What I should have been doing..

Now normally my flowers are not always the show stoppers, and honestly I’m OK with that. But for some reason these past few years the iris’s really took off and I know that I have to do something about it. 

I’ve got a home for them after they are thinned out, but I just need to dig them up and deliver them first. I’ve never had to thin out any flowers of mine, so it’s going to be a new experience. Honestly how hard can it be? I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. DSCN8888

So if I didn’t thin out the flowers tonight what actually did I do after work? Well I had big plans … yes very big plans until I sat down on the couch. Yup, not the smartest thing to do if you ask me. And then shamefully I took a little nap. 

When I finally got the ambition to get off the couch, it was time to make a decision. Should I actually do something productive? Or should I go back on the couch? Now my first choice was to go back on the couch (duh!) but I knew that this probably wasn’t the best choice to make. So I got up and tried to catch up on a couple of things. 

So what did I do?  Well I did some house cleaning, ran 3 miles (OK, TRIED to run 3 miles), did a little research on some supplies needed for bath bombs that I want to make, placed orders on 3 different web sites for the bath bomb stuff, and worked on some stuff in my scrap book room. Not bad, but should have got more done. Darn that couch! 

 I’ve got a couple of meetings tomorrow night in the early evening, so my plan is to NOT sit down on that couch no matter what after work! If I don’t get much done, I really want to get the flowers dug up and delivered before the meeting. 

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Chores first!

We knew that we wanted to try to get some bicycle riding done today, but there was a lot of projects that had to happen before that. You know, the old rule of thumb that you have to do your chores before you can play outside :)

So what did we have to do? Well I wanted to get some of the flowers planted that were making a home on our porch and Daryl had a bunch of farm chores to do. Time to get started so we could have also some fun today. 

Well everything was going well, I made some homemade flower planters out of burlap that I bought yesterday when I was with Ma. What you do is to line the pot with the burlap so it holds in the dirt DSCN8883and it really works well. It’s kind of a thrifty answer to a flower pot. But I soon found out that I ran out of flowers and potting soil so I had to stop with any new projects after this. I honestly couldn’t believe that I ran out of flowers. Next year I so need to get them planted in William’s greenhouse so I can have my own supply! DSCN8884

But it didn’t stop me from working on the small flowers spot in front of our house. And man oh man did I get into some trouble! I’ve never dug up an ant farm and granted it was only a little brown ‘normal’ ant farm – but they were mad! Saying that they were mad is such an understatement! By the time I realized what was going on, I literally had them crawling inside my gloves and up my arms. Before the whole thing was done, I was smacking the gloves on the porch to see if I could get them out of it, I was stomping on the ones on the ground, and I swear they got inside my clothing because I felt that they were crawling in my shirt and shorts! Now that was it!! Because I was at the end of what I could do with the flowers, and those ants were making me so mad, I went inside the house  to see what I could find to get back at them. Yea, I’ve never claimed to be nice now did I? So what did I find? Well I had some Citronella essential oil. With a smirk on my face, out I go back to the ants and sprinkled the oil on top of the ants. Now I’m sure that these ants are not vicious ants, but if you ever put citronella essential oil on an ant hill (well anyway this one) they get mad. They get REALLY mad and started to bite me. So what did I do? I grabbed my bottle and kept putting it on them while stirring the dirt around. Yup, one victory for the farm girl!! WhooHooo! Now after I didn’t see any of the ants anymore, I put a layer of dried egg shells over the whole thing to help deter the bugs.DSCN8886 After that I put a layer of potting soil over the whole thing and put rocks down so the dogs and chickens don’t dig it all back up again. Whew! I’m sure glad that was done! DSCN8887

Now it was time to have some fun! Daryl and I found all our bike stuff and went on a bike ride on the Decorah Trout Run Trail 20160522_124337_resizedand to say that it’s beautiful, is an understatement.

Dairy cows just hanging out by the stream

Dairy cows just hanging out by the stream


There are a lot of rolling hills on the trail. Just beautiful!

There are a lot of fish at the Trout Hatchery!

There are a lot of fish at the Trout Hatchery!

Fish at the Trout Hatchery in Decorah along the bike trail

Fish at the Trout Hatchery in Decorah along the bike trail

After the bike ride, it was time to head over to some friends farm for a graduation party 20160520_182253_resized_1and then back home for a meeting at our house was in store for the upcoming Irish Fest book committee .

And now? Well it’s time to start next week! 

