The Calm before the Storm

We decided to step back tonight and try to relax and gather our thoughts for the coming week. Kind of the calm before the storm or in this case the calm before the wedding! 

And what better way to do that than to have a couple of pizzas and a bon fire! 

The weather was perfect and with the sky clear and the kids here with some other friends and we had a great time! 

But little did we know that it was literally the calm before the storm. The weather has been just crazy these past days and even though we knew that there was a chance of severe weather, well it’s always just a chance right? 

Not this time. Just in a couple of days of our bon fire the storm hit. We’ve been working on trying to keep in front of the lawn mowed because we knew that we were going to have a lot of company these next few days, so that was my job when the storm hit. I had the mower in high gear with my head was done and I was just plowing on. I didn’t even want to look up because all I could hear was thunder and where there is thunder there is usually lighting! 

Then the weirdest thing happened. I saw just tons of dust on the road but I didn’t remember seeing a car go by. It was so odd that I literally went out to the road to see what was going on. What was happening was that it was so windy it was picking up all the dust from the road and I soon found out that it was also picking up the field dust. I have never seen anything like that in my life. What it looked like was a wall cloud of rain coming at you but in reality it was dust. The first thing that came to my mind was in the Dust Bowl days when this was a common occurrence and how scary and terrible that must have been!

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So at this point I knew that my mowing was going to come to a quick close and just as I put the mower in the machine shed the wind picked up and then she blew.20170515_183246_resized

Even though we just had a lot of wind at the farm, we were lucky. There are roofs off just the next farm from ours and a whole town that is 15 miles from us has complete hail damage to their houses and roofs.

But with our electricity off for pretty much the whole night – this weather sure isn’t helping with me checking things off my list! So seeing the rainbow tonight reminded me that everything is going to be just fine. 

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Our Farm

Our Farm

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Lists

I am a list maker. No surprise right? 

Well can you about imagine when we are having our son get married and the amount of lists that I can make? I’ve got lists of my lists :) I have paper lists, phone lists, white board lists, poster lists, … OK I’m sure you get the point. I’ve got lists. 

And if you have ever been in a corporate meeting when they create a ‘War Room‘ well I’ve got one of those too. A War Room is where you make it like you are ready to go to the battle field and put up all your strategic plans to be successful. Only my War Room is for a  great time! It’s for a wedding!! WhooooHoooo! I just can hardly stand it. 

So our laundry/soap storage room is also my strategic planning zone. And guess what? It’s working well. It’s keeping me somewhat calm (I think?) and organized so that’s a good thing. Now to just figure out which list I should do first today…

 

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I am my Mother’s Daughter

Happy Mother’s Day! 

With the morning spent heading out to brunch with a bunch of my family and Mom, it was a great way to start the day. I mean if you don’t have to cook breakfast on Mother’s day – well you just shouldn’t right? 

Daryl wasn’t able to go out with us because with the upcoming weather forecast he really wanted to get the rest of the crops in. And if that meant finishing up today well I’m all for it. 

So after brunch the kids and I headed home for a little bit before they needed to leave again to drive back. And so what does almost every Mom do when your kids are about to leave? Well I started to look around to see what food I can send with them for this busy week. And after I found a ‘few things’ they had to grab a grocery bag to carry it. Then they were off. 

As one of my Mom’s mother’s day gift we usually get her a bunch of flowers for her flower gardens that surround her house and this year was the same. My sister picked up our Mom late last week and found a lot of really pretty flowers for her house. I’ve got a small electric tiller that we always use to till up the garden and it works just perfect . 

Well off I go with my tiller and my card for Ma fullsizeoutput_a81and  it was a fast project and it wasn’t too long until I had the tiller back in the bed of the truck and was ready to leave. I was just about to step in the truck when Ma says ‘oh wait, I’ve got some food to send home with you’. OK, that’s a pretty good trade. But when I saw just what she wanted to send home, I think I made out so much better in this trade than she did! 20170515_171457_resized

And as I was driving home and seeing all the food next to me in the truck I remembered our kids having to get a grocery bag to take all the food that I wanted to send home with them and just smiled. yup, I am truly my Mother’s daughter! 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Ma’s in the world!

 

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Seriously? What else is in our ditch?

It’s no secret when our ditch is wet I’m scared to death of snakes. I’ve seen them in there before and I’m sure that they’re just waiting to come out an slither around my legs. Yuck! 

So when Daryl said to come look at what he saw in the ditch tonight and he had a big smile on his face, I seriously thought it was a cute little bunny family or maybe baby kitties? OK, the kitties was a stretch, but honestly I thought it was going to be furry and sweet. 

Guess what it was? It was a TURTLE! Seriously why do we have a big turtle in our ditch? And why does he look like he’s kind of dead?20170511_170411_resized

OK, so it’s a turtle and I guess he can be cute. Not fluffy cute – but still cute.  And the more that I looked at him the cuter he got. It would be kind of fun to have a turtle around the farm. I wasn’t sure what to feed him, but I’d figure it out. Well that was my thoughts until I tried to move him. 

