure. I also planted a 100ft row of zinnias along one side of the corn. They just bloomed in the last week or so. 

This photo shows the corn on July 14th (top photo) and then on July 31st (bottom photo).
Carl has put nitrogen on it two times and it really takes off right after that. The rain in the last few weeks has really helped it out too. Although, Carl has become good friends with the sprinkler this summer. The telescoping sprinkler saved our corn.

We planted a few different brands of corn, on the left of the picture below is Pioneer sweet corn, then we planted some Becks corn and not one stalk came up, then on the right side we planted some sweet corn from the hardware store, I can't remember the name.
All of the corn stalks have ears on them but we think it will be a few more weeks until we have corn ready to pick. That's when the fun begins, I guess??? We are hoping to be able to sell some at the farmers market and give some to our families and also can and freeze a bunch for us. Carl keeps telling me there is going to be truckloads of corn to pick and I need to get ready. I'll get back to you in a few weeks to let you know how it goes...hahaha.

Catching Up

Wow, a lot has happened on the Rivir Ranch since I last blogged. Let's catch up. After we got back from our trip to California my sister was beginning the state softball tournament. For about six weeks we were consumed with softball games. It was a very exciting season and the girls went on to win the state championship. At the same time my youngest brother played in his first season of baseball so we were able to enjoy some baseball games too.

After softball season ended, we were invited to six weddings and bridal showers and a whole bunch of birthday parties and other celebrations. Those kept us busy for quite awhile to say the least. One of the most fun events was that I had the chance to co-host, along with my mom and sister, a bridal shower for my cousin Danielle. Thanks to Pinterest, I had a lot of inspiration for this shower and made several little things for the bridal shower.

In addition, to all of the family get-togethers, we have season tickets and are part of the Directors Club at our local theater. There are six shows in the summer, one every two weeks, and it is so much fun. We have really enjoyed getting more involved with the theater and learning more about how it all works. It's by far one my most favorite parts of summer.  And then on July 1st, we celebrated one year in our new home. The past year has flown by and it's really neat to look back at the pictures and to think just a year ago we were living in the tiny little lake cottage preparing for big move to the country. We have both loved every minute in our new house, it's just perfect for us!

Well, that sums up most of our summer so far, I'll do a few other posts about all the different plants we have growing on the Rivir Ranch this year. The flowers, garden vegetables and big corn patch are all doing well this year despite the drought.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photo Book

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Vacation

Hello. We just got back from an awesome trip to sunny California! We spent nine days traveling around San Francisco, Napa Valley and Yosemite. There were lots of activities and tours packed into those nine days and we had so much fun taking in California.

We started planning this trip a few months ago so we had plenty of time to research all the things available to do in the area. We toured Alcatraz, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, kayaked in Sausalito, took a trolley tour through San Francisco, rode a classic cable car up and down the hills of San Francisco, ate some classic San Francisco sourdough bread at Boudin,  went for a sunrise hot air balloon ride above Napa Valley, toured a winery, drove up the California coast on Highway 1, checked out the giant Redwood trees in Muir Woods, took a tram tour and hiked a few trails in Yosemite, hiked through the grove of giant Sequoia trees in Yosemite, and drove up to Glacier Point for a panoramic view of Yosemite, and of course took thousands of pictures of the entire trip.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our Big Gardening Idea

Last year at the end of gardening season, Carl and I got the brilliant idea of planting sweet corn and selling it. We have plenty of open ground at the Ranch so we thought we would plant an acre of corn. In theory this was a great idea, it would be approximately 41,000 ears of corn and alot of profit. So for the entire winter we have been planning to have one acre of corn then we went out to measure off the one acre to actually see how big of an area we would be working with and whoa...we changed our minds. That's way to much corn for two people to deal with and that's alot of weeds, watering, fertilizing and more work than we really thought it might be. We have now narrowed our corn patch down to 1/8th of an acre (100'x50'). It's quite a drastic change but we think it will be more manageable especially for our first year. On Sunday, Carl plowed the area that is going to be our new corn patch. It needs alot more work but this is at least a start.

While Carl had the plow hooked up the to the tractor, he worked up an area for my flower garden. This area is 30'x20'. It's going to have a few paths through it so it won't be completely flowers but still it's a pretty big flower garden. I'm planning to plant alot of wild flowers here.

And in plant news, the tomatoes have taken up residence in the living room. Since all of the plants are getting so big, we were running out of room in the dining room that has prime sunshine space.

The other plants are doing quite well in the dining now that the tomatoes have been moved.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

The pasta dish has quickly become one of my favorites. Its creamy sauce with shrimp and mushrooms is a great combination. And it smells incredible when you are cooking it! Give it a try.

