Sometimes you just never know what the day will bring

Sometimes you just never know what your going to do on a Saturday.

I had the whole day planned and my list was complete. First thing was to Reno to the Vet’s office to get her vaccinations that are due. She was sure a trooper and it didn’t take long for our short trip and a couple of shots to be done and we were back at the farm.

Check it off the list.

Next was to go to our Post Office. With knowing that there are a lot of changes with the Post Offices these days, I decided to play it smart and make sure that I knew what the hours were at our’s.  Yup, this isn’t my first Rodeo.  The hours on the Web said 8:30 – 9:45. Sweet! So after the Vet visit I grabbed the box that I wanted to mail today and off I go. I don’t know if you’ve had this feeling before, but when I pulled up in front of the Post Office it looked quiet. Way too quiet. Then I noticed on the door that the hours were 7:30 – 8:45. I guess there was a day light savings time change or something that no one told the website about. Just another reason to hate the changes with day light savings! After another quick check on the web, I found a Post Office that said it was open and after I called, they confirmed that they are open. The bad part of this is that this office is about 35 miles away. So not cool. I was not expecting to go out into public too much and with no makeup and a crazy headband keeping my hair out of my eyes, I decided that I was going to go anyway.  I mean I shouldn’t run into anyone I know right?

So I was off. I made it to the next Post Office in time and when I was parking the car I noticed that there sure was a lot of other cars around the area.  Then I saw across the street there was some tents and a lot of people. 20151003_104004It was a Farmers Market. First things first, the reason that I was here was for the Post Office after all. I grabbed the box and into the building I went. And remember that I thought I could do this little run without meeting anyone that I knew? Well the Postmaster was a classmate of mine and she welcomed me at once!

Now that I got the box mailed off I went outside and looked again at the Farmers Market. I really wanted to go, but again I sure wish I knew that I was going to spend the morning in the public :) I’ve never really been to anything like this before so off I decided to go. There was tons of vendors and of course I knew some of them. And as I looked around, I wasn’t the only one without any makeup on and wearing a sweatshirt.

My original plan was  to drop in at my Mom’s after the Post Office so that was going to be my next stop. But of course on route I saw this little shop that I like to stop in at if I have a chance,  so after I saw that I drove by it I found the first field lane and turned the car around. 20151003_111633Now this sure proved to be a good decision. Why? Well I was asking the owner about getting some dill for some banana pepper pickling that I’ve been thinking of doing and after talking to him, he mentioned that he has bees. SCORE! Of course I asked if I could see them and he said sure. He had a Ranger that we could ride in and after making somewhat friends with the dog that was sitting on the spot that I wanted – we were off. We went around the farm and then he jumped off to open the gate to the next field. The bee hives were down by some trees and to say that it was Awesome is such an understatement! He told me all the things that he did wrong and what worked well.20151003_110836 He also said that I could call him if I ever got some hives and that he would love to help me. Did I already say it was Awesome!! Since I was so off track with my schedule today, I hung out with this owner for more time that I was originally thinking. He talked to me how he feeds the bees at the end of fall to get them and the hives ready for the winter and how you have to be careful so the bees don’t drown when eating the sweet syrup. 20151003_111115And then we jumped back on the Ranger and through the yard and back up to the highway we went.  He was very nice and I sure enjoyed my visit with him.

Now I was headed to my Mom’s and to see what’s new in her neighborhood. Because I spent more time that I had planned just kinda driving around and checking out bee hives, Ma had some good maidrites cooking on the stove and packed up a couple for Daryl for dinner while he was in the field. Thank goodness for Mom’s right? I’ll drop them off for him before I get home.20151003_135909

When I finally got home I had to smile. I mean not too often when you go to the Post Office do you come home with pumpkins, lefse, garlic, wheat/sunflower/oatmeal homemade bread, dill, apples, maidrites, and then I even accidentally grabbed a container from Ma’s kitchen that was filled with cookies. Honestly, it was really an accident!

