Farm animals and farm work

I ran home again on my lunch hour to feed the baby kitties and when I left to go back to work the sky looked a little weird but I thought that there’s no way it’s going to rain right? Well about an hour later the sky opened up and it just poured. So why was I so worried about this? Well when I got done feeding the kitties the chickens came around and it kind of freaked me out. I didn’t know if they would be mean to the little kitties and start pecking on them so I grabbed a handful of bread and fed the chickens down by the barn. That way they’d stay away from the cats. So I put all 5 of them back on the porch and just hoped that they’d stay there. Now with it raining, I was not only hoping that the chickens wouldn’t be mean to the cats, but also that they stayed on the porch and didn’t jump off again and drown. Man oh man these cats are becoming a lot of work aren’t they? So I was kind of nervous and just hoping that I wasn’t coming home to a bunch of dead cats on our lawn and this is what I foundIMG_1950

Yup, no dead cats .. just a lot of little kitties that are meowing a lot! And then to top it off, later tonight William asked when we got 6 cats? What? These cats are multiplying as if they were some kind of fish in the bible or something! I guess Reno found another one and put it with the rest by the house. I think she needs to stop looking for these cats don’t you?

Well tonight was a big night for our new chickens. They’ve been in jail (the cattle tank) now for a couple of weeks, so I left them out to run around in the brooder house.DSCN8787 They have the whole 1/2 of this chicken coop and for some reason they all ran into the chicken cage that was being stored in the room. Now I’m not saying anything bad about these chickens – but they just might be a little socially challenged.

Not the smartest chickens around the farm

Not the smartest chickens around the farm

And while I was working on getting these chickens free, Daryl and William were working on replacing a supporting beam in the cattle shed. I was so glad that no one got hurt and also that William was around to help Daryl. Looking at how heavy that beam was, I’m sure that there wouldn’t be any way that I could help much. So I was just hovering with my camera and took this picture of Earl.

Earl and Sassy.. along with chickens and cats in the cow yard.

Earl and Sassy.. along with chickens and cats in the cow yard.

He’s so stinking cute isn’t he? And then I also took one of Sam. Daryl had the chain saw going and tractors and just a lot of noise. But Sam just kept watching and eventually moved to the bale that was the closest to the guys and just stood there and watched. It was pretty funny!

Sam just checking out what the guys were doing tonight

Sam just checking out what the guys were doing tonight

Now the photo of the day is that of butter. Yup, butter. I bought this the other day and I’ve just never seen or bought anything like it before. It’s butter wrapped up in parchment paper that a local farm sells near us. I’m not sure if it tastes anything different, but it’s about as fresh as you can get. Plus it looks kind of cool too. DSCN8788

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More on our bike ride & things to see

I started the post some pictures from our bike ride on the July 26 post and decided that I need to add some more to show you just what the ride looks like and what a good time we all had.

Sometimes the roads get busy and here’s a snap shot of one of the towns we went through. We always try to keep track of what each other is wearing and we do kind of a good job keeping each other in sight which in itself is amazing isn’t it?IMG_1875

We passed through a lot of windmills today and I think they look so cool when you’re riding on a bike near them. They are so huge and you can only hear a whisper when they’re running. IMG_1881

We joke a lot about that we used to sleep in tents with about 10,000 of our closest friends. Now don’t get me wrong, that was also fun – just a different kind of fun. Where we’re staying tonight has a lot of lakes around it and this is the scene off of one of the houses that we stayed at. We met so many nice house owners that literally left us come into their house and take showers and spend the night with them. It’s unreal how friendly and how cool they all are. IMG_1877

Today’s photo of the day is that of the World’s Largest Bullhead. Now you don’t get to see that everyday do you?


