This Shirt Works!

Carhartt…it’s a brand that every man recognizes and respects. And you’ll find it on many items hanging in our entry way. And now you’ll find it in the Boss Man’s drawers!

The Real Farmwives gave us a chance to try out something new out of the Carhartt spring series, and after perusing Boss Man’s work clothes collection, I realized he was sorely in need of a new work shirt or two.

Starting off the morning at the computer...ordering parts, checking the markets.

Now, to be one of the Boss Man’s work shirts, not just any shirt will do. He’s kind of particular about them. He prefers button down or snaps, he likes to have a pocket (that can button close), it must be comfortable and it must be cut right.

And this shirt hit all of those marks.

Working on making tags for the new calves born. Yellow tags are heifer (girl) calves, white tags are bull (boy) calves.

Tagging our calves is an important part of keeping a close eye on our herd.

Not only that, but from a laundry standpoint, it hits some of the big things thatI look for in a work shirt. It cleans easy, it’s well-made, and it doesn’t need a lot of care (like ironing!).

Occasionally, we need to re-do the cow tags as well. For instance, sometimes they become hard to read, thanks to the weather.

Thank you, Carhartt! For hearing my wishes, even before I knew them myself!

Getting ready to head to the field and start spring's farm work!

Prep work is wrapping up, and soon we'll see this shirt in a tractor cab!

And now, head on over to The Real Farmwives page and enter for your own chance to win a great item from Carhartt! (The chances there are better than the Mega Millions lottery!)

Carhartt provided the shirt for my hubby to try out, but the thoughts and ideas are my own.

And the winner is…

Just a quick blog post to announce the winner of the Gooseberry Patch “Dinners on a Dime” cookbook!



Are you ready?

Are you sure?


(Sorry, I love suspense!)

And the winner is…


Laine Hasper!

Which is completely crazy, because she won a cookbook from me way back when…but a totally deserving person. And I know she’ll use the cookbook well! 🙂

Congrats, Laine! And message me for pick up/mailing details. And perhaps you should head to Vegas, seems like you have some pretty awesome odds going in your favor!

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #10 – Spicy Layered Enchiladas – and a Giveaway!

I did it! Recipe number 10 is in the books! And now that I’ve finished, you can win this great cookbook yourself!

Here’s my recipe #10:

Spicy Layered Enchiladas


  • 1 lb. ground beef, chicken, beef, turkey or beef (the extra beef’s are for a friend!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 1-1/4 oz. pkgs. taco seasoning mix (or use this recipe!)
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 18 to 20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 16-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: chopped green onions or fresh chives

All those lovely tortillas, lined up and waiting for sauce!

Brown meat and onion in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in beans, water and one package of taco seasoning; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice and remaining taco seasoning; mix well. In a lightly greased 9″X13″ baking pan, spread enough of sauce mixture to just coat the bottom. Layer 1/3 of tortillas on sauce. Evenly spread half of meat mixture on top of tortillas, layer with 1/3 of remaining sauce mixture and 1/3 of cheese. Add 1/3 of tortillas, remaining meat mixture, half of sauce mixture and half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce mixture and cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares; sprinkle with green onions or chives, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Note: I skipped the first part, because I used the leftover taco meat that I had from Sunday. Layered it all together, like you would lasagna. Hubby gave it two thumbs up!

A BIG hit in our house!

Cost breakdown:

  • Leftover meat – $0
  • Sauce – $1.50
  • Tortillas – $1.50
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $4.97, that totals out to 41 cents a serving!!! Woohoo!

That is recipe #10 – and here’s a recap of my other nine recipes:

  1. Iowa Freezer Corn
  2. Easy Cheesy Potatoes & Sausage
  3. Country Chicken & Dumplings – a family fave!
  4. Taco Ole’ Bubble Bake
  5. Creamy Macaroni & Beef
  6. Mini BLT Cups
  7. Buttery Parmesan Potatoes
  8. Magic Peanut Butter Cookies
  9. Taco Seasoning Mix

Now…to get on to the winning! You will have until Dec. 11 to enter, using any one (or ALL) of these 11 methods!

