Thawing out

When the weather gets cold, I mean really cold it’s the perfect time to thaw out the freezer! 

Now you might think that this is kind of a Hillbilly way of doing things or you just might think that this is a Genius way of doing things – but I’m telling you it’s how I do things! 

See once a year when it get cold out for a couple of days in a row it’s the best time to clean out the freezer and thaw it out. Usually I take a couple of coolers and set them outside, but I had a huge Amazon box from left from Christmas still in the house and it worked perfect! 

Not only is my goal to get everything out of the freezer so it can thaw, but it gives me a chance to see what I have and what I don’t have for the upcoming year. Now some things that I find are not so good – like carrots that have seen many better days or some celery that I’m not really sure when I put it in there. But then there are some good things that make up for it, like the packages of extra large shrimp that I found – SHAZAM! Or the package of soup bone that I’m looking forward to making some homemade noodle soup with – double SHAZAM! 

But I have come to realize that I have more than enough vegetables in my freezer than I will ever use in maybe a couple of years or so and I for sure need to get out the tomatoes that were froze last year out sometime and make tomato juice out of it. 

So with all our food outside in the Amazon box and tote, the freezer is almost thawed and ready to be restocked for the upcoming year. At least I can say that there is one thing good about the weather being at 20 below in the winter, and that’s to get the freezer organized. And seriously that’s about the only good thing about our Iowa weather being this cold! 

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Christmas stuff & taxes

This is the second weekend in a row that we don’t have any obligations and it’s …….. GREAT!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love having things to do and to be a part of, but when we can have the chance once in awhile to do what we want on the weekend – SHAZAM!! 

So just what are we going to do with these two days? 

Well, I’m going to make soap for part of it (there’s no shocker there right?) and for some of the other hours I’m starting to clean up and try to organize our cellar. I know that there is just more stuff down there than we’ll ever need. So I started a Good Will pile and also a junk pile for the burn barrel. Hopefully this will be something that I keep working on in the winter months so by Spring it’ll all be nice and pretty. OK, realistically maybe just a little bit more organized 🙂 

There is also in my plans for looking at and getting organized for taxes. Now with my other job in town I work with papers and computers all day long, so when I’m home I really don’t have an interest in doing any kind of paperwork. But the sales tax’s and taxes are I guess important so I better buckle down this weekend and take a look at them! 

Laundry was on my To Do List and I was able to get a good start on it.  Now seriously with only two people in the house you’d think that we didn’t have that much laundry right? Well I’ve gotten around 7 loads done so far and theres still some left to do. I really like doing the washing & drying part of the laundry, just not so much the folding. 

And finally I actually have gotten all our inside Christmas stuff put away. Yes I have to admit I am one of those people that make piles of things to get ready to box up. And this weekend was the time to get it organized and stored for another year. So into totes I packed up all our ornaments, house decorations, and Christmas houses. It’s such a good feeling when that’s all done – but in doing it I realized that I still had one more Christmas Card to send out. Yup! I forgot to send a card and letter to some people that we’ve made friends with over the last 8 years or so. They have gotten some puppies from us and since then we’ve been sharing pictures and updates of our families. I better add this project to my ‘To Do’ list for today because they sent their card about a month ago! 

So now it’s Sunday morning and with making some more soap on my list along with hopefully getting some baby cards made and that Christmas card that I have to do also making the list,  I can’t forget to also focus on the tax paperwork today! Hum, I wonder what soap I’m going to make?

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Making soap and then making more soap!

I have been very busy these past few weeks after Christmas making soap and then making more soap! Now even though I tripled my inventory from last Christmas season to this one, I did run out about 2 weeks before the Holidays. Not bad, but also not so good either. I don’t think you should ever run out of your product – but on the other hand Yay for me and my business right?  🙂 

So like I said I’m making soap. My brother had made me a bunch of soap molds earlier and for Christmas the boys knew that I could use even more so they had someone make me 11 more molds! Holy Smokes! I think I have a total of 18 wood molds. I’m cooking with steam now!!