People are on bicycles everywhereIMG_1884a

And soon we found ourselves at the Surf Ballroom in Mason City. Now if you’ve never gone to this ballroom you should really try to make a point to visit it sometime. The original ballroom burnt down in 1947 and was rebuilt in 1948 and has been having concerts ever since. The most famous concert was that when Buddy Holly, Valens and Ricardson left a concert there and all died in a plane accident near by the town. There is a lot of history in this old ballroom and it definitely is worth the drive sometime to visit it. IMG_1889IMG_1892IMG_1891IMG_1890

One of our friends takes his guitar along for the bike ride every year and this was a great stop for him and some of his buddies to play a few songsIMG_1894a

There are a lot of times during the ride that you have opportunities to just relax. And there’s no better way to do that then to catch a few naps along the way. IMG_1898

We stopped at the Wapsipinicon Mill in Independence along the river and took a tour of the largest grist mill remaining in the state of Iowa. It’s 6 stories tall and has a lot in it to look at. IMG_1914IMG_1910

Again we were grateful for all our host houses. It doesn’t matter if we have a large house or a smaller house – we are so appreciative of them all! IMG_1904 Next on our list is Strawberry Point. This is the home of the World’s Largest Strawberry. I think it probably got photographed the most that it ever had today.IMG_1916IMG_1917

There’s quite a few times along the ride during the week that we’ll get free stuff. So we weren’t surprised that we got handed some free candy today. But I was surprised on how good the candy was and that it was started in a small town of Hull that has a population of 2100 people. They have a lot of different candy that they have produced and it’s crazy that you might know most of them. If you get a chance – look up how this business started in this small town. It’s really fascinating.IMG_1940

Well about by now you’re probably getting sick of all the pictures. But the next one is the one that is the tradition at the end of the ride. It’s went you dunk your bike into the Mississippi River to symbolize that the ride is over and you made it! Whoo Hoo!! IMG_1919

So now that the ride is over can you guess what Daryl and I did the next day after it? Well you eat so much during the week that on Sunday we were starving! So we took out the Chevelle and went for a drive along the Mississippi river.IMG_1932 We went more North into Wisconsin and then went out for dinner.IMG_1928 And how did we end the afternoon? Well ice cream of course! IMG_1937



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Daryl had been working on getting Tango into a pen in the barn and this afternoon he was successful. Poor Tango. He knew something was up and little did he know that he was going to the sale barn tonight. He was never made into a steer so we couldn’t have him as a bull on our farm. We already have a bull and Tango is the son of our female cows. So Daryl loaded him up tonight and off they went.

I think Tango looks scared

I think Tango looks scared

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On the Upper Iowa River

I got up early and did a couple of loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, and got the dishes done. I fed the little baby kitties a couple of times and then grabbed my swimming suit and loaded up the kayak. What a great day to meet one of my friends for breakfast and then head out to the river for the day. The sun was shining and it was an absolutely perfect day. Even though we knew that it was going to be kind of warm, we never felt it when we were out there. It would be fun to find another spot sometime to kayak … but for today this river was wonderful!IMG_1948

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Have you ever laid in bed and heard your dogs barking outside and just hope and pray that they would stop? Well after about an hour of laying there listening to them, I finally gave up and woke Daryl up and asked him if he would please go out and see what the dogs are doing. We’ve been having trouble with Reno sneaking out of the barn so I thought that maybe she was just barking because she was out and she knew that she wasn’t supposed to be. But with her barking and barking finally Daryl agreed and went out to see what was the matter. Well, she was out again (no surprise) and had something cornered. She had a possum and it looked like it was dead. Daryl knew better, so he helped to make sure that it wasn’t going to go anywhere in a couple of hours. After putting Reno back into the barn he finally crawled in bed again and everything outside was quiet for awhile.

This possum is dead.

This possum is dead.

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Cards & Stuff

I finally had a chance to get a couple of cards done that were way over due. I’m not sure why I got so far behind, but these birthday cards should have been done for a couple of months. Yea, I said I was behind. But I did get three of the four cards done and now I need to get a Graduation card done and sent that should have been in the mail in May :( DSCN8749DSCN8748

IMG_1843I also found a super easy recipe for making ribs tonight. Now I’m sure that they are not the same type of ribs that people marinate and work on all day – but honestly what normal person has all day to cook supper right? So here is the recipe that I made for the ribs and even William said that they were pretty good.

