Happy Anniversary to us!

Today is our 31st wedding anniversary! It’s that time of the year to find our wedding pictures and to check them out again. I know that it’s kind of weird to look at the same pictures year after year, but it’s like a tradition for us. And it always makes me laugh when I’m looking for the pictures because when we first got married we thought that they were the next best thing to gold. We  had to buy new picture frames and then you just nonchalantly had the pictures plastered all around the house. Then as the years go by, you start taking them down because they slowing got replaced by the kid’s pictures. And now these past few years I find myself looking for  some frames and putting our wedding pictures up again. The more that I think about it, maybe it’s because we’re back to where we started when we first got married. The kids are growing up and starting to have their own lives and it’s just Daryl and I sitting at the kitchen table once again. I always wondered how this whole transition would be with just us, and you know what? It’s not so bad. So the photo of the day I chose is  us,  31 years ago. Man we sure look young!img040

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Happy Easter!

With William in New York and Kyle in Korea that left just Daryl and I to celebrate Easter this year. I must say it was pretty quiet around the farm and not much was going on at all. We were going to go out for dinner but we couldn’t decide where to go so we just ate leftovers instead. I know.. kind of pathetic. And the worst thing is that neither one of us really minded at all. It rained and thundered and then it rained some more all day today. And if the old saying is true, then it’s supposed to rain the next seven Sundays because it rained on Easter. Yikes I sure hope that this isn’t true!

But even though the weather was really crappy, we did find a break in the rain to head outside and fix the greenhouse. The really windy weather lately has taken a toll on William’s greenhouse and we did get it back into shape pretty good. I’m planning on getting some of the plants out there soon so it wasn’t so good having some of the side panels and one roof panel blown all the way up to the grain bins.

And Good News is that Kyle received his box that we sent! Now if you remember I sent a box to Kyle a little while back with some things in it for not only himself but also for the kids in his classroom. Well it got there with no issues and today’s picture of the day is one that he took of his kids with some of the Easter toys that we sent for his class. How fun!10259370_686609976724_1301886927_n

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Pickin’ Rock

Today marks the first day of rock picking. Now you if you’ve never had to do this there is one word that I have for you…. Lucky! Let me try to explain what this job is. The fields around our area every year has rocks in them that need to be removed so your farm equipment doesn’t get wrecked when either you are baling hay or taking the corn and beans out of the field with the combine. And these rocks can be left over from last year that you didn’t get picked or they came up with the frost out of the ground. Now not everyone has rocks in their fields and we’ve always been lucky ? to have them. As kids we knew it was getting close to having to start this job when as if over night the hay wagon had the back boards taken off and magically showed up in the yard one morning. You then all climb on the wagon and headed out into the fields to clean them up for the year. There are some things that you really have to know if you are going to pick rock. First thing : ALWAYS bring a shovel with you to get the rocks that are buried. Most rocks you can kick with your feet to get them loose but there are stubborn ones that you just can’t break loose. These you’ll need the shovel for and you hope that it’s not going to dig up a round rock. In my books the round dark rocks are the heaviest. Second thing : You need to make sure if you are going to throw a smaller rock on the wagon that there are no brothers or sisters that are just hanging out by the wagon. If you throw a smaller rock and it goes over the edge – well you can just about imagine what it’s going to hit right? Yup, someone is going to either get nailed in the head or maybe worse… they could get hit on their feet or legs. Now in the head isn’t so good but then they’ll just probably cry and you’ll think to your self  ’well they shouldn’t have been standing there’. But if they get hit on part of their body – - you better be prepared to run!! As kids we would spend what felt like most of the summer picking up rock but in reality it must have been only a week or two.  And now that it’s just Daryl and I, we go out about an hour or two at a time and pick our rocks out of the fields. We don’t seem to have as many rocks in our fields as I did when we were kids. I guess it’s good exercise and since I’ve given up all hope that I’ll ever have nice finger nails, I it’s not so bad.