With our kitchen off limits to any kind of meals for longer than I want to admit, and with the pizza pazzaz our new best friend, I am busy making soap for the Spring along with some custom orders that people were interested in. I usually make around 2 to 4 batches a night and hopefully will be able to keep up that momentum for a couple of months. It would be nice to get a little ahead of the game this year!  I’m not sure where I’ll put all of this soap – but I guess we’ll deal with that when we get to that point. 

Here are just a couple of the ones that I’ve made these past few nights 

Smoochie

Grandma’s Lilacs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosy Cheeks

 

Grandma’s Lilacs after it was cut

 

Coal Miner’s Daughter

Literally my 5 gallon pails are getting pretty empty of coconut oil and other oils that I need so it looks like I will have to put in the next order for supplies soon. It seems like it’s going to be a very busy Spring! 

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The weather is a changing… again!

The weather this past week has gone from really cold to fog to the high 30’s!

Let’s start with the cold weather. It was cold. I mean really cold! If you were outside longer than 15 minutes with exposed skin you had a good chance of getting frost bite. So the answer to that is to not be outside for longer than 15 minutes if you can help it! And for about a week straight even Daryl didn’t mind letting the dogs come in for hours at a time to warm up. They have learned not to make a noise and maybe we’ll forget that they are in the house. Yea like that’s going to happen! We literally have to step over them when we are walking through the living room. But it’s too cold outside and if we needed to step over the dogs.. well I guess we had to step over the dogs 🙂

And what better way to celebrate the cold weather than to head over to Ma’s for some homemade noodle soup. SHAZAM!! Ma’s noodle soup is the best anytime of the year much less when it’s so cold outside!! 

But as the week went on it started to warm up and these past few days it’s been around 37 degrees with drizzle and fog. I seriously know that it can be worse so I don’t want to complain (well too much anyway)

And Daryl started to take down some of the lights this week outside starting with the garland from the front porch. Now even though it’s something that has to be done – I’m just saying that our farm looks pretty boring without all the lights on!! I tried to concentrate on making soap while he was busy outside – but it was kinda hard with my view of him from the kitchen! 

So as I look forward to seeing just what this week is going to bring, I thought of the full moon we had the other night when our lights were still lit. I found myself sitting on the couch in our living room looking out the french doors and I was reminded again just how peaceful it is here. For awhile I was thinking about moving the couch away from facing these doors – but I don’t think that’s such a great idea. Especially when you have a view like this! 

 

 

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There are winners and there are losers

It’s time for our annual Euchre card game with the boys and since Daryl and I won last year – well I think there was a little revenge going from the boys this year. 

With the weather so cold outside and even though inside the house was nice and warm, we decided to move the playing area to the living room tonight. With our Christmas pajamas on and blankets close by – the game began and the cards were dealt with us all leaning over the coffee table. 

And we for sure did not have luck on our side at ALL! Needless to say the game was short lived and we weren’t much of a match for the kids this year. There also was a lot of laughing going on but only with 50% of the group.Yea, I’m sure you can guess who was on the ‘Happy Side’ of the table this year. If you guessed Daryl and I well I’m afraid that you guessed wrong. But even though we had some pretty crappy cards, it was still a lot of fun to all sit down and play some cards together. 

So of course they had to have a photo putting their winning score on the fridge.

And you know what? It sure seems a lot more fun when Daryl and I are having our photo op with the old refrigerator. Next year boys… next year!   

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Our House

As I got up early to put a breakfast bake in the roaster (a whole nother story!)  I can’t help to smile and think all is well with our little part of the world.

See I’m sitting on the couch staring out the french doors and the two kitties who have taken ownership of our dogs new Christmas beds, and have blankets and gifts that are all around my feet from last night. We have boxes and bags along with extra chairs and pillows in the room. But who cares right? We also have all our kids still in their bedrooms tucked away from the blizzard cold outside along with their bellies full from supper last night.

So as I’m sitting here with the house quiet for a few hours before everyone gets up, I’m thinking there is absolutely no other place in the world I’d rather be than right here and right now.