Take tin foil and double it on the counter. Take the ribs and literally put them on the tin foil and then fold the tin foil up to make a pocket. I put them then in a pan and baked them @ 350 degrees for around 1 1/2 hours without anything else added to them. Then take them out and let them cool on the counter and add barbecue sauce and let set for about 30 to 60 minutes. The original recipe calls for mixing all this stuff up for the sauce but I used some barbecue sauce that I like instead. (I told you I wanted to keep it easy right?) I left them sit in the sauce for about 30 minutes and then I put them on the grill to get the sauce cooked into them. Yup, simple. The best part is that you really don’t have to put anymore sauce on them after they’re done so they’re not so messy. IMG_1939

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We had skyped with Kyle and Kelcie Sunday night in South Korea and had to brake the news to Kyle that ever since we went to Minneapolis that one weekend and left Little Kitty alone – well, he ran away. Now Little Kitty is a Tom Cat so I’m sure he’s just hanging out at the neighbors or something so I’m really not too worried about him. But I think Kyle felt so bad and he said that we really need to start looking for another cat. He loves a house cat and can’t understand why everyone else doesn’t love them too. Well we were OK without one for now so everything on our side was good.

Which brings me up to today. Call it coincidental or maybe being jinxed by Kyle, tonight after work I saw this little baby kitty that Kaiser brought up to the house. I think he thought it was some kind of wiggly toy or something. He stood pretty proud by the cat and was kind of acting like ‘look what I found’. So into the house this cat went. It’s pretty small and wouldn’t drink out of the little bottle that we got from the vet very well,  so my thoughts for this little baby cat’s survival was pretty grim. The only thing that I did know is that this cat meows a lot. And I mean a LOT! Finally William just wrapped it up in a towel and literally slept with it to keep it quiet. He said he only rolled over it maybe once during the night. It’s a good thing that this kid is thin right? Well in the morning the cat was still alive and who would have thought it? Now it did start to drink from the little pan of warmed up milk so I’m thinking there just might be a future for it after all. DSCN8745OK so it lived through the night so I guess we should name her. Well her name is Maggie. But guess what? That night when I was outside I saw Reno guarding something down by the barn. It was cat # 2. I think Reno didn’t want Kaiser to get too close or something which is really a good thing. DSCN8746So 2 baby cats in the house trying to keep alive wasn’t the worse thing, but by the end of the night we had 3. Now this is getting a little bit out of control right? Then we had 4.

4 baby kitties

4 baby kitties

Well move time forward and now we literally have 5 little kitties that we’re trying to keep alive. And only two of them have their eyes open so they are really little yet. DSCN8752 And do you think we can keep Maggie happy? No. She just cries and cries and can escape from almost anything. I’ll be in the kitchen and then around the corner comes this little cat the size of your palm looking for you. So our mornings and during my lunch hours during the week has changed. I made some egg muffins that I break up and mix with milk and try to keep these 5 little cats alive.

eggs, milk, and cheese baked together

eggs, milk, and cheese baked together

I’ll give it another couple of days before I name the rest of them. It’s still pretty early to be too optimistic. And even though Kyle is thousand’s of miles away – I swear that that he might have jinxed us!

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Brain Fart

Have you ever just started to think about something during the day that you really should have been thinking about a couple of days ago? Well.. that’s what happened to me this week and it was a total brain fart.

I was at work on Tuesday still trying to catch up from being gone last week and to be honest pretty busy. All of a sudden someone brought up chickens. Yup, chickens. Well I got this kind of pit in my stomach and started to think about our little chickens. I know that Daryl and I talked about them on Saturday, but today was Tuesday. Then I started to sweat. I mean I wasn’t sure how long chickens could live without being taken care of and for sure three days shouldn’t kill them right? Well I couldn’t stand it anymore and I called Daryl to see if he checked on them lately. Nope, not since Saturday. So after work I beat it home and found all 5 of them still alive. SCORE! Now I don’t think they were happy, but they were alive so that was a plus. Somewhere all the line either William or Daryl put in another waterer and I think that just might have saved their lives.