I reached under the mud to pick up his backside and just like a bolt of lightening he pulled his neck out of his shell, cocked his head backwards, and tried to BITE me! I’m not a Rocket Scientist but even I knew that this wasn’t going to be a good pet to have because it was a snapping turtle. But really how mean could he be? So back into the mud I go with my hands to try to see if I can pick him up and this time I literally jumped backwards and caught myself before I landed in the ditch. It scared the living daylights out of me. He wasn’t cute at all and all he wanted to do was to bite me. 

I needed a plan. So off I went to get a rake to help me get him out of the ditch. I thought that maybe he’d grab on to the rake and then I could carry him out of the ditch while his mouth was grabbing onto the rake. Well the rake was a good idea and he did bite onto it, but he was taking chunks of wood off the handle when he was biting it. He kind of spit the wood out, crank his head around,  and then he’d look at me. For some reason I was getting the feeling that he didn’t like me at all. And the truth to be told, I wasn’t starting to like him too much either! 

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Well this wasn’t working so well at all. My next attempt was to get an old towel and to cover his eyes up so he couldn’t see me. Let’s just say that this didn’t work so well either. He bit the towel and pulled it off his head and then you guessed it, within a second he would reach up and try to see if he can snap a chunk of meat out of my arm. Aren’t turtles supposed to be slow? This guy might have looked dead when we first found him, but I’m just saying it was totally an act. 

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I decided that maybe we didn’t really want to save this turtle after all. I mean there must be a lot of them in the world right? And if he did travel from the small creek that was at least a half mile from our farm, he must have been pretty tough if he walked that far in the ditch. 

But I was worried that the dogs would come and mess with the turtle and by the looks of it I knew that the turtle would win. It was a good thing the turtle had just about enough of this ditch (and probably me too)  and off to the West he headed, back to he the small creek. 

So as I watched him make his way down the ditch, I was thinking to myself if I disliked snakes or snapping turtles more. For awhile tonight it was a close competition, but my money is still on the slimy snakes! 

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The Soap Marathon is over

On Sunday night was my last night of the long run of making soap. I’ve been making soap for almost every night for the past 28 days! And even though I make a double batch each time, it sure seems like I should have more on my storage racks. 

I'm not sure what our laundry room smells like. It's such a mixture of all the soaps - but it's a good mixture!

I’m not sure what our laundry room smells like. It’s such a mixture of all the soaps – but it’s a good mixture!

So when it came time to make my last soaps tonight for the upcoming Vendor Show, I literally stood in front of the cupboard that keeps all my fragrances with a puzzled look. What should I make? 

I knew that I wanted it to be a good one and I was looking for something to make that wasn’t going to take hours and hours to produce. 

Well after seeing what fragrances that I had, I decided on a Red Apple scent. I really like making this soap for not only it looks like when it’s done but also the scent smells so good. It really smells like a fresh cut apple. 20170509_221052

So now I’m putting away my soap supplies for 2 weeks and just focusing on the upcoming wedding! Whooooohooooo!!!

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Sunday is mulch day

It’s another beautiful day in Iowa and even though it was Sunday, well that doesn’t change much on the farm when it’s Spring. 

So when Daryl said that he needed me to take him to the other farm early in the morning – no problem. I wanted to use the truck again this morning. See I had the flowers all planted but I needed to get some of the other areas with some bushes and annual flowers all cleaned up and put some fresh mulch down.

This trip I was a little bit more focused than I was when I picked out the flowers and it didn’t take too long when I was back home again.20170507_125610

I didn’t see Daryl much today, but I was glad to get all the flower beds done and now I’m hoping that all my efforts will pay off and the flowers will all take off.  

 

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Getting the yard and fields ready

It’s Saturday and it’s a perfect day!

All the farmers are very busy today. It seems like in every field you can see dust fly and the farmers are just working very hard to get the crops in.

And what was Daryl doing? Well you guessed it. He spent the whole day working up the fields and then he started to plant corn. Absolutely perfect weather to be in the fields. 

20170506_141839Farmers are a kind of funny group. Even though they are all a separate identity and have their own farms, when the first farmer is in the field and the others see them,  it doesn’t take long until all the farmers are in the fields. 

So what did I do today? Well a nap would have been good but realistically my day had multiple jobs with the day starting out pretty early.

First thing on the list was to get to town and get some groceries and pick up the farm flowers for the summer. Now normally I try to grow some of my own – but that’s not happening this year. So off I go to my favorite Mennonite farm to see what I can find. Because I wanted to get a lot done today, I had only budgeted around 30 minutes to stay at the greenhouses. But once I got in the first of the 4 greenhouses, I threw off my whole schedule. After about a good hour later of taking flowers back out of my cart and adding others to the cart, I finally had what I thought was the perfect group of flowers and started for home. All I can say is thank goodness for trucks :)

20170506_114542_resized I had to drive a little slower with the taller plants, but that’s why there’s two lanes on the roads right?