  1. Follow me through Twitter @wagfarms
  2. Become a fan of Wag’n Tales on Facebook
  3. Follow Real Farmwives of America and Friends through Google
  4. Follow @realfarmwives on Twitter
  5. Becoming a Fan of RFOA &Friends on Facebook
  6. Follow GP on Twitter @gooseberrypatch
  7. Fan Gooseberry Patch on Facebook 
  8. Leave a comment on Gooseberry Patch’s blog 
  9. Join the Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends email club 
  10. Leave a comment on this blog, giving one sure-fire, money-saving tip for the kitchen
  11. Leave a second comment on this blog post listing out how many of the above methods to register for this giveaway you have completed and which ones.

And a quick reminder! Please, don’t forget about the Christmas Angel Project going on now (until Dec. 15)…we would love to share our love with those that need an extra hand this holiday season! (Check out details by clicking on the Blue Angel in the right hand corner at the top of the page!)
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One Final Story…and a Winner!

I would like to share one last story with you all…
Next month, it will be 3 years since I was diagnosed.  I was having problems with the vision in my left eye…seeing spots, flashing lights …and I noticed one morning that I couldn’t see out of the top half of my eye. The Dr’s office got me right in when I called. After a dilating my eye, an ultrasound and a few photos, the Dr called me back in to his office and explained it all to me. I just sat there looking at the pictures.

Then he said the words “Tina. Do you understand what I’m saying? You have cancer.”

My cancer is called Choroidal Melanoma. It’s a form of skin cancer and has attached itself to the back of my left eye. Normally the cancer is caught about the size of a match stick head…mine was bigger than a penny but smaller than a nickel. My eye doctor did not dilate my eyes two years in a row. He just checked my vision for new contacts.  If he had of, the tumor could have been caught much smaller that it was. So, when you see your eye Dr., please be sure he dilates your eyes so he can look behind them.

The treatment for my cancer was radiation. If… not when…but IF it spreads, I will take chemo.

He then scheduled an appointment for me to see an Opthalmic Oncologist in Memphis. .

I had to stay at the Cancer Center in Memphis for nine days…I came home the day before Christmas Eve. A radiation implant was surgically attached to the back of my eye and then surgically removed  8 days later. You’d think it would be uncomfortable wearing that thing, but it wasn’t. If I lowered my bottom lid, I could see part of the implant. Other than that, I just had to wear a shield over my eye to keep others from being subjected to the radiation. The radiation kills the tumor over time.
I’m going to spare you the photos…no sense in showing you how awful I looked at the time.  But I will tell you this…..I got a lot of stares and I scared small children…the stares I could deal with…scaring the children made me sad. So, I made a point to wear a patch if I went out. My eye was inflamed and very blood shot.

I see two different Oncologists, (one for my eye, and one to run CT and bone scans to see if the cancer has spread) a Retina Specialist (who gives steroid injections in my eye to help the retina heal….and YES…OUCH!) and a Dermatologist ( to check my skin, since it is Melonoma)…They will be my doctors for the rest of my life…They are all very caring, loving, awesome doctors!

To sum it up…I have lost the vision in my eye, I still see a few flashing lights (but nothing like I was), I have to use reading glasses for my good eye and I’ve had surgery to repair my eyelid so I can open my eye better now. And…the BEST NEWS!….the tumor is still getting smaller…and the cancer has not spread! Wooo Hoooo! Yay me! Yay God!!!

I told my doctors in the very beginning that I was going to be a miracle patient. I’ve got prayer warriors all over the world praying for me! So far, I have beat the odds on my cancer. I give that credit to God. My doctors are happy to see me each time I show up at my appointment.

It could take two more years for the tumor to be completely gone. But, I’m okay with that. I’m alive…and while I’m alive…I will keep living. I have a lot to live for…and God’s not finished with me yet!

Once again, I would like to just thank each and every one of you who have invited us into your lives, shared your stories, shared your fears, your pain, your triumphs and your tragedies. It’s been an amazing month for me…and I plan to give back more in the future.

Number selected...143! One of the "extra" entries earned by someone emailing a cancer story to me...and the winner was Rhonda Darbro!



The winner of the KitchenAid, and all the accessories is…Rhonda Darbro! Congratulations, Rhonda!

Tomorrow starts November, a month of Thanksgiving. Any ideas on what we should do?

Sunday Sharing

I’m home from church today, sick. Yet, even on days like these, I count my blessings.

Tomorrow at noon, I will draw a winner for my Pink KitchenAid prize pack…I would like to thank EVERYONE who has participated, entered, shared their stories, whatever it may be.