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May is my month!

Mother’s Day has been now a couple of weeks ago and now that the flowers were all planted and hopefully didn’t freeze too bad last week, it’s time for Mom to enjoy her other part of her gift. 

The gift is a ‘Mom’ book that has the upcoming months until the end of the year and with each month each of us kids book a month. Now what am I talking about? Well we’ve done this before and it’s a cool thing to do. To try to explain it better, May is my month to do a road trip, dinner, just about anything that you would want to do. So what did we do? Check it out! 

We started around 10:00 on Saturday and headed North to Decorah to our first stop at Seed Savers.20160521_112340_resized If you’ve never heard of Seed Savers out of Decorah Iowa you really need to check it out! What they do there is to preserve heirloom seeds for future generations. Now until I actually started to read up on this, I thought well there are a lot of people who sell seeds. But these people go to extreme lengths to ensure that the seed that you are buying is  truly that seed and is not mixed with anything else. 

So like I said we headed North to find the place and I realized that I took the long way there. But the scenery was beautiful and how can you go wrong on such a great day like today?20160521_112243_resized

We finally got the business and after we checked it out 20160521_111753_resizedit was time to keep moving and see what was up next. And if you live around Decorah you probably know that there is a winery almost right next door. SCORE!20160521_113942_resized

Now I could hear my stomach growling and I’m sure Ma could hear it too, so we went back into town and headed down the gravel road to McCaffery’s Dolce Vita & Twin Springs Bakery. It’s a great place to eat and if you like pizza from a stone oven – it can’t be beat!20160521_124819_resized

While we were having dinner, we were talking about a cousin of mine that lives in town, so a quick call to her and after dinner we went to her house for a nice visit and to see all her projects that she’s been working on.

And you can’t hardly be in Decorah without stopping at Walmart now can you? I didn’t know what Ma needed there, but I found out that she wanted MORE flowers to plant. I’m not sure where these are going but I guess she has a spot picked out for them.

While we were in a shopping mode, we then headed uptown to check into what some of the local stores had for sales. We had pretty good luck if I say so myself, and with our bags in our hands we decided that we should start back home.

But first we wanted to check out a country locker that we weren’t sure where it was. So off to the gravel roads we go and when we found it – it was closed :(

At the end of the day, and all of Ma’s new flowers were brought up to the house along with her shopping bags, it was a full and really fun day! 

Next month will be one of my brother’s turn and it’ll be fun to see what they end up doing for June’s Special day with Ma! 

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Rock Star!

I know this might sound pretty weird, but now that my garden is in, I just can’t help walking by it and taking a look at it! It looks so good and clean that I catch myself even stopping and staring. I don’t know if I think it’s going to change or what, but I sure seem to be finding excuses to hang out in the back yard lately.And if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry. I took a picture tonight to show you that my garden is awesome and that I am a Rock Star! Bam!! 20160518_171804_resized-2

Now I’m not promising that it’ll stay like this, but for now I’m pretty pleased with myself. And to make me even happier, Daryl came home tonight with a new water can.  It’s kinda sad on the simple things that can make me happy, but for tonight I’m thinking Life is pretty good! 

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Garden is planted!

I finally got our garden planted! WhooHooo! 

Not to sound like I’m bragging, but I’ve to 16 tomato plants, a row of celery, two rows of kohlrabi, 4 pepper plants, 2 rows of peas, 2 rows of onions, and a row of lettuce. It looks pretty good if I say so myself. 

Now will it last? I have no idea. But for tonight it looks AWESOME! 

I wanted to take a quick photo because it did look so good, but by the time I got the garden all tilled up and planted tonight it was literally dark outside. 

I do know one thing. I am for sure getting a new water can to water the garden with. I’m using one that the dogs chewed the end off of and it doesn’t work the best. I had it only for about a week last year when they decided to eat it, and I wasn’t too excited on having to buy a new one. But I’ve changed my mind. :)

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Staying in bed?

How come when you have a chance to sleep in, you just can’t do it? Maybe you’re a lot luckier in falling back to sleep on the weekends, but I’m just not so lucky. 

So just like on cue, I woke up early on Sunday morning and realized that it was the weekend. SCORE! And that only means one thing. We can sleep in late. So I laid there and even pulled the blanket over my head just to try to try to relax and fall back asleep. 

And was I successful? Absolutely not. Finally after laying there for about an hour, I had enough. I definitely had plenty to do, so I should just get up and do it.