So my picture of the day is that of two of our chickens. I wanted to take a picture of the little’s guy that we have but he kind of acts like a bird and not a chicken so I’m not so sure on what’s going on his him. But he thinks he runs the joint so his name is Mayor. I’ll try to catch a picture of him later if I can. But below are two of the five that we have. The white one’s name is Duff (his sister’s name if Tuff) and the other guy? His name is Booker T.

Our new chicken Duff

Our new chicken Duff

Booker T

Booker T


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Good intentions

Well we made it back from our week bike ride and I had good intentions to post the pictures from it tonight. As I was going through the pictures up in the scrap book room I kept hearing the cows outside. Now for some reason after 9:00 pm in our house I swear everyone goes deaf. No idea why, but they do. So after going down stairs and talking to Daryl that there’s something wrong with the cows – here in the yard was Tango and Earl standing. They were both looking pretty scared and knew that they shouldn’t be out on that side of the fence.  And who do you think was making all the noise at 10:30 tonight? No Ears! She was just freaking out trying to figure out where Earl went. Daryl got the pickup started and shined the light into the cow yard and I grabbed a pail of corn and it didn’t take long until everyone was back where they were supposed to be. I’m not sure how they got out and I hope Daryl was able to figure out where because if Ed get’s out it’s not going to be as easy.

Since I don’t have our bicycle post done, my photo of the day is what we came home on the weekend. It’s a skill that Kaiser has and it’s not a good one if you ask me! He sure is digging for something though. We keep adding rocks to try to stop his digging and pretty soon it’ll only be a patch of rocks if he keeps this up! IMG_1938

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Our Bike Ride, the first days

What a great week we had! The weather was pretty close to being almost perfect and it is always so fun to be out with some of your closest 10,000 bikers.

We were lucky again to be able to stay in houses instead of camping and that is nothing but a really good feeling. I mean we did the camping thing for about 10 years and it was fun, but staying in houses… is really good.

So I’m going to give it my best to put together an over view of the week we had and hopefully I won’t leave too much out :)

Saturday – the day before the ride. This is the day that we start out for the overnight town and get ourselves somewhat organized. It’s the time to see if you remembered everything that you’ll need and get all your maps and money ready for the week. I never sleep too good during this week so I wasn’t disappointed when I spent the whole night tossing and turning thinking about how the week will go. Then the sun came up and it was time to ride.

We finally came up with a Team name this year!

We finally came up with a Team name this year!

Sunday – We got our bikes ready, adjusted our helmets and off we went. I can’t explain how it feels for other people on the first day – but for me it’s such a good feeling. It like you’re excited, anxious, happy, and nervous all at the same time. You know that if you weren’t there you’d probably be at work so that kind of makes you smile. The first stop was to dunk our tires.IMG_1848 It’s a tradition that you dunk your back tires in on the west side of Iowa  in the Missouri River and then when you get to the east side of Iowa you put your front tires in the Mississippi River. After the tire dunking we all took off riding between veterans and the state flags on the highway and to say that is was cool is such an understatement. The ride wasn’t a long ride today and it was good to get some miles on our bikes. We laughed because we weren’t able to get a lot of training in this year and we only rode 45 miles to train. So we kind of say that the first days of Ragbrai is our training and this year that statement couldn’t be a more true!

Way cool way to start the weeks ride

Way cool way to start the weeks ride

We rode around 70 miles today so we just doubled our training. Too funny! It didn’t take long until the guys found watermelon along the way. For some reason watermelon tastes so good on a bike ride and this year? Yup, it was good! IMG_1868 So tonight’s accommodations is a little tricky. We couldn’t find a house to stay at and we were lucky that we did book a hotel room back in January for us. So 11 people stayed in this really small hotel room. When we had booked the room she said ‘Oh you guys are in the suite’. hummm.. I’m not sure I’d call it a suite, but it was a roof over our heads and we spent a good part of the night just laughing. I think this bike ride is a lot about getting together with friends and family and just enjoying not only the ride but also hanging out for the days and nights in between the rides. It’s just a lot of fun.

You gotta do what you gotta do....

You gotta do what you gotta do….


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