4-8oz fettuccine or linguine
10 tbsp butter, divided
8 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
4oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp fresh chopped or dried parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped or dried basil
2/3 cup boiling water (from your noodle pot)
1 lb cooked shrimp (frozen is fine)
  1. Boil and salt a large pot of water and cook your pasta. 
  2. While your pasta is cooking, cook your shrimp if necessary and reserve.  If your shrimp are pre-cooked and frozen, quickly thaw them under running water.
  3. In a large skillet melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms until soft and brown.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reserve cooked mushrooms and melt remaining butter in the skillet.  Add minced garlic, cream cheese, and herbs.  At this point, the cream cheese starts to look almost curdled but don't worry it will all smooth out once you add the water.
  5. Simmer cream cheese mixture until well blended. Get a scoop of boiling pasta water from your noodle pot and mix it in, stirring quickly to smooth out the sauce.
  6. Keep sauce hot and add shrimp and mushrooms, mix well and simmer (stirring often) until everything is hot and thickened, about 10 minutes-you wont ruin this sauce by accidentally boiling it so don’t worry.
  7. Toss sauce with cooked noodles and serve.
Recipe via Pinterest from

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And There Was Light

You may remember when Carl, Spencer and Grant set the light pole in November and I accidentally stepped on the light bulb. So, since November we have had a light pole and light but there wasn't a light bulb in it. Over the weekend, Spencer came over with a giant ladder and climbed to the top to install the light bulb so now we have light. Carl also installed an electrical box at the base of the pole so we have power out there too. Just has I was not paying attention the last time I was out there taking pictures of them working, I stepped on the light bulb, well this time I was inside the house when they installed the light bulb but then later came outside to check on them and take some pictures. And just like last time I was concentrating on getting pictures that I stepped on the light bulb box but luckily it was empty this time but the guys were sure to let me know all about it again and how I need to pay attention to where I walk.

Now we officially have a light pole with a working light...amazing. The light is really bright and lights up the the front of the house great.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

I decorated for Easter! Here are some photos of our Easter decorations around the house.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Transplanting the Seedlings

Since our little seedlings really took off, we decided to transplant the tomatoes and green peppers to bigger pots before we put them out in the garden. We have been keeping them on a heat mat and under a grow light in our dining room. It's working out really well and the plants keep getting bigger!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Monterey Chicken

I love finding new recipes on Pinterest and this one for Monterey Chicken is definitely a keeper. Even my brother, who stayed with us for a few weeks this year, couldn't stop talking about how delicious the chicken was that night for dinner. It might have been best meal we made while he was there. What do you think Spencer?

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce ( we use Montgomery Inn, it's the best)
1/4 c. crumbled bacon
1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained (canned with green chilies added)
sliced green onions

(I never really measured the ingredients, instead just loaded it up until they looked good)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with pepper. Grill chicken until no long pink and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Top each chicken breast with bar-b-que sauce, cheese, tomatoes, green onions and bacon. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

Recipe from Pinterest via

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Starting our Garden

The time has arrived, we have kicked off the 2012 gardening season with starting some seeds indoors.  Well really we did this two weeks ago but I'm slow at blogging about it. are all the seeds we have to plant this year. Yep, it's alot, we're going to plenty of vegetables and tons of flowers.

Carl started the tomatoes in 2-liter bottle terrariums and some green peppers, jalapenos, broccoli and cabbage in other seedling trays. He had been planning this project for quite awhile and so far everything is growing great. Most of the plants sprouted within a few days, much to our surprise.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

I came across this receipe while playing around on Pinterest and it looked so good. Carl loves anything with peanut butter so I knew these would be a hit and they definitly were.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Beat in both sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.

For each cookie, roll one heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball. Arrange dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops. Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14-16 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

Original recipe from

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Decorating the Mudroom

After lots and lots of searching, I finally found a bench for the mudroom. I'm glad this little room is complete now, it looked so bare before.

So here it is...our new modern little bench. It fits perfectly in this space which was one of the difficulties I was having when I started the search for the perfect bench.

And we put a shelf above the bench and I did some decorating. I'm on a decorating spree with birds, owls in particular. We have lots of them all over our house. Carl thinks its a little weird but I can't resist buying all these darn birds.

Happy Belated Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day...a day late. oops.

February 14th is a big day at the Rivir Ranch since it's Carl's birthday too. We celebrated all weekend and this week too. Also, 1 year ago on Feb. 14th is when we started building the Rivir Ranch, which also marks just over year of blogging. Wow, lots of anniversaries, birthday, holiday to celebrate.

I did a little Valentines decorating in the entry way this year.

And we sent out Valentines cards to all of our family too.

We had a great Valentines Day; we ate at one of our favorite local restaurants and then we got each other lots of gifts. And Carl sent a dozen beautiful red roses to me a work yesterday!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day!