First things first, I started to do some laundry and then to get the dishwasher unloaded and scrub the floor. I got the chickens fed and eggs picked and washed and then moved onto getting some paperwork done. Finally I started to clean the basement and try to work on downsizing my stuff that I’ve got stored that I’m positive that I don’t need. 

When the rest of the crew got up, bacon was done and the house smelled great. 

Now what should we do with the rest of the day? Well Daryl got out the Chevelle and it was  a road trip kind of afternoon. We ended up going to Gunder Iowa 20160515_134259_resized_1and had a LOT of good food! If you are ever headed that way and are able to stop in, you’ll know what I mean. 20160515_134312_resized_1

Time to head home. We took the long way home just to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.20160515_134649_resized_1 And once we got home Daryl worked on mowing the lawn, and I took some notes that was needed  from the teacher interviews that Kyle and I did for our upcoming town book.

You know maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t stay in bed after all!

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Living the green life

I do not claim to be an expert in this ‘green living’ that is becoming more and more popular, but I’m trying to do what I can. 

And what is today’s green living activity? It’s making another batch of homemade antiperspirant. Now before you roll your eyes and get all weird and everything, there has been a lot of information lately that deodorants are linked to breast cancer and alzheimer disease. Now is it true? Who knows right? I mean it’s on the internet and everything so it’s anyone’s guess. But if you use ‘regular’ ingredients instead of chemicals, it just has to be so much better for you don’t you think? Now don’t worry, I do have a container of boughten stuff just in case. 

Here is the recipe that I use, and when it’s all mixed up, I let it set up for about 30 minutes and then just literally pour it into a cleaned out container. 

Recipe for Homemade Deodorant

3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp shea butter
3 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp cornstarch
5 drops essential oil (I used Lavender and Frankincense)

Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt. Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. Let cool.

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Indoor Plants

There are some people that are good with indoor plants and there are some that are not so good. 

And what category do I fall into? Well take a look at our small bathroom plant and then you can decide. 

Yea, you might want to put me into the ‘not so good’ category. 

Well with a lot of activities coming up (Irish Fest, Kuehner Fun Day, a WEDDING!!! ) I decided to check out our house and start making a list of things to do before this fall. And when I was looking at the walls and cupboards in the bathroom I took a gander at the plant and thought ‘holy smokes’ that looks bad and just couldn’t figure out why it was ugly. DSC_0435I literally stood there for awhile and without coming to a conclusion to the question, I decided to give her a little drink. 

OK so I’m not a Rocket Scientist or anything (I know shock right? :) ) But I think I found out the reason why it was looking so tough. When I poured the 4th glass of water into it the whole dirt pile started to heave up out of the container. I think it was so dry that the dirt wasn’t sticking to the bottom anymore. Bad yes. Funny? yes!  I don’t know if you can see this, but there is about 3/4 of an inch between the dirt and the pan. DSC_0436

My next step was to push the dirt back down and kind of pat it in place. My guess for a good outcome for the plant? I’d say 80/20. With the 80% as a survival rate. I’m usually over optimistic so it might also be a 20% survival rate. 

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And how much soap do YOU have?

I have soap. I worked kinda hard to get it and put in many late hours making my stash. But honestly it was something that was a good experiment for me to do and now I know that I can make over 450 bars of soap in about a month. Yea, you heard me right! I have between 450 and 500 bars of soap to sell.  SCORE! Now is this too many or not enough? I guess time will tell. And honestly when you can only make 11 bars of soap in a batch – well I almost hate to get rid of it. :) I said almost…

In the meantime, check out my supplyDSC_0433

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Have you seen the truck?

I woke up this morning and felt that I was getting sick. You know when you feel a little hazy throughout the day and by the time I got home tonight I thought that maybe I got run over by a truck earlier and didn’t know it. 

So I did something that I haven’t done in a very long time. I walked in the door, ran a very hot bath so I wasn’t freezing so much, and spent a couple of minutes soaking. And then guess what I did? I took a 2 1/2 hr nap. Yup, I took a nap! It felt AWESOME! There was about a million things that I should have been doing, but I just physically couldn’t do it. 

I’m thinking all my crazy hours of making soap has finally caught up with me. 

But for now? Well I think I’m going to take another hot bath with some Epson Salt and RC essential oil and head to bed. I know that I’ve got a busy day tomorrow to make up for today and I sure hope that I feel better :(

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