So like I said earlier, today marks the first day of the year for picking up rocks. My brother and nephew were rock picking by our farm today and he called to say that he found a really cool big rock. Now I’ve been looking for a rock to write our name on it for a landscaping decoration, but he said that it wouldn’t work for that but it’s still cool. Sounded great! So in a couple of minutes he’s pulling into our yard with this awesome rock in his bucket. I’ve got the prefect spot for it and I just need the lawn to dry off some before we can get in there with a tractor.  You can’t tell how big the rock is, but it’s pretty big. DSCN8329DSCN8330 When Daryl and I went out later to pick rocks we didn’t have to pick too long, and there was really a wide variety of rocks that I found today. Now I love rocks. I’ve got a rock collection still from when I was a kid and if I get into any trouble now it’s because I have kept way too many that I find. But here are some examples of the ones that I found today. The first ones are the pretty colored ones that you just know someone could make the coolest jewelry out of it that had a Rock Tumbler machine.DSCN8325 The second one is pretty common. For some reason they get holes in the rocks and even though they’re not in the pretty category – they still are worth keeping back for a picture. It looks shiny, but I took the picture right after I had washed the dirt off of them. DSCN8327 The next one is kinda funky. It’s a normal rock with a pink vein going through it. Haven’t seen too many of those. DSCN8328And the last one for today? Well it’s the picture of the day. Of all the years of picking rocks, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. At first I thought it was something growing on the rock, but after I scrubbed it a couple of times, I’m thinking it’s just how the rock started to form or something. My dad also liked rocks and it’s too bad he’s not here to ask if he ever seen something like this. Check it out.

Picture of the day - Crazy Rock!

Picture of the day – Crazy Rock!

And the night ended kind of sad. I knew that I was missing one of our peacocks for some time now but after looking around some of their local hangouts, I just couldn’t seem to find him. I thought that maybe a hungry fox or coyote came by and grabbed him. But today when Daryl and I were in the machine shed we found what was left of the peacock. And if you guessed nothing much but feathers, well you guessed right. I know that a raccoon can kill and eat chickens so if it was that or something else, what ever it was only literally left the feathers.

What was left of the one peacock today

What was left of the one peacock today

I was glad that the feathers were still there and in good shape. I’ve been saving them for a friends wedding that they want to decorate with and it looks like now they’ll have plenty.

As the day came to an end we really got  a lot done. Daryl worked on a couple different pieces of equipment and even went out into the field to work this one patch up for the summer.DSCN8318DSCN8324And while he was working on that, I went on a mission to find some good fruit and vegetables. For some reason lately they’ve been looking so bad that I have been having to buy frozen.  I had what seemed to be good luck today and most of the things that I bought tasted good. The only thing that was not ripe was the watermelon. But it wasn’t too bad and the chickens thought that it tasted perfect. I’m sure after a long winter a fresh watermelon rind would taste good. DSCN8320

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Scarlet and Good Friday

When Scarlet was born, her Mom Sassy never had anything to do with her. And because of this Scarlet had to be bottle fed and hang out in the barn for the winter. Now this isn’t the worst thing because she had quite a few barn cats and the dogs to keep her company. But these past couple of days I was thinking that it was time to get her outside for awhile and get some fresh air. I wasn’t just quite sure if I could put some type of a harness on her and walk her around the yard or just what I was going to do and then as if Daryl knew that I was thinking about letting her out, he said let’s just let her run in the cow yard. He was working on cleaning up the yard and hauling manure into the fields so someone would be around. That sounded like a much better idea. After the door was open and some coaxing – out Scarlet went into the world. OK, just the cow yard but still a pretty big world to her right? DSCN8305She walked around a little timid and then started to run and kicking up her back legs into the air. Then out of the corner of the barn comes the big cows. They seemed pretty confused on where this calf came from and the first one to check her out was Sassy. DSCN8310I was wondering if she knew that this was her calf? It didn’t take long until everyone was joining the party and what did Scarlet do? Well she came over to me and was hiding behind me like a little kid would do. Just too funny! She stayed outside while we were getting cleaned up and dressed to go out later and when it was time to lock her up for the night she came into the barn when Daryl called her. Hopefully the weather will be warm this weekend so she can get outside again.

And why were we getting ready to go out tonight? Well today was Good Friday and that means we’re at the end of our journey as Roamin’ Catholics for the year. But where to go tonight? We usually go to Red Lobster on Good Friday and that’s the only time that we can ever go there for the year. It sounds kind of dumb… but that’s what we  do. Well until this year. We knew that the boys weren’t going to be around so we made our Red Lobster journey a couple of months ago. I know… we broke ALL the rules. But we always have fun there and I guess sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. So where should we go tonight? With a lot of discussions we headed south to Frederika, Iowa. The restaurant that we were going to try was called Frederika Stein & Dine. Even though there isn’t much in the town, and only a few businesses, there are still 183 people that live in the area. We noticed that there was a lot of cars in front of the restaurant that we came to eat at, which is always a good sign and we went inside. The fish was really good and yes it was another successful fish fry! We were trying to figure out just which place had the best fish this year and I’m not sure what the answer to that question would be. But I do know that this is the best tradition that we’ve started with my brother and sister in law! And who would have thought that you could have such fun on Fridays during lent.

