Down Home Pork Chops

It’s New Recipe Tuesday! From now on, I will share a new recipe that I have tried on my extremely picky family! So, keep in mind these have been tried on a finicky pre-teen, and farmer (meat and potatoes man) approved!

Last week I made a recipe I found called Down Home Pork Chops. This one was tricky because it has red pepper flakes (I’m the only one that likes spicy), and kind of an oriental flavor because of soy sauce. Great for Grace and I, not so much for Darwin. I did back off on the red pepper flakes. Grace still thought it was spicy, but she loved these chops. Darwin was upstairs working on some things and didn’t know what I was making. When he came down he asked right away what I was making because it smelled great. ENCOURAGEMENT!

I teamed the chops up with some good old-fashioned fried potatoes and green beans. It was a hit! They loved the chops. They are tender and so flavorful. If you don’t want the kick of the pepper flakes, just cut back on them. All of us agreed that you could substitute boneless chicken breasts for the boneless chops. I’m pretty sure it will be equally as good!


Down Home Pork Chops

Down-Home Pork Chops


  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown pork chops on both sides in oil; remove and set aside.

Add garlic to the pan; saute for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, brown sugar, soy sauce and pepper flakes.

Return chops to the pan; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160°.

Remove chops and keep warm. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into the broth mixture.

Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Serve with chops.

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Family, Farming, Pork, Recipes


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He Was a Survivor

Oh it’s been such a long time. I do apologize. It has been a very rough year for my family and myself. I had promised my friends that I would have a recipe on this blog. I promise I will have that tomorrow! Today, I feel the need to pay tribute to the kindest man there has ever been in Southwest Iowa, my father.

For those of you who had the privilege of knowing him, you understand why this past year was so tough. My dad had a way of touching the hearts of everyone he met. There was just something about my gentle giant, as I liked to refer to him. He tolerated a lot, and rarely got angry. When he did get angry, people listened. When you read bits about farmer’s who stay up with newborns, trying to keep them alive, crying when they don’t make it but carrying on, that was my dad.

He was born in 1932, and probably used up more lives than a cat. When he was 5yrs. old, they discovered he had Von Willebrand disease during a tonsillectomy. Von Willebrand is a blood factor disorder where a person can bleed to death, but it is not hemophelia. I will explain this disease further in a future blog. This devil of a disease plagued my father throughout his life, and would contribute to his end, but I can not tell you how many times he dealt with this and SURVIVED!

When he was 9yrs old, he was diagnosed with Polio. He was extremely lucky that the doctor diagnosed him early and drove him to the hospital in Council Bluffs himself. He spent many months at Jenny Edmunson Hospital being treated, and once again, HE SURVIVED.

After graduating from high school, he joined the army during the Korean War. While he was stationed at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, he met my mother on a weekend pass to Salt Lake City. Together they had 5 children, and once again, HE SURVIVED! Ha ha ha! That is my funny for the day.

My awesome dad saw us through our ups and downs. He would never criticize, but made sure we learned our lessons in life. He had a way of doing it without saying words. For having 5 kids that were all completely different, I think my mom and him did a fantastic job. Family was important to him. He hated nothing more than seeing other families being torn apart by greed or inane feuds. Both of my parents never hesitated to “adopt” my friends as their own, and were always there for them like they were for me.

In the 80’s he started having bleeding problems again. Even though I was young, I will never forget the feeling of almost losing my dad. It did get my mind used to seeing my father in a hospital bed though. This is something I would get to see quite often for the rest of his life. You know you have a great man for a father though when all of our friends and neighbors showed up to harvest his crops for him. There is nothing as awesome as seeing and event like that happen. Once again, HE SURVIVED.

The 80’s farm crisis brought an end to my dad being a full time farmer. To save our land he sold out and rented our land out. It was the first time I remember my dad having a job that he had to leave the farm for. It was so hard for him to give up farming, but he swallowed his pride, and HE SURVIVED.

We lost my mom in 2004. My dad lost his love, and he was so devastated. It took him years to get back on track and really live again, but HE SURVIVED.

One week after my mother passed away, my father found out he had prostrate cancer. fortunately it was caught early and HE SURVIVED.

In 2010 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It was a very hard fought battle, but he won, and HE SURVIVED.

When he started having bleeding problems again a little over a year ago, I knew we were coming to an end. This man who fought so hard to live for 79 years was starting to fight his last battle. Because of the intense radiation of his stomach, the blood vessels in his stomach were bursting. We ended up taking him to the Mayo Clinic and they gave us hope, but his nutrition was a huge problem, and hard to fix because of his stomach. We made several trips to Rochester and really thought we were on the right track. Right before we were to make our next trip up there, he started to really get sick. His doctor sent him to Omaha for a new PET scan to make sure there were no new cancers. That morning when my sister and I took him to that appointment, we went behind his back and called his Hematologist to let him know how sick he was getting. He never left the hospital.

The reason I felt the need to write this, is because my father was not only a kind, gentle, wonderful man. He was a fighter. His life was proof of that. He was a survivor in so many ways. When you think your life is so horrible, and you can’t go on, I want you to think of the Gentle Giant of Southwest Iowa who kicked life’s butt so many times. Find the inner fighter within yourself. It’s in there. I guarantee!

Byron Lebeck riding in his first parade after beating stomach cancer!

Byron Lebeck riding in his first parade after beating stomach cancer!


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So Very Sorry

I really do have to apologize for not posting for so long. Let’s just say I have had an overload of family issues with my father, and a whole lot of everything else going on, and I have had absolutely no time to write. I am hoping to get back into the groove in the next few days, so let me get my brain in writing order again, and see what I have coming for you! Thank you for your patience.