So, for today, here are three more stories…blessings to you all:

On March 7, 2008, my husband’s younger brother got married. The next day we learned his oldest brother’s wife had lost her battle with breast cancer. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting her, I think of her often. We talk about her, her husband (my husband’s brother), and their two little boys often.

Starting last year we run the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run in memory of Tanya. I’ve jokingly told my family that I’ll run it until all I can do is walk and then I’ll have someone push me in a wheelchair if I have to. One day we hope to run it with our entire family. I can’t think of a more fitting way to cherish the memory of someone who went home to God at such a young age.

And another:

My sister has some cancerous breast tissue removed a couple of years ago and now my other sister has to go back and have another mammogram because something showed up in the 1st one. I don’t know all the medical terms for what they have right now but as soon as you hear the word Cancer you get nervous. I haven’t had a mammogram in 4yrs. I didn’t even realize it was that long. I have been seeing the same doctor too and he never mentioned to me I should get one. So I have an appt. this October to have mine done. It is so important for us as women to take control and get this done. God bless all the cancer patients in this world.

And one last one for today…

I will never forget my Mom and Dad’s 28th wedding anniversary.  She came to see me at work and had an IV in her hand.  I asked her what
was going on, since she also works at the same hospital that I do, but it was her day off.  She took me into our nurses lounge with my Dad at
her side and said, “I had a colonoscopy today, and they found a mass.”  Then she started to cry.  She was only 49.

I immediately went into nurse mode and started to grill her with questions.  She had the colonoscopy done at a different facility, but came back to our hospital to get labs and other tests done, then was going home.  I was numb the rest of the day.

The next day, I went to Columbus for a Young Farmer conference, and Mom went back to work.  Dad called me that evening and said that Mom started to bleed at work, and it wasn’t stopping.  She left work(which NEVER happens!) and Dad took her straight to Fort Wayne.  They admitted her to the larger hospital, with a colorectal surgeon, and gave her blood transfusions.  (One of the biopsy spots failed to clot, which was the source of her bleeding).  She was in the hospital a few days, then was released to home.  She had a colon resection on September 6, and found out 5 days later they got it all.

She lucked out, had a great surgeon, and an even greater faith in God.  No chemo or radiation.  Just frequent checks with her surgeon.  So pay attention to your body.  It does talk to you.  All you have to do is listen, and have faith.

Yes…you are so right. All we have to do is listen, and have faith.

Tomorrow morning’s post will wrap this month up…and I’ll explain why I did all this. And then, at the stroke of 12 (or close there to), I will draw the name of a lucky winner of this sweet KitchenAid. Good luck to all who entered…and more importantly, good luck to all who shared their stories. May God bless every one of you.

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #7 and a KitchenAid!

Last night I was planning on being involved in a great online connecting party with Rockin’ Rural Women…but fate stepped in. At about 8:20 p.m., our power went out. And it stayed out forever (according to my boys).

Things that I learned last night:

* Four-year-olds will turn on every light in the house, and then report back that, yes, the light in such-and-such a room is not working either.

* For some reason, my boys cannot fall asleep if the power is off. I don’t know why, but believe we should have a federal study regarding this phenomenon. Really, it makes more sense than some of the other things they study.

* LeapPads make great flashlights when surprised with a power outage.

* Throwing out all my candles when my boys went through a stage of playing with them, was (in hindsight) not the greatest idea I’ve ever come up with.

* During a power outage is not the best of time to find out that your children have taken all the batteries out of your flashlights. But, I mean, how else would they power their toys when you refuse to replace dead batteries? I may have to rethink my decisions here.

Yes, it was an interesting, exciting and quiet evening. But we got through it. And thankfully, I had put some potatoes in the oven before the power went out…and they were the only thing done enough to eat for supper! But the boys LOVED them! And I’ll make them again (along with the rest of supper), tonight.

Here is Gooseberry Patch Recipe #7…Buttery Parmesan Potatoes


All you need, and I had it all on hand!



  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 redskin potatoes, halved

Everything, ready to go. So simple!



Pour butter into a 9″X9″ baking pan; sprinkle cheese over butter. Arrange potatoes cut-side down over cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until tender. Serves 4.

*Notes: You can easily bump this recipe up to serve more. And it’s absolutely, wonderfully easy and delicious. My boys requested more…and were disappointed that the power was off and we couldn’t make more. But I promised more tonight, and that’s what we’ll have!

Just to prove the power was out. (Actually, I took this photo minus the flash...didn't work so well in the dark.)



After serving each child half a potato, I thought I might have some left to taste!



I was wrong.




Cost : Are you sitting? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I had the butter and Parmesan on hand, and the potatoes were from the garden. So, it truly, truly was a “Dinner on a Dime.” Love it!

Now, be sure to enter my KitchenAid giveaway. I will be drawing a lucky winner at NOON on Monday! What a way to celebrate the end of a great Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Halloween…all in one! 🙂

Wordless Wednesday – My Blog, Your Battles

Another Wordless Wednesday post from me…another story from you.
As this giveaway is wrapping up, I just would like to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has entered and has shared with us. I’ve learned so much through all of this…and I truly mean that. If I could, I would give each one of you a KitchenAid! 🙂 If you’re new to my blog, and don’t know what we’re talking about, check out this post here and sign up. I’ll be giving away a PINK KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer and some accessories at noon on Monday! 🙂 Yay!

Just to prove it really arrived! I was so excited! Maybe I'll just end up buying one for myself. (Hey, Boss Man, that's a HINT!)


Here is another heartfelt story on how cancer has changed someone’s life:
I was born and raised in Southern California and I am not where I am today because my plan went the way I hoped but because of unexpected events. I’ve learned that is what life is…just a bunch of unexpected events. Nothing ever goes to plan and that can still be a very good thing.
My husband and I met in 2005 and what intrigued me most about him was that he lived such a different life than what I knew. His dad was/is a sheep rancher and he grew up in the country. Unpaved roads, knowing all your neighbors, no street lights kind-of-country and here he was in the big city of Los Angeles making snow action sports films.
Five years later I’m married to the small town boy, settled and adjusted in the great state of Colorado and don’t plan on moving back to California.
This past August 2010 my father in law had a bad fall. He tore ligaments in his shoulder and was put in a sling until surgery could be performed. While in a sling he felt a lump in his breast. Cancer. Breast Cancer. Between the shoulder injury and chemo treatments it would be months, maybe years before he’d be able to work on the ranch again.
His parents asked us if we would help out on the ranch and work to eventually take over the sheep operation. They plan to retire and enjoy life after they kicked this cancer’s a**. My husband and I always knew there was a possibility to move to the ranch but never thought it would happen this soon. Within weeks my husband and I quit our jobs, packed our things in a horse trailer and headed to SW Colorado.

From all this I’ve learned that it’s not about the things you have – your house, your car, your clothes or how much money you make. Life is about what you have in your heart and the love that surrounds you.

I say that and mean it 100% because I gave up quit a bit to make this move, but I gained so much more than I could have imagined in return.

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #5 – Creamy Macaroni & Beef

Half-way done with my recipes, before I give away a Gooseberry Patch cookbook! This was a big hit in my house, and very easy and cheap to make…the only thing that I had problems with were my noodles, but that was because I didn’t read the directions close enough! Ugh…I need a proofreader for my recipe-following! But it was still absolutely delicious! Just be sure to use elbow macaroni (as instructed) and do NOT substitute egg noodles. They melt into the dish. Still delicious, but we ended up serving it on toast…which was amazing!

Here it is:

Creamy Macaroni & Beef

All together now!




  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of chicken)
  • 8-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • 7-oz. pkg. elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 to 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t. pepper

All mixed together, ready to cook.



Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours, or until macaroni is tender. Serves 8. (I cooked on high for 3 hours or so…just need to make sure macaroni is cooked, or in my case, dissolved. Oh, and when I realized that the noodles were going to be nonexistent, I added in a can of drained whole kernel corn, just to give it more substance…yummy!)


  • Beef – $2.98
  • Soup – $1.75
  • Cheese – $1.50
  • Macaroni – $1.25
  • Total – $7.48, which serves 8, making it about 94 cents a serving. Not too shabby!

It was quickly devoured by my tribe...definitely a seal of approval!



Fighting the Good Fight

Yesterday, my fellow blogger and friend-across-the-miles started her second battle with cancer. I’ll be praying for her for the next few weeks/months as she boldly fights this beast called cancer. If you’d like to swing over and give her a shout, just letting her know that others are in her corner, you can leave a comment on my “Fight Like a Girl” post that you did, and be entered to win a pink KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. I’ll be giving it away at the end of the month, so hurry and enter!

I’m sharing another reader’s cancer story today…I’m so glad I did this. I’ve learned so much about the strength of so many women. You guys are all amazing. It makes me feel silly for worrying about some of the things I worry about. Thank you for a lesson in humility, a lesson in strength and a lesson of how to keep going.
I wanted to share with you my story of my step dad that has passed away to cancer.  Five years ago in May my mom married Bill.  They were happy together in fact the happiest I have ever seen my mom in years.  In August Bill had a swollen gland in his neck so he went to the hospital.  For a couple of months the doctors told him it was allergies and put him on Zertec and antibiotics.  Sept 8, 2006, Bill got up during the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and he collapsed on the floor.  Blacked out and was unresponsive.  My mom had called 911 and the ambulance was on their way when she had called me.  They did get him to start breathing again on the way to the hospital.  Several hours later the transfered him to another hospital and mom and I were on our way there too.
Once there, they did a scope to look at his throat and found a cyst wrapped around his main artery and that is what caused him to black out and quit breathing.  After further tests we found out it was cancer, Yes cancer not allergies.
That’s when the battle began.  We stayed at a house that is just a block away from the hospital and the Cancer treatment center.  While Bill was in the hospital trying to get better we spent endless hours by his side (the treatments he was receiving and the lack of blood to the brain would make him hallucinate).  Four weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer, he woke up one morning and asked me if I thought he was going to die and I told him no.  That night mom and I went home to get clothes and so I could spend sometime with my family and we got a phone call that we needed to come back. Bill had taken a turn for the worst.
We drove back that night and he did make it three more nights before he passed away.  Cancer is a horrible disease to watch someone die because of it makes it even harder.  To see a strong man weak and needing help getting up, going to the bathroom, and not being able to eat because the radiation burnt his throat was very hard and then to find out that the treatments didn’t help was frustrating.  With cancer I think a person has every feeling possible at some point and time of treatment.
I pray for all people going through cancer, their family, and their cartakers every day.  It takes alot of courage and strength to get through such a horrible disease.
Thank you, everyone for sharing your lives with me. Let’s keep raising awareness, and supporting others that are fighting the good fight. We need more marks in the win column.

Thankful Thursday – Cancer Research

Where would we be if science wouldn’t have developed ways to fight against such horrible and devastating diseases? Where would we be without early detection and screenings available? I shudder to think.

Today I share another story. Remember to check back on this post to enter for my October Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink KitchenAid artisan stand mixer giveaway! It’ll be going to a lucky reader on Oct. 31, Halloween!

It says it all...Fight Like a Girl.

Thank you, Patsy, for sharing your story:

Cancer has touched everyone’s life I think. My dad and one brother died of lung cancer. My other brother and sister in law have both had lung surgery to remove cancer. Skin cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and more have touched my family.

But my personal story is different. In January 2009 I got the call with the words, “you have a large, suspicious mass on your right ovary.” I won’t ever forget that phrase, the nurse’s inflection, the moment.

That afternoon I was having a scan, and seeing my family doctor, who had been insistent I get a pelvic sonogram. He told me surgery was going to be necessary. He spent almost two hours with me, answering questions, helping me wrap my mind around this.

A few days later I was sitting in a gynecological surgeon’s office. This man I’d never seen before said, “This looks bad. It has finger-like projections. You need to be operated on by someone who sees cancer every week. Not someone like me who sees it a couple of times a year.” I will always be thankful for his honesty.

A couple of days after that I was seeing a gynecological oncologist – a speciality I didn’t know existed the week before. He was much more reassuring, but also very direct. “The radiology looks bad. Very bad. But your age trumps that. Ovarian cancer is very rare in women under 50.” I wasn’t as much under 50 as I would have liked for security, but it was what it was.

Surgery day came and went, but there wasn’t a clear answer as expected. It was a “tumor of low malignant potential.” We thought this sounded great, until a nurse friend clued us in that could mean anything. Surgery was on a Tuesday. I was to find out on Thursday.

Wednesday night the phone rang in my hospital room and it was the doctor who said, “It was benign.” Benign. What a beautiful word. I thanked him for his extra efforts to find out early for me. I thanked him for the call. And I thanked God that I had just gotten the news people are praying for every day.

It was weeks later during the followup visit, when he showed me the radiology report, and explained that 7% of the tumor contained cancer cells, but they consider anything under 10% benign. My heart stopped for a moment. I realized if my family doctor had not insisted I go for a pelvic sonogram – if I had been one of the people who go for years without being diagnosed – I could have had a very different outcome. I was blessed.