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Thankful Thursdays #75: where the buffalo roam

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Oh give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

If you’ve never heard this song, you can hear the tune to it here.  It’s the state song of Kansas, one I’ve been singing all my life.  And while the skies get plenty cloudy here, and I’ve heard my fair share of discouraging words, I am happy and proud, and thankful that Kansas is my home.

As Dennis and I were driving through Abilene, shopping and sight-seeing, we saw signs like this everywhere:

PFCG?? What does that mean??  Then we started seeing signs that explained a little more…

We finally got the full explanation from a checker at West’s Country Mart.  PFCG means “Pray for Carly Gassman.”  When news spread in Abilene that this high school senior had a brain tumor, people in Abilene came together to support her and stores throughout the city, both individually owned businesses and chains, posted signs to “pray for Carly.”  Abilene business owners and those in surrounding cities pulled together to do a fundraiser for her.  The checker also reported that she’d had surgery to remove 90% of the tumor and she was recovering well.  This story gives me the feel-good sunshiney shivers!  God bless Kansas!  What a wonderful community!

Besides this inspiring example of the small communities and how they draw together to help each other out, I’m also thankful for Kansas in a purely superficial way.  While I’m often envious of more beautiful areas overseas and even within the United States, it doesn’t really take much searching to discover the unique beauty of the plains God created here.  Sometimes you just have to drive a little to get past all the manmade buildings…

Dennis says the mulberry tree should be our state tree because we have so many of them.  This one was in Abilene but we have them right in our own backyard, literally.  We always have to stop and have a taste.

I had Dennis pull over so I could take a photo of this man driving his tractor.  I gave the man a friendly wave as he got closer, and though he was working, he pulled his tractor as far over to the side as he could to see if I needed help or was lost.  See what I mean about our folks here?  So thoughtful!  Though I did feel bad about interrupting his work!

Can you tell what crop this is?

Green (unripe) wheat!  You see a lot of wheat fields in Kansas, as it is our main crop.  We are known as the “wheat state.”

We’re also known as the sunflower state.

Cutest water tower ever?

Sunsets in the country are so beautiful.

Atop the castle at Coronado Heights near Lindsborg.

When you slow down and take it all in, you notice the little things.  It’s times like these, watching a lady bug and ants going about their business, being out in nature, that I really feel close to God.  This makes me want to sing, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Psalm 19: 1-4

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

14 responses »

  1. Awhhhhhhhhh I feel like I jsut went on vacation. The pictures are awesome. All of God’s beauty! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  2. I grew up in neighboring Nebraska so this felt like going home for me as I enjoyed your photos. People in the Midwest are the nicest people ever – too cute that the farmer was ready to “help” you.

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  3. beautiful photos!

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  4. Sounds like home. I have wheat fields around me and mulberry trees in the yard :) I’ve never gotten to taste one though, the birds pick it clean when the berries are still green. Love how the community prayed for Carly and put signs up. Glad to here she’s doing well too. In the next city over is a huge round water tower, it’s painted bright yellow and has a smiley on it. You can’t help but smile when you see it :)

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  5. I too feel closest to God in nature. It is so beautiful and unreal, how can you NOT feel God’s presence?!? Great post, and sounds like a great state to live in!

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  6. Yes, Yes, Yes!

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  7. Veronica. Thank you for the lovely pictoral tour of your trip. Here is a gift for you… assuming that you don’t already have this recipe. I gather from your posts that you like sweet frostings. This particular frosting is quite sweet and the person who sent this to our local newspaper makes it for angel food cakes. I’m sure it would be perfect for angel food, but my husband of 9 months (we’re in our 60s and were surprised by love) doesn’t like that type of cake. So I put it on a Duncan Hines white cake mix. So far I have eaten almost half the cake since I made it last night, so be forwarned!

    2 cartons of whipping cream, 8 ounces each
    2 cups of regular sugar
    1 teaspoon of good vanilla

    Mix the cream and sugar until the sugar is mostly dissolved in a large (much larger than you think you will need) saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until the mixture reaches 240 degrees; the softball stage. Remove from the burner and let cool for a short while. Add the vanilla and mix well. When the mixture is fully cool, whip until it is of spreading consistency. It will firm up as it sits on the cake, if you can wait that long to eat it.

    My notes: I didn’t stir the mixture after it started to heat as I think I recall that if you stir a sugar mixture as it boils it will make it grainy. My frosting did turn out a tiny bit grainy but I think that may be related to my needing to pour the boiling mixture into a larger saucepan twice while cooking it as each time it boiled up and threatened to spill over the side of the pans. I had difficulty getting the mixture up to 240 degrees but that seemed to be related to the heat capacity of my new stove??? Also, as the temp finally reached just over 225 degrees, the mixture started to rapidly brown in one section so I poured it out into a bowl to cool. The mixture at the bottom of the pan had started to carmalize and was rapidly moving into burning because I had to turn the burner to the high setting to get the temp to move up and I wasn’t stirring the mixture. Next time I will try stirring it. I don’t think this frosting actually whips up into a fluffy consistency but that certainly doesn’t affect the taste.

    According to the recipe I read, this frosting freezes well and can be used on a cake that is frozen and then sent via priority mail to a happy recipient. :-) Hey, sending cakes would be a good way to help the Post Office, just like the Postcard project.

    Have you made frosting like this before? How did it turn out?

    Take care,
    Liz
    Polo, IL

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    • Liz, you are so thoughtful! I’ve never made a frosting like this, the process is very much like making candy. It’s hard to imagine such a short ingredient list and strange process making a good frosting, so I will have to try it to see for myself! I have never shipped a cake as packing one correctly so that it didn’t get destroyed in transit would be so much work, but an angel food would be definitely easier than a layer cake. Cool idea!

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      • Hi Veronica. I found the original recipe that I cut out of the paper and I have two corrections to what I gave. First, the recipe did not designate medium-high for the stove; it just stated cook the cream-sugar mixture until 235 – 240 degrees. Second, it stated to let the cooked mixture cool to room temperature before adding the vanilla and then whipping to spreading consistency with a stand mixer. Good luck and good eating!

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  8. I loved this post V. I’ve never been in that part of the United States before – but its gorgous!

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  9. Thank you for sharing such a patriotic post – I felt like I went on a holiday with you :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  10. I grew up in a small town and I was always amazed at the support people gave when others needed it. I loved all the pictures, took me back to my rural beginnings!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  11. Can’t help but love small town America where they look after their own.

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