Value of a Home Project

A couple weekends ago my husband and I undertook what I call our first “renovation.” We painted our kitchen countertops with the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation kit. We had been talking about it all summer and now the time had come. Besides the usual party games, this was the first time we would really work together, as a team in a timely fashion, and hopefully not end up with a disaster.

beforeFrom the time the paint roller first touched the counter tops, we had 20 minutes to get the area covered with a base coat and topped with decorative chips. (This is where the timely teamwork came in.) Communication was key. It was amazing to focus in the job at hand and execute the process. chips

After an overnight drying, we sanded the tops smooth and applied the top coat. It wasn’t perfect. We each had a spot where we smudged the paint or sanded a little too much, but all in all, it looked pretty good. Although the instructions said we could lightly use the surface after 48 hours, paranoid to mess it up further, we waited a week. sealed

Completing the project as a couple gave us a sense of achievement and satisfaction. I think coming from the farm has instilled us with a strong work ethic and really makes me appreciate the work we did in our kitchen, even though it wasn’t perfect. I actually look at the tiny, kitty paw print, forever impressed in my countertop, with fondness. (Hopefully, no one else notices it when they come over!) The whole experience will definitely be a wonderful memory to look back upon.

before and after

The values of family, productivity and wholesomeness are something all Nebraska Farm Bureau members possess, whether they come from a farm or the biggest city. You don’t have to be a farmer to possess these values, you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty and pour on the elbow grease if that means an improved quality of life.


Blog Bio Pic with Color

Pizza Waffles


1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits

8 slices mozzarella cheese (or 8 oz. shredded cheese)

6 oz. package of pepperoni slices (you won’t use the whole package)

2 cups pizza sauce


1. Heat Belgium waffle maker or George Foreman Grill

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut a slit on one side of the biscuit, forming a deep pocket.

3. Place 1 slice or 1 oz. of shredded cheese into each pocket. Top the cheese with 4-6 pepperoni slices. Press dough around edge to seal each biscuit.

4. Place one biscuit on center of waffle maker or George Foreman Grill. Close lid; cook 2-3 minutes or until the biscuit is golden brown. Repeat with remaining filled biscuits.

5. Serve with pizza sauce.


Note: These waffles are good hot or cold. That is why they work well for a lunchbox sandwich substitute.

Yield: 8 servings.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By now I am sure you have heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But for those who haven’t, it is where challenge acceptors dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and post a video of the action to social media. It is suppose to help raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Those who take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are encouraged to make a donation to the ALS Association and challenge friends to complete the action within 24 hours. Those who decline the challenge are suppose to donated $100 to the ALS Association. The challenge has helped raise millions upon millions of dollars to fund research. The president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, Steve Nelson, accepted the challenge as part of a kick-off to the Nebraska State Fair. Watch the video below to see what happened!


Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

CHeddar Pinwheels


6 ounces wagon wheel pasta (any pasta will do, but kids love novelty pasta)

1 heaping cup very small broccoli florets

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 small garlic glove, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces thick-sliced ham, cut into small cubes

1 scant cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

2 scallions, sliced (optional)



1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

2. About 30 seconds before pasta is done, add the broccoli florets and corn kernels. Cook for 30 seconds and then drain to a colander. Run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking. Keep pasta in the colander while making the dressing.

3. Whisk together the garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

4. Add the well-drained pasta, broccoli and corn to the bowl, along with the other salad ingredients. Toss together.

5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Yield: 4 (1 1/2 cup) servings


Price of Tailgating


The countdown to Husker Football kickoff has officially begun all across Nebraska, if fact, it started several weeks ago. (For some it started right after last season’s bowl game.) That means tailgating! A gathering of good friends and food for a great game! Recently, I saw a report about the price of a summer picnic and a lot of the same foods are commonly served at a tailgates. I thought it might be useful to pass the information along. While the cost is up slightly, a summer picnic or tailgate for 10 people still costs less than $6 per person.

The study was done by the American Farm Bureau Federation. It looked at a meal that includes the nation’s favorite foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk.

Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer picnic for 10 is $58.72, or $5.87 per person. That’s about a 5-percent increase compared to a year ago.

We’ve probably all noticed beef and pork prices going up, that’s because the nation’s cattle herd is at a historically small level and the inventory of hogs is also down. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find delectable meat cuts and ingredients for side dishes.

AFBF’s menu for 10 consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon for dessert, and ketchup and mustard.

A total of 84 Farm Bureau members (volunteer shoppers) in 25 states checked retail prices for summer picnic foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.

My personal favorite tailgating meal is BBQ ribs or hot wings! I can’t wait to see that first tunnel walk!

Go Big Red!

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