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Happy Birthday Daryl!

Today is Daryl’s Birthday and there is one thing that Daryl always, I mean ALWAYS, talks about on his birthday and that is the weather. He says that because it’s his birthday the weather will be just perfect. And to be honest it usually is. But today’s weather… let’s just say it wasn’t ‘perfect’. I made him stand outside by the tree grove so that we can remember on April 17, 2014 we still had snow!DSCN8297After the picture, Daryl hauled some corn into the Co-op and then we were able to skype with William. He’s traveling to New York tomorrow and it’s crazy to think that he’s already getting things lined up to clean out his dorm room because school is almost over for the year. Now where did that time go? We hurried up and got dressed and then headed out for the night. We both had work in the morning so after eating in a new restaurant to us, we found ourselves back home and getting ready for tomorrow. Even though the night was kind of quiet, it was still a good birthday for Daryl. Cold weather and all!

Today’s photo of the day is our maple tree that’s planted in memory of my dad. The leaves are just starting to come out. DSCN8304

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Shopping for Daryl

Tomorrow is Daryl’s birthday, so after work tonight I went to town to see what I should buy him. Even though my store selection is a little limited, I still knew that I could find something. So off I went. I started to look around in this one discount store and was getting some pretty good ideas. Then for some reason I found myself back by the kitchen stuff. I don’t know why or how it happens, but I just seem to gravitate back there. And if it was a sign, there I am .. standing in front of the cast iron cookware that just happens to be marked down for clearance. SCORE! But I knew that Daryl would not like some cookware for his birthday. And it would be pretty safe to say that he thinks that we might just have too much kitchen stuff now. But just like some girls can’t get enough of shoes or scarves – I love cookware and crock pots! Since I didn’t take a cart in the store I thought I’d carry this cast iron kettle around until I decided if I really needed it or not. Well after awhile it was really getting heavy and then I thought, if I’m dragging this heavy thing around in the store for this long I might as well buy it : ) Now I did find a couple of things for Daryl in the store and it didn’t take long until I was at the check out counter. The lady who was checking me out said ‘Holy Cow this is heavy’ Yup, I knew that. After getting my stuff in the car, I wanted to see if there was anything at the farm store that would be a good present for Daryl. Now this time I was drawn to the back of the store to see what all the noise was about. The noise was some adorable little baby chickens and ducks. I asked the clerk if I could take a picture and at first he looked at me like I was from Mars or something, but then he really got into helping me. He took off the lid and wanted to make sure that one of my pictures turned out OK.IMG_1537 He was very cool about the whole thing. Since I was on a mission to buy Daryl’s birthday gift was this another sign that he should get some new baby chickens or even better – some little ducks? No way! He probably would like the kettle that I bought more than some chickens and I think he wouldn’t even like the kettle!! So buying him chickens or some ducks wasn’t really a good idea. I did find something in the store for him though and soon I was heading home trying to come up with something that I could cook in my new pot. I didn’t necessary want to have to eat it for supper, but I just wanted to use it tonight. I grabbed some of the frozen onions and celery that I had in the freezer and started to cook them in butter and oil to get them both thawed and starting to cook. Then a couple of pounds of hamburger and homemade tomato sauce with some diced tomatoes went into the pot and simmered for the remainder of the night. I taste tested it before I put it in the fridge for the night and it was really pretty good. But I’m not sure if it was my new fancy pan or all the butter that I had used?DSCN8294

My photo of the day is that of the little chickens that were at the hardware store tonight. Just adorable!IMG_1539

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Easter boxes and Blood Moons

I had sent Kyle’s Easter box earlier last week and now it was time to work on William’s. I needed a couple of things to add to it, so I made a quick dash to town last night before the one store closed. On the way to town the sky was so weird and kind of freaky, but it was also kind of pretty. I don’t think I’ve seen when the sky was trying to rain (or SNOW) so hard but just couldn’t get the job done! And mind you I’m not complaining at all that it was unsuccessful in raining or snowing,  but I tried to snap a picture as I was driving to try to capture it.

Crazy clouds with snow or rain

Crazy clouds with snow or rain

Once I got to town and  picked up a couple of things back home I went and got William’s Easter box all ready and filled with good stuff. Some bought, but mostly homemade. It’s mailed now and I’m hoping that he gets it on Wednesday yet this week.