I was thinking about how we opened our exchange gifts last night while the Traditional Scrooge movie was on and then it was time to open the ‘Ma’ gifts. This was something new to our family this year and I was super excited to hand them out. And they looked GREAT! See we all had matching pajamas for Christmas Eve and it was a hoot!! I had to laugh because Kyle said as the weekend went on and we all continued to wear our pajamas every night (and a good part of days)  that it seemed like he was in the movie Groundhog Day. In this movie the day just keeps starting the same every morning for days and days, and the main character is wearing the same clothes all the time 🙂 

Come to think about it, I wouldn’t mind replaying this weekend over and over. It was just perfect!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! 

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Whirlwind Week

I was glad that Daryl could take this Tuesday morning off to pick up the kids at the airport, but I was also really glad to get home after work to see them too! 

William and Jude had to leave on Monday afternoon but will be back on Friday and I’m super excited for a long weekend with everyone!! 

So for this week it was spent getting the rest of the gifts that I had ordered organized (Thank goodness for UPS & FedEx). I had to laugh because they’ve been coming to our house pretty regularly and I almost feel that I should have made them some Christmas candy too or at least given them a Christmas card with our family picture on it. I always make our mailman a box of candy and this year was no exception. Last Saturday morning he even hand delivered our mail to our front door and Thanked me for the treats! Now you have to admit that it’s kind of funny and he must have really liked them! 

With going to the grocery store more times that I want to say, and with our refrigerator in the freezing mode lately, we got the small dorm fridge out and seriously it’s not working out so bad! We keep what can get froze in the big fridge just in case it gets in one of those moods again and the lettuce and other stuff in the small dorm one and just like that the problem is solved. BAM! ok not really solved, but a temporary fix is in place and it’ll do for now

We also had a girls day in our farm kitchen this past week. My niece came over and with the help of Kelcie we worked for the whole evening on different types of face masks and body butters. I had absolutely no idea how many different things you can make in your kitchen until these past 2 years! We had a really good time and didn’t waste anytime with our experiments. The first face mask seemed to be a lot more work that I had thought – but on the second batch of a face mask we were just like Pros!

 

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Christmas morning

With a chill in the air and a whole new batch of Christmas candy sitting out on the kitchen table just waiting to be eaten – it was finally time for Christmas to be here! I was glad that William and Jude were here this weekend, because with our family not celebrating until next week and without Santa Clause stopping over until then – well it was kind of a quiet morning. 

The day was pretty low key and I spent it getting ready for the following week. Kyle and Kelcie fly home tomorrow and because we’re all getting together this coming weekend that just means that we can celebrate all week! Now to get my lists around to make sure that I can get everything done that I want.

 

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Christmas Eve

This year was a little different for our Christmas plans. See the kids won’t be home until after Christmas and that’s when we’ll have our family celebration. 

So now that it’s Christmas Eve our plans are to head to a nearby church who was having the evening mass and then head over to Ma’s for awhile. 

We knew that it was going to be full house in church, so we left early and found a seat (barely!) 1/2 an hour before mass. While we were sitting there, we had a chance to check out all the beautiful decorating that they did, and with the lights down low the pillars and alter just glowed. Yup, good decision for church this weekend. 

It’s been some time since we’ve been to a Christmas Eve mass at this church, so when some of the songs were sung in German it only added to how very cool this night really was! 

After mass we beat it back home to get some snacks to bring to Ma’s and then back to St. Lucas for the night. A couple of my brothers and sisters with their families were there and the night was spent eating and having a few refreshments. And we couldn’t forget the toast to Dad either! 

Mom by her pretty Christmas Tree

 

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Arctic Blast

There has been more than one prediction for an upcoming Arctic Blast so it’s time to take it seriously.

And we’ve been so lucky lately with the weather these past few weeks, so I guess we’re about due. 

And today Daryl has been spending most of the time outside getting the cows extra bedding and making sure that all the animals were going to be OK. So when I saw him up by the chicken coop I wasn’t surprised. He was putting the plastic over the windows to keep out the upcoming winter weather. Even though we’ll find frozen eggs in the morning – the chickens will be safe! 

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