Friday night – It’s a date!

This time of the year around the farm the word date doesn’t always mean what you think it would. 

And with it being Friday night and Daryl and I had a ‘date’, well I wasn’t too surprised that the date meant that he was wondering if I would come over to the other farm and help him so something.  

Well of course I would help even though I wasn’t sure just what I was helping him with!  But I soon found out that we were going to move the auger from our farm and set it up on the other farm before it got too dark out.

So off we go in the pickup with the auger behind us. It didn’t take too long to get it just in the right spot for the bin and then Daryl had to climb up to the top to get the spout lined up. As you can tell from the picture below we got the auger there before it got dark, but the moon was out to help us see when the final setup was being done.  

Now even though it was dark when we left and going out for the night was the last thing on our minds – I have to admit it really wasn’t that bad of a date after all 🙂

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Something funny is going on!

It seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve mowed lawn so I decided that I’d take a couple hours after work tonight to get it started. I knew that I wouldn’t get it done – but at least I could get some of it done. 

So after work I changed my clothes, filled the lawn mower full of gas, and off I went.  

Now when I mow lawn I don’t mess around. I literally put the pedal to the metal and go as fast as I can. But tonight when I saw the milk weeds that have grown up by our shed, I slowed down and thought to myself that maybe I should take them down. 

Even though they are good for the monarchs – they are not so good looking when the building faces the road! So as I’m making my rounds just trying to get as much mowed as I can, something catches my eye on these plants and I decided the next time around I’m stopping. 

So that’s exactly what I did. There was something funny going on with this milkweed and I was going to find out just exactly what that was!

And as I got closer I was still puzzled. What in the world was a Praying Mantis doing on our farm? I’ve only seen one once and that was done south on the Iowa/Missouri border. 

But here he was, and not scared at all! So I did a photo op with him, and because it was so bright out I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. 

So the next round I’m back at it again and took some more pictures. I think this picture below kind of explains how this guy was feeling. To me it looks like he’s saying ‘Enough already!’ 

Well now I’m not so sure that I should take down these milkweeds after all. I’ve read that Praying Mantis do a fantastic job eating bad bugs that are in gardens and flower beds, so first I’m going to check out the plants to see if there are any egg sacks hanging on the them and go from there.  

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It’s a good trade!

After work tonight I headed over to Ma’s to see if she liked the Birthday card that she had ordered. It’s for a party this coming weekend and if she didn’t like it, I wanted to have enough time to make her a new one. 

But she said that it would work out perfect – whew!  It was a really cool card because she wrote a personal note inside that I added to it. