Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas at the S-Wheat Farm

Christmas at this S-Wheat Farm-Chick's house is a big event.  It means a focus on rural Americana, not only in decorating and food but in gift giving as well.   My grand-angels love to read and when I came across this company that specializes in personalized children s books about farms, well I couldn't resist and wanted to share a really cool company with you. Here is a link to  the I see me books  . 
A unique gift and way to make learning fun
As for me, well when it comes to Christmas, I'm like a big kid and love all the decorating, baking and festivities.  I have at least 14+ totes filled with stuff I've collected  throughout the years and my theme changes each year, so it's always chaos when I'm decorating. (It usually means a few evenings spent puttering until I get the look I want, sipping on wine with Christmas music playing in the background).  My style is  a mix of traditional and usual items too, so come along and I'll show you want I've been up to lately. Click here if unable to view.

I love vintage ornaments and the boxes they come in

An all blue tree, red tree, green tree and a mixed one with ornaments that are from my travels

I love this old paint splattered ladder found in a barn,
perfect setting for a Christmas vignette 

And when I get stressed... well I'm a stress baker - so when I start feeling like I have too many things to do and not enough time.... I bake.  Sort of crazy, but then again that's just me! 

Sugared cranberries ( 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water - bring to  boil for simple syrup.
Drop in cranberries for about 30 seconds and roll then in sugar). Easy and pretty.

Chocolate Cranberry cake. Recipe is on the OMG dessert page

This is what my kitchen looks like when I bake, some call it messy, I call it being exuberant!  

New recipe, I'm trying, Spiced Cranberry cake.  If it is a keeper, then I'll let you know !

And my next fav thing to do, is watch Christmas movies.  Here is my collection that I try to watch every year.  Best part is that my sweetheart likes them too! This makes me a very happy camper.

 As always, thanks for stopping by, feel free to email me at or leave a comment. I am excited that I'm going to learn to how to  make a German bread that I get every year from my Auntie Lois.  So more stuff is coming your way!  Talk to you soon.

All my best, Gayle

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Words Tell the Stories from Your Soul

My oldest daughter  texted me a newspaper article titled “women wears  a  colander for driver’s license photo”  followed by “mom, this is something you would do”……  I got a good laugh over the visual image painted by the words in that article.

The power of a word.   It can create images, evoke emotions and we are surrounded by words whether in print, music or spoken, and they all have an impact on us.  I recently wrote my November blog for the American Farmer’s website  (It’s under the column called Recipe for a Good Life), wherein I mentioned how people and food are my favorite subjects to write about.  Writing, like cooking, takes time, a little bit of talent and the desire to turn out a perfectly crafted end-result. And having that hope to create either “a melt in your mouth” dessert or an article that inspires, soothes or amuses the reader is my goal.  I am aware that other successful bloggers write about everyday things and on a daily basis, but when telling my singer/songwriter friend that I just can’t force myself to write about mundane things like washing the dog,  he said to me, “you are not a blogger, you are a writer and there’s the difference”  and suddenly those 13 words freed me and just gave me the permission to just be me (thank you Mark!!! ).  And it suddenly made sense that I am a quality vs. quantity kinda gal, and when I write to you, it’s because I feel it’s meaningful to me and may have some value to you.    I get inspired every time I think of the comments from you telling me that you found a nugget of worth in what you read, and that is what fuels me to write.   I am also particularly fascinated and inspired by song writers as they not only have to get words down on paper, but put a tune to them as well, and their songs have stories behind them.  My friend Mark creates his world in lyrics put to music and he paints out his emotions on a canvas.  He is one of my inspirations that I have the good fortune to call a friend.  This is Mark....  Click here if unable to view videos.


I also had the opportunity to meet and host a young Nashville singer/songwriter in my home and got to know AnnaLise Emerick, who is an amazing young woman.  I attended her  performance and  I loved the fact that before each song  how she gave a brief reason why she wrote the song.  So let me introduce Annalise….

Both of these gifted people possess a talent that I will never have and that’s okay, what we share is the desire to tell our story in the way it best suits us.   Even though this blog started out mainly as a tool to tell about farming and the life behind a farm family, it has evolved and expanded into to more of an upfront and personal side of a now divorced farm-chick who still like to bake, create and talk about how our food is grown.  But it is still MY STORY in my own words and you have been kind enough to be by my side throughout everything (thank you from the bottom of my heart).  Here is a short version of what I've been up to. Click here if unable to view.

I am always thankful that you took the time to read my blog, perhaps make something yummy like.....

Gingersnap Maple Cake or get inspired to paint a project like this....
Create something cool from paint and a bit of vision - so easy!

And I invite you to tell me how  you tell your story and/or what inspires you.  I also wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving.  Please use your words to tell those whose dinner table you are sitting at just how thankful you are to have them in your life. As always, if you have a thought, question, comment, feel free to email me at or leave a comment.  Blessed times to you and yours.  All my best, Gayle

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Living a Kaleidoscope Kind of Life

This saying says it all and  hangs in my living room, a gift from daughter, Jen
It's been a while since we chatted and the random thoughts and words have been rattling around my brain for a few weeks now, waiting patiently until I had a moment to sit and let them flow.
As for me the art of rebuilding a new life has been a bit like living in a Kaleidoscope with swirls of thoughts, feelings, smells and re-connecting with the old Gayle, all these things are scattered about to form a crazy colorful pattern of what I guess is my life.  I still don’t have the big picture of what this life will look like, but each day seems to unfold in a way that makes me observe, listen and see things anew.   While experiencing this new chapter, the recent wheat harvest was bittersweet.  The dusty/earthy smells of wheat being cut, hearing the sounds of the machines as well seeing them move methodically through the fields were reminders of what my former life looked like.  And while I have adjusted quite well and am happy, this part of the Ag industry will forever tug on my heart strings. And that is why I continue with the blog – reporting as a landlord rather than a farm partner and talking to you.  It’s a creative outlet that keeps my creative juices flowing.  
(Make sure and check out Luna, the farm dog’s thoughts on harvest)
The Hallmark Bag says it so well

Without intending to, I've been playing more than writing and working around my place.  And it feels good, but it is still a learned and conscious effort to remember to relax and enjoy the wonderful people around me.  My warped sense of humor keeps finding ways to emerge in full color to poor unsuspecting folks…. Like for instance,  I, along with my outrageous Montana cousins, 
planned  a surprise “re-hitching ceremony American style” for my brother and his new wife at their wedding reception held a few weeks after they had gotten back from being married in Jamaica.... 

This is what a "not-so-normal" family picture looks like
 Before that, I attended my a family graduation... and again, the crazy cousins and I showed up like this..
 and we made our moms wear the animal hats too.....(after this I'm probably gonna be cut out of "Mom's Will")

Then I did this... if you can't view it, click here

(plus it is amusing to make your kids wonder about their “gene pool”!  LOL – I think it’s called payback!! Ha ha ha.  .. Yup if you counted all the goofy and crazy things that I do, well this would be about number 982 reasons why my daughters wonder if I'm normal! =)

Then my  love for cowboy boots - a completely new thing for me and so far I am now the proud owner of  14 pair of cowboy boots, and 5 pair of non-cowboy boots.  These are now standard gear both in and out of the office.  They pair well with my jean jacket and dresses and I rarely wear
 girl-shoes now.

I’m still baking, not as much during the summer, but have to share this new cake recipe…quite yummy if I say so myself.
Berry Centered Yellow Cake 
And last but not least when talking about dreams that come true, I am excited to tell you that Kaitlyn eloped last week!  She is so happy, she just glows, which puts a smile on her mamma's heart. As soon as I get to see pic's of the wedding, I'll share.

As always, thanks for stopping by and I'll do my best to not let it be so long between chats. I just uploaded a few new photos too on the At Home Page too.  Feel free to send me an email at or leave a comment, as I love to 'em.  Also I am still writing for America's Farmers blog site, and mine is always called "A Recipe for a Good Life" series. The  September blog is slated to be published this month, so hope you check it out. All my best, Gayle

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Picture Postcard Life

As the 4th of July is just a couple of days away, I am thankful to live in the land of the free 

Miss M wishing you a happy 4th of July

Where I live, it often times makes me  feel like I live in a picture postcard world and I wanted to share some spectacular views of what I see every day.  It’s hard to not be inspired by rural living in my little piece of heaven called the Palouse.  And inspiration comes in so many forms for me, landscape, people and….. and as crazy as it is – a box of tomatoes.  So read on…….

A field of wheat
A field of Canola as viewed through the iconic "wheel fence"

If you use Canola oil, this is what the plant looks like when in bloom

A stormy sky

A view of my house nestled in a sea of green wheat
A few blogs back I wrote that I was excited that my sense of humor had returned and then publicly admitted I was weird – in a funny/goofy sort of way.J   And then another milestone happened, I walked  past my box of tomatoes last Monday and by Saturday a margarita and salsa party was in full swing in my  “Chick-Pit” shop that sports a chandelier and a pink door!  It was then that I realized   that I actually was 100% back to my old self because as I hadn’t thrown a party in about two years.  And it felt great!!

Fresh Salsa

                  Lime Infused Vodka

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Habanero Honey Whiskey                                                                                                

Me with my fav drink of choice
The menu was pretty simple & easy, fresh salsa & chips, sweet & sour meatballs, BBQ beef,  crunchy veggie dip & veggies, plus have to support the garbanzo farms (like mine) and served hummus too.  Besides margaritas, I made my own “lime infused vodka” and “habanero honey infused whiskey” – all those recipes can be found on my Good Farm Eats page.

And as always, thank you, thank you, thank you  for stopping by.  I am only a click away – so feel free to drop me a note at swheatfarmlife@gmail   or leave a comment .  Also don’t forget to see what the sassy farm doggette says about me and living on the farm!  Wishing you a safe & wonderful 4th of July.  All my best,  Gayle

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rural Happiness

Tonight as  I left City Hall after voting, it was a beautiful warm Spring day, I could smell lilac's and across the street at the park  you could heard the sounds of kids playing.... and I thought this is a slice of rural heaven. And it made me smile and I thought yup it's a nice way to live.  My life is  busy, but good and here is a sample of the night I was watching the grand-angels while their mamma had to work at the hospital's open house and their daddy was on duty at his job.  Life with little angels on the farm is never dull.  
Making a fun time.  ( notice Miss M - she is the "jammy queen") I swear that child
changes clothes several times a day and switches between dresses
and jammies at least 3 or 4 times a day!

Miss N looking for those pretty rocks that she drags home.
 After all that outside fun of riding trikes and picking out pretty rocks, well it was time to make homemade pizza! Yummm
Making individual pizzas mean you get to put on just the right ingredients

Not all pizza has to be flat

The counter sees lots of baking and messes - perfect for a farm-house kitchen

Yup Miss B has a foodie sense of humor

So life in rural Idaho is green with growing wheat and a good place for this farm chick!
 Plus exciting news!!!! Kaitlyn became engaged as of  last week and she is beyond happy!  It makes her mamma's heart happy.  =)
Kaitlyn and Daniel

Normal poses in this family doesn't really happen much but that's okay.
After all home isn't a home without a tractor parked in the driveway!  LOL
Well that's about it for a bit.... I have more to chat about but it's bed time - but just wanted to share some rural slices of my heaven from me to you.  Take care and hope all is well with you and yours.

As always thanks for dropping by and I am just a click away at if you want to say hi or ask a question.  All my best, Gayle

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rainstorms, Chocolate Chip Cookies & Courage

 I write about “real life” is what I told the Kate, the editor from the  America’s Farmers blog site, then sent her links to the 2 most pivotal blogs about changes not only in my life, but  for my family as well  and she loved it (links at the end).  Her words were “Wow! So raw and real”.    And as I mentioned before, I write a food and life blog for Monsanto every other month, and I invite you to check out their site.  Anyway as I was trying to write a post blog for my own site, I had many thoughts swirling around but I just couldn't get the words down … until now…..

 Last Friday night I’d gotten a text from my (former) sis-in-law, Lisa (who is married to Farmer Jay) that I had received an award at the annual FFA banquet.  And although I’d received an invite to attend, I opted to stay home as I felt awkward & uncomfortable going to a hometown Ag event solo.  Had I known I would have gotten an award, well I would have put on my “big girl panties” and went.  Geez, I being a wimp! Anyway, that sort of made my emotions go all over the place - just like the weather this week-end,  cloudy, rainy, some sun….. and it finally hit me  Monday morning  driving to work, it was like a piece of the puzzle of my old life had popped out and that I needed to put it back in its place and I needed to  continue to work on the puzzle parts that are still to be completed. (guess it is safe to say I’m a work in process J)  And I emailed both the FFA Alumni Chair and the FFA teacher to let them know how pleased I was to have received the plaque, then openly admitted why I didn’t go, and that  I would have “put on lipstick and got myself out the door” to their event had I known they were presenting appreciation plaques. And then the FFA Chair wrote back  "Some of the kids come from broken families; but it’s sad to see a young adult get awards and then realize none of their family is there to share the moment. These kids work hard for their accomplishments, and some have learned at an early age they have nobody to rely on but themselves. I think if you could visit with some of the older students, you’d be an inspiration on how to make lemonade out of the lemons of life.” 

And I thought seriously? Me?  I don’t feel like an inspiration, but it made me realize two things - the first, being open and honest and admitting your fear is okay, not only to yourself, but to others  as well; and the second is that fear can be a good thing if you make it work for you. In other words fear made me learn things and get out of my comfort zone.  And had I not confronted that fear, I never would have learned to drive a 2ton truck loaded with thousands of pounds of wheat, nor learned to drive a tractor, or go zip-lining or snorkeling or start writing publically.  Fear has led me in amazing directions!  Oh and there was one more thing, if someone does admit fear to you, be kind!  