And how did I spend the rest of the afternoon? I kept the dehydrator going with the next batch of tomato/vegetable puree from the last tomato juice. I also had a chance to make the next batch of soap – Screaming Peacocks while Daryl kept working on combining corn.20151003_135009

Yup, some days you just have to throw the ‘To do’ list away!

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Now that’s a totally exciting title isn’t it? Parsley.

Well I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the parsley that I planted this year in the garden and then it dawned on me. Why don’t I dehydrate it and keep it for stuff this winter? Now just exactly what stuff? Well who knows! But maybe I’ll come up with something in a couple of months.

So I thought well heck yeah! Let’s get this ball rolling. After what I thought was about a bushel basket of greens from my garden, into the house I go with just my bowl in my hands. I had to go through it piece to piece just to make sure that I didn’t have any caterpillars or anything in it (which is a totally gross thought!! ) and then I gave it all a really good wash. I worked hard to make sure that I didn’t have also any weeds, which I’m thinking that I got them all. After awhile everything just kind of blends together.

Next was to get it onto the dehydrator and start the drying process. It sure seemed like I had a lot of this stuff, so after the trays were full I decided that maybe the rest of all the parsley would be much better on the south side of the garage. Like thrown there on the ground! Yup, that was also a good idea so after that I knew that I only was going to make one batch of this.

After about 24 hours of drying, it was finally done 20151003_142458and I’ve pretty much surprised myself when I put it all into one mason jar. And it actually looks pretty good! Now the only problem that I have is to figure out just what in the world am I going to do with it?

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Result of Mystery Photo 9-16-15

There was a lot of really good guesses to this challenge, but sad to say no one guessed the right answer.

The extra clues to the picture was that it was farm related and it was metal.

Tonight’s clue is that it is on every barn we have on the farm and not just one of these but at least two or four!

Now do you know what it is?



Here is the clueDSCN8271




And here is the answer. It’s the bracket that holds on the barn doors so you can slide them back and forth!

I really was just kidding when I said no one would get the answer!


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Beans are done! 2015

Beans are done! Whooo Hoooo!! And just in time. As I’m sitting at the kitchen table I can hear thunder outside a good downpour of rain every once in awhile. Daryl was happy with the yields and as for me? Well if Daryl is happy how the crops turned out that’s always a good sign. Now it’s time to switch the combine heads and get ready for corn. 

Working in the field unloading soybeans in the wagons.

Working in the field unloading soybeans in the wagons.

The fields look like they got a butch haircut or something! They are looking pretty bare these days

The fields look like they got a butch haircut or something!

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Blood Moon (Harvest Moon) tonight – Lunar Eclipse

I Love the moon! I mean how cool is it when you can look up in the sky and it almost takes your breath away!

Well that’s what happened to me tonight. I was coming home from getting groceries for the upcoming week and all of a sudden as I came over the hill I saw this. 20150927_190319

Yea – Super Cool right? I literally gasped when I saw it. (OK, maybe I need to get a more exciting life or something) But it was so big and bright that there is no way that you wouldn’t think that it was just awesome! 20150927_190134

When I stopped in the field to drop off supper for Daryl he said that the moon was so bright that it kept reflecting in the cab when he was driving. It was almost like someone was driving a vehicle with their lights on in the field behind him.  I guess that’s why this moon is also called the Harvest Moon for the farmers to help take out the crops.

But as the night was going on I had gotten my camera ready to try to capture the lunar eclipse. Now I’m not a good moon picture taker anyway, but I sure was going to give it my all again this time. With doing a little research I found what you should be setting your camera to and I was hoping for the best. I think I might have looked a little geeky because I was outside most of the night with my tripod trying to capture the just perfect picture. Now did I get it? Well after over 60 pictures, I’m not that over excited about how they turned out but they weren’t just terrible so I guess it wasn’t a total bust.

So here is my photo obsession with the moon during this years Lunar Eclipse of the Harvest Moon.

Almost half way there

Almost half way there

Getting closer to the lunar eclipse

Getting closer to the lunar eclipse

Almost gone

Almost gone

The moon is becoming visible again

The moon is becoming visible again

And here is something that I learned also this year about the Harvest Moon. I learned that some birds use the Harvest Moon as a time when they will start to migrate. Now I’m not a bird watcher,  but if you are – this is a pretty good thing to know.