William's Easter Box

William’s Easter Box

I also laughed when I saw this mess on our porch when I got home from work. The peacocks like to hang out on our porch and check out what’s going on in our living room and when we’re home I swear they like to see what’s on TV. But with the new little puppy chasing just about any chicken or peacock that he can see, the only safe time to be on the porch is when the dogs are locked up which is when we’re not home. But the feathers give their daytime activities away. DSCN8292

And finally the Blood Moon. I heard so much about the Blood Moon these past days that I was thinking that I might check it out during the night. Now the key word here is ‘might’. First things first. Here is the definition of what actually a Blood Moon actually means: “The moon itself is rock and does not emanate any light of its own. The moon’s glow comes from reflected light from the sun; its position in relation to the Earth and sun is also the reason for its “changing” shape in the night sky. The moon has a tilted orbital path, which means that rather than us having an eclipse every month, total lunar eclipses happen far less frequently. As the moon passes through the center of the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, the moon gets significantly darker and then turns a blood red when it is fully engulfed by the Earth’s shadow. It is red “due to sunlight scattered through the earth’s atmosphere,” which reflects off the surface of the moon”  OK, now that your’e NASA smart, sounds pretty cool right? Well, I debated if I was going to get up during the night and check it out or not. I got to bed around midnight and the best time to see it according to the web was going to be around 2:20 to 2:40 am. Yea.. AM.  As I crawled into bed with my cell phone by my head and the alarm set,  I thought to myself that I’ll make the decision if I’m going to get up when the alarm goes off. It seemed just like minutes later and there was something buzzing by my head. What in the world? Well, my phone was on vibrate so it didn’t wake up Daryl and I quick shut it off. I thought am I crazy? It’s cold outside and it’s during the middle of the night, what was I thinking? So of course as I was laying there I thought to myself, well I am awake now and so I might as well get up and check it out. So I find a jacket and some flip flops and head outside. I was greeted by Little Kitty and I’m thinking no wonder he’s always so tired if he’s just walking around at 2 in the morning!! Now to find the moon. It wasn’t hard because the sky was clear and to be honest the moon was really cool! With my camera in my hand I started to take a picture of it. First my SD card was blocked for some reason so back into the house to find another card for the camera. OK, found one and back outside with Little Kitty to hang out in the farm yard trying to get a picture. Now you would think just snap a couple and call it good right? Yea, not so right. The pictures were not turning out so well and with just about every type of setting for my camera I could think of, nothing was turning out. So back inside with Little Kitty and grabbed another camera. This time some of the first pictures didn’t turn out and after a couple more I went back inside and grabbed a third camera. (yes, I keep three cameras ready at all times and if you are smirking you can just stop that now! ) And even though this was the smallest and least expensive of all my cameras, it kind of took the best picture. But thinking to myself that this didn’t make any sense at all, so back inside I went to get my remote for one of my other cameras to see if I could still take something better. After not being able to figure out the remote and with the ‘real’ alarm clock still set for work in a couple of hours, I decided to call it quits. But I laughed because when I looked at some of the photos on the web tonight, they are not perfect either. I just wished I would have known that this morning before I tried to snap a few! This is my best photo from last night. And as for the next Blood Moon coming up in a couple of months? I think I’m good and will stay in bed this next time.

Blood Moon April 15, 2014

Blood Moon April 15, 2014

And the picture of the day is the eye of one of the peacock feathers that I picked up tonight on the porch. It just amazes me that these feathers can be so beautiful.DSC_0020

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Picture of the day

Today’s post is only going to be the Photo of the day. I think a picture sometimes can say a lot without saying a thing.

So here is it, The Picture of the Day taken Monday morning, April 14th

Our backyard this morning

Our backyard this morning

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Still Raining…

With the storm passing through our area yesterday afternoon and evening, I thought for sure that it would settle down during the night. Well, that didn’t happen and this morning it as still raining when we were headed to church. They were predicting that we were supposed to get two inches of rain and we kind of laughed when they said it. I guess we probably shouldn’t have laughed. DSCN8268 Our mass is the early mass so not only was it wet this morning, but also cold. When we got to church the first thing that we saw was three big electrical repair trucks in the parking lot. Now I was pretty sure they weren’t here for mass and I was right.  The crazy lightening last night kicked out a transformer. It must have done a pretty good job with it because we ended up having the whole mass by candle light. Well, most of the mass was done with candles, even the priests had a hard time seeing with a few candles lit so they whipped out the cell phones and all was good. Now I kind of like this no lights in the morning thing. I mean, what a good gig. You don’t have to worry about combing or curling your hair and the mass did seem to move along pretty good. I’m just guessing though that this was a once in a blue moon deal though.

And then after church it rained the whole day. Daryl let the dogs out for a little bit but we didn’t want Kaiser to get too wet and then get sick, so back into the barn they went and probably slept the day away. I checked out my vegetable plants that I planted and couldn’t believe that they were actually coming up already.