That kind email warmed my heart and soul and it gave me courage and inspiration to face this fear (thank you Joyce) .  And I made a vow to myself right then and there that I would start going to the FFA events as well as other events  even if I felt awkward.

And because not all rainy days are sad, I wanted to share a special rainy day memory that will live on forever in my mind …….  Wheat harvest was in full swing, lots of hours were being put in and I had taken the time off from work to drive the 2ton trucks to help out. Rain was forecast and was closing in.  Finally the down pour happened, even though rain is not a welcomed site during harvest, it smelled heavenly.  I remember pulling up to our house and when walking through the door that afternoon and  the smiles and hugs that I got from my little girls made me realize that they were excited to see their mama .J  That afternoon rain was pouring down, we had the windows and doors open to smell that fresh scent  and we made chocolate chip cookies.  Rain and cookies…… hmmmmmm two smells unlike no other and forever intertwined in my heart.
What baking looks like in a drawing from a 5 yoa

Anytime it rains, well….. I can almost smell cookies baking! And of course I will share my very favorite cookie recipe,  so here ya go!  Chocolate cookie recipe (found on OMG Desserts)

And for me, life viewed through this farm chick’s eyes means taking the time to see that it is better to brave the cloudy, rainy times in life as it makes the sunny days all that much better.  And by doing so that you grow in ways you didn’t think were ever possible…...  Yup…  hearts/souls and crops need all of it to grow.

And with that I hope you have just enough rainy days of your own to appreciate how magnificent the sunny days are, and that those dark clouds will pass by.

One more thing, please reach out to all the wonderful women in your family this Mother’s Day, smile and let them know you love ‘em a lot.  Plus bring them chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop me a line at or leave a comment. J  All my best, Gayle.

PS –here’s are links referenced:   America’s Farmer’s blog site  September, January

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coffee, Dirt and Banana Bread

This morning has been all about smells for  me….. it started when I got up and made my strong coffee (that is a whole another story & often makes me the butt of family jokes!) then  I took Luna, my farm dogette out for  a 2 mile walk and  I smelled the fresh scent of the ground (sniff.....hmmmm… Spring really is here).  Even as a kid, I always loved the smell of dirt, (okay, I know what you are thinking, Yup! she’s weird J) ,  then if you were sitting in my kitchen with me right now, I ‘d slice you up a big thick piece of Banana-strawberry bread.  It just came out of the oven and the aroma of freshly baked sweet bread is divine.   Now that I've eaten a big slice of bread myself…. I know that I had better work outside and shovel some river rock and do some rock packing for a small landscape project as a way to burn off those extra calories.   It ‘s probably a good thing you aren't here… cuz I’d probably try to entice you to help me pack rocks and shovel  some river rock too. And just in case if you were wondering, yes I am wearing my standard overall ensemble  (i.e. from the 3/23/14 blog).  My trusty hired young neighbor kid is off at an FFA conference, so it’s just going to be me and Luna working outside, although she thinks since I am outside that I am her personal tennis ball thrower.  She has this uncanny way of knowing just where I want to be moving rock and goes and sits there, so then I have to throw the ball to get her out of my hair.  She has me trained well…geez.

Banana-Strawberry Bread... fresh from the oven. Recipe also on OMG Desserts page

The winter wheat is starting to grow and green up and I’ve seen a farmer or two starting to seed their Spring crop into the fields.  In the next week, I imagine Spring work on the Palouse will be in full swing with lots of activity in the fields and country gravel roads.

In dog talk it would be "mom quit taking pictures and lets keep walking"

I wonder how many cups of flour is growing out there???? Early stages of winter wheat

As promised, I have posted  my newest cake creation, a newer version of a  peanut butter filled chocolate cake. J
When I experiment, I will tweak the recipes a bit and see what works. Normally I write down what I did… this time I forgot what I had written and had to go back and try to remember and re-create it. This is what a creation of a recipe looks likes (above) and this is the end result (below)......

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cake..... Also found on Cake of the Month
Peanut butter and Chocolate.... can it get any better???
I regularly take my experiments to my "personal taste test department", also know as the Latah County Sheriff's Department.  I know when I score big because the next day I got a call from the Sheriff himself, thanking me.

Well glad you stopped in even if you didn't get to help me pack rocks or shovel 'em. I am always happy to hear from you, so feel free to email me at or leave comment. Take care and wishing you a very blessed Easter.  All my best, Gayle