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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Shopping with My Husband

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I usually don’t have too much of a problem shopping with my husband, but last night, I wanted to scream! We weren’t even in a store, it was on-line. Let me explain.

He decided he needed a new shirt to wear to church. This is a good thing, because, yes, he does need to update his wardrobe. He was a bachelor for too long, and I’m a believer of “slow and steady wins the race”, so I have never forced the issue.

He really didn’t feel like going to Omaha to Sheplers, and I don’t have the time either before Sunday, so he wanted ME to start looking on-line for him.

Um. Why me? I know he is capable. He’s always looking at Craig’s list, EBay, and tractor stuff all the time. But, I reluctantly logged on and started the journey.

This is why I was dreading it. He is stuck on the color blue. Now I like blue, but there are other colors on the color wheel, and I quite like them. So, I guess I kind of brought on this hell myself. I purposely looked at anything that wasn’t blue. That was my first mistake. Then I wasn’t looking at shirts that were on sale. That was my second mistake. Then the one I found that I did like had snaps. That was my third mistake.

So I started over. No snaps. On sale. Blue. Oh yes, plaid or stripes. None of that flower or paisley stuff. Ugh. There went my shopping fun.

Since it had to be here before Sunday, that left me two options of where to order from if he wanted a western style shirt. The Fort out of Nebraska City, and PFI out of Springfield, MO. So my journey continues on.

So I start looking at their sale shirts, and of course all of the ones we can agree on, are completely out of larges! We found a lot of 2XL. Then we started finding only 4XL. Then it switched to XS! Really? XS? That would be like child size right?

This was turning into a nightmare. After doing this for over an hour, I finally stood up, handed him my laptop, and said you have two options. You find it yourself, or we run to Omaha Friday night.

He started looking himself. He started to feel my frustration. He couldn’t find anything either. He finally found one that he was happy with, and I can live with. Yes, it’s blue and plaid.
I still have a lot of work to do I guess!

I still love you honey!


Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Family


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Remember this Stuff?


Do you remember this horrible stuff? I know I do, and I’m pretty sure my dad still has a old bottle of it in his medicine cabinet. It was used to treat cuts and wounds, and it hurt like @*&^!

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Old Stuff



2012 Ram Trucks | Heavy & Light Duty Work Trucks | Ram Trucks

2012 Ram Trucks | Heavy & Light Duty Work Trucks | Ram Trucks.

This ad really touched my heart last night. Not only am I married to a farmer, and former FFA member, but I come from a long line of farmers.

We would not be as well fed and clothed as we are today, if it was not for not only farmers, but farm families!

Please watch the Ram video and help out!

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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Farming


Foggy Drive and 4-H Leader Training

I’m not sure about everyone else, but here in Iowa, we are having the strangest winter weather. There is hardly any snow left on the ground, and the temps have ranged anywhere from below freezing to almost 50 degrees yesterday! Mind you, I’m not complaining. I hate winter. I could so be a snow bird! But in a way, I want my daughter to have winters like we used to have. The ones where there was so much snow that you could go sledding for the whole season. She hardly ever gets to go sledding because there just isn’t enough snow. Plus we promised her snowboarding lessons last year at the local ski area, and well, once again, there just hasn’t been the snow.

Now as much as I hate snow, we had fog (yes fog) so thick yesterday and last night, you could hardly see 50 feet in front of you. That is no exaggeration! LIke I said, we have had the strangest weather.

I had to brave the dense fog last night to attend 4-H leaders training. I actually love going to learning sessions and meetings like that, but not last night. I was dreading the drive.

No my husband was supposed to go with me, but he didn’t get home from work until about 10 minutes before we needed to leave, and he still had chores to do. He had also had a horrendous day at work, and not in a good mood, so I told him to just stay home. He didn’t even want me to go. I was all for that, but being my 4-H clubs organizational leader, I felt the need and responsibility to be there.

I wasn’t going alone. I was picking up another leader from our club, and my best friend Christie, who is the Clover Kids leader. At least I wasn’t driving alone, but I still didn’t like it. I guess as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to respect mother nature. Living in Colorado for 2 years will do that to a person!

We made it to the meeting a few minutes late, but we jumped right in, and joined in the projects and learning experiences Dave had set up for us. There were people there I haven’t seen for months. Some even since county fair. It was great to see their faces and at least get to say hello. Especially my friend Alicia. We never get to catch up, and she is so sweet and fun.

Before we moved on to the next part of our meeting, we were to go around the room, introduce ourselves, and tell what we were excited about for the upcoming 4-H year. I really had to think about this! Not because I couldn’t think of anything, but because I had so much I was excited for! I finally narrowed it down to that we had many new members this year, and they were so excited and eager to learn and grow.

Our membership had dwindled over the past few years. I have heard many reasons why, but the main reason was that it was boring and we didn’t do anything. Hmm….what to do? Well, we had to make the meetings more fun! So, we have workshops planned for photography (my niece is a photographer) and a horticulture project (I have a friend that owns an awesome greenhouse). I asked the members what kind of workshops they wanted so they felt like part of the planning process. We have some kind of a recreation after every meeting, and we have a small record book workshop after every meeting so when August rolls around it’s not so hectic.

Our meetings used to last 15 minutes if we were lucky. Now they are pushing an hour, and the kids are enjoying themselves. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing them get excited about their projects they want to do.

Now back to the weather. Our meeting was almost over and a thunderstorm came through. Yes. A thunderstorm in January.

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in 4-H


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