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Something new in the kitchen

I have never made tomato juice before. There I said it! You would swear by the amount of tomatoes that I have canned these past 30 some years that I would have made something similar right? Well I have to confess. I never really drank any tomato juice until about a year ago. Yea, can you believer that too? But I’ve tried the boughten spicy tomato juice about 4 months and I’m telling you that I’m really diggin’ it! I think I’m addicted. But each serving has 27% of your daily sodium and I can polish off a bottle of the stuff almost in front of your eyes, so needless to say I can get a little puffy. Yea, not really a good look.

So I’ve been researching this past week just what kind of juice I should make. Now I do like spicy stuff but decided on a recipe that was just a regular juice. The recipe called for I think 6 lbs of tomatoes. But to be honest I’m not really sure on the amount that I used. I took a what was ripe and then washed and quartered them. Next I roasted them in the oven and into the pot they went. IMG_3413The recipe did call for onions, so I used what I had left from the garden and that went into the food processor along with a couple of green peppers and some banana peppers from the garden. Next into the kettle was some jalapeno peppers and some salt and pepper. Well you can see by now I just kind of tossed in what I had in the kitchen. The next thing though was to add some parsley. I was careful to watch for my little friend from the garden on the leaves and brought into the kitchen the amount that it looked like the picture in the recipe. It smelled pretty potent so I only added half of the amount.  The last thing to cut up was a lb of carrots and a whole bunch of celery. IMG_3414And soon it was smelling pretty good. IMG_3415I added some canning salt and what I can tell from the internet is that you should never boil the juice just keep it really hot. Well when it finally got cooking I tasted it I thought HOLY SMOKES! all I could taste was parsley!!! Yikes! So I went out to the garden to see if I could find some more tomatoes and luckily there was some that was close and so into the kettle they also went. It still tasted a little funny so I thought I might as well add some sugar. It was about the only thing so far that I didn’t add so I thought ‘why not’? When it on the stove for awhile I finally took it off and the next step was to use a food mill. SCORE! I bought one a couple of years ago when it was on sale for a half of a half deal. You know one of those times when your’e not even sure what you should do with it but it was so shiny and cool that you just had to buy it? Well that’s what I did and I was excited to use it. IMG_3416 Well I dug it out of the storage and after a quick wash I was ready. It didn’t take long to get the hang of it and when I was all done I had two full kettles of juice. And guess what? It didn’t even taste too bad! Maybe it just needed to get mixed up or something.IMG_3418

Finally it was time to can them and I ended up getting 9 quart jars of juice. I put two in the fridge and will try to store the rest for the winter. DSCN8281 I did notice that most of all the recipes called for 2 TBSP of lemon juice and a tsp of canning salt. IMG_3419So I did add that to the juice and then I water bathed the jars for 40 minutes. Now one jar didn’t seal so it gave me a chance to taste the concoction and I think I can taste the lemon juice. I’ll give it another taste try later this week and see what I can find out before my next batch. But for now? Well I can drink about a quart a day when I’m thirsty so I’m sure hoping that I find a recipe that I really like and that my tomatoes all ripen soon!

And guess what I did with the stuff that I got out of my food mill? I thought it was such a waste with tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and other stuff in it to just throw away so I put it in my dehydrator and then after it was dried I ground it up in my food processor. IMG_3417It smells really good and I was thinking that I could use it in some goulash or stews this winter. If it doesn’t work out so well, I guess it’ll be garnish for the chickens. :) DSCN8286

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Goals – Half Marathon

I had a goal this year and I even put it on my 2015 schedule! So it’s like the law right? What it was is to run in a half marathon this year. My training started out pretty strong at the beginning of the year, but as the summer months rolled by I found out that the only time that I was able to get in any running in was to do the local 5k’s. Yea, not such a good training program now is it? But with our schedules it’s what you have to do right?

So I thought that if I signed up for the half marathon for October it would keep me on track. Well that didn’t happen either. Right now that $ is looking more like it’s a donation because I’m so not ready.