Well after finally making it home and unloaded the truck, it was time to get dinner ready. Normally I’m not that excited about making dinner or supper during the week, but when Daryl’s in the field it’s a necessity and also a good challenge to see what I can come up with. 

Now with dinner done it was time to tackle the ditches. I’ve got a lot of thoughts going around in my brain for the upcoming wedding and push mowing just might help to get rid of them. OK, maybe I should have picked something else that could have been a little more fun – but the mowing needed to be done, so I was off. The first ditch wasn’t so bad – but the second ditch. YIKES!  It still had water sitting in it. So I’m sure I looked pretty dumb because my clothing attire  was a tank top and shorts along with my high mud boots that went put to my knees. Now not only is this ditch really wet, but it’s the SNAKE ditch too. I’m just saying, if I would have met up with a snake I sure hope that I’d be able to run fast in those boots! But luckily no snakes and just a whole lot of work to get the grass mowed that was up to the tops of my boots.

20170506_142501_resizedThat was a big job, but a good job done never the less. After a little trimming I was ready to plant some flowers.

I was able to get most of them planted, but I ran out of compost which is so frustrating.I had about 75 lb. here but it wasn’t enough for the planters.  I guess I’m going to have to go to town tomorrow morning and get some more. Oh well, I also need some mulch, so it’ll be some more bonding time with the truck.

After a couple of loads of  laundry loads that got hung out on the line,  and firing up the grill for some barbecued hamburgers to bring out to Daryl for supper, the next thing on my list was to do chores. And do you know what? No Ears still hasn’t forgiven me for letting the last set of cows go. She just stands and stares at me and gives me the old stink eye. I’ll have to pick up some apples for her to see if I can get her back on my side.

And last but not least the night ended up making another batch of soap. I had a conversation during the day today with a the owner of a store in Elkader Iowa that wants to pick up my soap line. And since I don’t have any other stores in the area, it sounds like a great opportunity. All I can say about that is …  SCORE!

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This is something that you should NOT do!

I’m coming close to the end of my soap marathon and I ended up getting to bed late last night. I mean really late. 

And then to top it off, I slept terrible and dreamt about work. 

Yup, not a good night at all.

So why am I telling you this? Well to give you a background of what happened when I was getting ready for work the next morning. 

See I’ve been testing out a new deodorant for the upcoming wedding . I wanted one that will dry fast and I found out this deodorant lasts 48 hours. So I was pretty pleased when I bought this one even if it is a spray. And this morning when I went to grab it I never looked at the bottle and really coated my armpits to see just how good this stuff really was. 

Yea. 

I had no idea what went wrong, but there was something definitely wrong. My arms were stuck down by my sides. Totally weird right? 

So I wasn’t sure if I didn’t shake it enough but it was bad. Well I grabbed a wash cloth quick and tried to wash whatever this deodorant was doing and tried to quick air dry before going to work. 

And guess what? My little washing didn’t work. My arms still stuck and I swear they even made a noise when I raised them up. 

OK, this is serious business. So I ran back in the bathroom, slathered on some soap and scrubbed really hard. Yup, this is going to work. 

Wrong! 

And finally as I was putting on my shoes I figured out what went wrong. I used HAIRSPRAY instead of my deodorant. Take a look at the bottles – I’m guessing that I was more tired than I thought.

20170506_221543_resized Of course my hairspray is one that is super long lasting too. So I quick sprayed on some deodorant on top of the hairspray and off to work I went. 

I was never so happy to get home that night from work and jump into the shower to try to get these layers off from my armpits. But guess what? If you put on a layer of hairspray and then put on a layer of deodorant one the top, I found out that you won’t sweat. You can’t raise your arms very well… but you won’t sweat. 

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Spring is coming

Well the forecast was right for this week. As the days are going by, the weather continues to warm up. They’re even saying that by the end of the week it’ll be close to the 70’s. 

SCORE! 

First of all I’m so glad that I’ve gotten rid of my winter sweaters and heavy coats! Just in time right? 

And you just can tell that Spring is coming. The one sure way is when you’re driving on the gravel roads you’ll see the tile lines from the fields emptying into the ditches. Now this is a sure sign that warm weather is here to stay for awhile. 

It’s also a sign that the farmers will be in the fields very soon. Daryl’s thinking that he might start working in the fields possibly even this weekend. 

So when your’e driving around in the country, so if you can spot some of those tile lines. 

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A gift from the dogs today

Now some times a gift can be flowers and some times a gift can be chocolates. But when you live on the farm and you have dogs, well your gift can be just about anything else. 

So what was our gift today? 

Well, check it out. 

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Yup, possoms. Dead baby possums. 

And when Daryl said that the dogs brought them up to the house, I asked if they were for sure dead. Because when you’ve heard the old story about possums pretending to be dead – it’s true and we’ve seen it many times. The dogs will bring a possum up to the house and before we can get rid of it, well it’s gone! 

But this time they are really dead. And little did I know that I’d find their Mom later this week. And guess what? Yup, she’s dead too! And she’s also smelling a little ripe. 

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