Baby tomato plants just coming up

Baby tomato plants just coming up

In the past they never grew this good before, but it might have been because I usually only buy the seeds when they are at their cheapest price. Yup another example of how cheap I really am. But maybe the seeds get old or something?  I don’t know, but I’m pretty juiced about them actually growing. I was worried that they didn’t get enough light, but now I’m not moving them for nothing. I laughed when I saw this one plant that was such an over achiever. I think it’s a weed, but I’m going to wait and see for sure. DSCN8270

After cleaning some closets out and doing some laundry, we ended up the day talking to Kyle. This week went so much better than last week for him and that’s good. We’ll have to see if we can skype with William yet this week also. He won’t be home for Easter and it would be nice to see him before he heads to New York. The choir that he sings with is going to sing at Carnegie Hall for Easter. Seriously, how cool is that?

My picture of the day is a picture of our ‘Easter Eggs’.  Naturally Blue, Green, and Brown. DSCN8266

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Baby showers and Pikes Peak, McGregor Iowa

How fun it was to go to another baby shower today. It was a shower for one of my very good friend’s son and daughter in law’s baby. It seems like my friend was just bringing her son home much less having now a Grandson. Holy Cow! But he is just adorable and what a good baby he was for the shower. I always feel kind of bad for babies at places where there is a lot of women because the babies are going to get passed around and loved to death. But he was such a little trooper and slept pretty much the whole time, it shouldn’t have messed him up too much. It was a really fun shower and it was also nice to meet some of my friends neighbors and friends. I had a really good time and was really glad to be invited to it. Other than last week’s shower for my niece, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a shower. And now two in two weeks! Score!!DSCN8262

Since this shower wasn’t too far from the river, I decided to head to the Mississippi River to see if there were any barges on the water or just kind of what was going on. When I got to Pikes Peak in McGregor, Iowa the weather was absolutely beautiful. The radio was talking about some storms brewing, but I had a dress on with a light sweater and almost didn’t even need the sweater. On the water I saw a couple of barges further down the river when I was driving to Pikes Peak, and then there was also some docked on the side of the channel. IMG_1511 I really like going to this park because it’s so quiet the only thing that you hear is some birds and every once in awhile the train off in the distance.

Trains in town while you're driving to the park

Trains in town while you’re driving to the park

Sometimes when people come to our farm they say it’s so quiet, maybe you just get used to it when you have it every day or something. I don’t know, but you could smell the grass and trees when you were up there and I love it!IMG_1513

On the way home the weather was looking kind of funny, but I didn’t run into any bad weather until I was close to home. All of a sudden it started to rain and I thought to myself, this is a lot of rain. Then the drops got bigger and bigger and were getting kind of splotchy. Crap!! I knew that usually meant that it was going to hail. Now I had to make a decision. Should I let the car get hailed on and have it possibly get totaled or try to find some cover for it? We’ve been together with this car for over 234,000 miles and it’s just part of our family. I would feel terrible for it if it was hailed on so I hit the gas and slid around the corner and headed for this one implement business. I knew that they had to have some type of cover there and just as the hail was hitting the car so hard that I thought the windows were going to bust, I was lucky and got most of the car under their awning. Now granted I was about an inch away from their building wall, but most of the car was safe. I was parked right beside this brand new Ford truck that was huge and all I could do was to just sit and watch it bounce off it’s front hood. The hail let up for a little bit and then it started up again. This time it was coming more from the side so I pulled out from the awning and re-parked the car and hugged the Ford truck. I thought of it as putting a Ford to good use. :) I don’t know how long this lasted and I was so worried that my back windows were going to break. But nothing did and then the sun came out. Great! I was back on the road again. Then all of a sudden I could hear the bang bang bang again. Really? Hailing again?

A quick shot of the hail today. Some of the yards were white from it

A quick shot of the hail today. Some of the yards were white from it

So now I pulled into a farm yard and stayed as close to the silos that I could. They were on the side of the car that the hail was coming from so they were somewhat protecting the car. Now if I was thinking from the beginning, this farmer also had a shed along the highway that is used for hay storage that’s never full. I could have pulled into there. Finally it was over again for the second time and now to try to get back home. The road had so much hail on it that you could see car track paths on it. And the weather started to be bad around 4:00 and now that it’s around midnight, it’s still lightening and thundering outside. Just crazy. It’s been lightening so much that it almost looked like someone had a strobe light going on outside for awhile. But we could use a little rain and Daryl got the field plowed up today, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m sure that it’s going to green up all the yards and will draw the frost out of the fields. Yup, Spring is finally here!

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