I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I’m not going to do it,  but I guess it’s just what it is.

But look out next year! I WILL be ready!!

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And so it begins – Harvest 2015

Daryl wanted to see how the soybeans were doing and he was also just itching to get the combine out in the field, so after work he was just going to do a couple of rounds and I was to come and pick him up.

Well when I got to the field where he was at it was working pretty good and he didn’t want to stop. 20150924_184248The new plan was to call me when he made a couple of more rounds. Well that turned into not a couple of rounds but more like a couple of more hours. But when the field work is going well, you really don’t want to quit either.

We won’t know how the soybeans will yield until we’re done, but we were grateful for the rain that we did get this late summer and early fall.
20150924_185846I’m guessing with the weather forecast warm and mild for the next few days, he’ll be spending quite a few hours after work in the fields.

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Hay is done!

We’ve been having such trouble with getting our 4th crop of hay done that even though tonight the weather was a little iffy, we decided to get it baled. It’s been the typical fall weather, first it’s cloudy, then the sun will come out, and finally you’re worried about rain!

But off we go to get it baled. It’s not a very big spot of hay that’s cut, but any hay in the barn is a good thing right? And we’re just glad that we’re getting a 4th crop. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been able to so it’s all good.

And it’s also been a year since I drove the baler but I guess it’s just like riding a bike. You might be a little shaky at first, but then you get the hang of it and keep moving.  The first couple of bales wouldn’t tie and if you’ve baled with a small square baler you know how much of a pain that can be! And for the driver you have to know if you’re going to stop the baler or if the person stacking the bales (aka Daryl) is just going to tie them as you go. Kind of a challenge knowing the answer sometimes if you ask me. Daryl does both ways of tying the strings and it’s a good thing that we only had a couple that didn’t tie.

Soon we were cookin’ and we didn’t have any more troubles in the field. And even though I’m probably not the best bale driver in Iowa, I’m also thinking I’m not that bad. Well that’s probably because I’m the only one available :) 20150923_175340_004

With quite a few bales on the wagon when we were done, it was time to get home and unload them. 20150923_175300I snapped a quick picture of the corn while we were out there. You can sure tell that it’s getting close with the ears dropped on the stalks. 20150923_17552620150923_175454

Once we got home it was time to unload the hay in the barn and boy oh boy did we have trouble! And guess what troubles name was? If you guessed Scarlet, well you would have guessed correctly. After I was trying to keep her away from the wagon, she slid in between the wagon and the barn to see what Daryl was doing. Now this doesn’t sound so bad other than Daryl was in the barn hallway taking away the hay bales and with this big calf/cow trying to see what was going on – it just didn’t work so well! Honestly not at all. So into the barn pen she went and after about 3 times knocking over the gate, we finally got it all unloaded and piled in the barn for the winter months and then out she went back outside into the cow yard. Whew! Who would have thought that the hardest part of baling tonight was trying to keep Scarlet out from under our feet?

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Garden Produce

Well guess what? The weather wasn’t favorable for baling hay again so I spent the night in the kitchen and garden working on canning tomato salsa. I’ll have to publish the recipe because it worked out really well for me! I’m also hoping that all the jars will seal tonight because I’ve got quite a few of them! DSC_0147And after I got the kitchen somewhat cleaned up, out to the garden I went to get more tomatoes for the next batches.

Waiting to be washed and then canned for the winter months

Waiting to be washed and then canned for the winter months

While I was out there I saw this cool looking caterpillar and I wasn’t just sure what he would grow up to be. DSC_0143He was on the parsley in the garden and after I checked up on him, he will become a Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Pretty Cool! I found this picture on the web to show you just how pretty this butterfly actually is.

Picture taken from the web

Picture taken from the web

Now I sure hope the chickens don’t sneak into the garden and eat him!!

When I was trying to get a picture of him he would kinda stand on his back legs and these funny antennas would go up. I guess it was his way of looking tough or something! To me it looked like a fancy girly bow :) DSC_0140Even though I haven’t used the parsley for anything much yet this year in my garden, I guess it did come in handy for something!

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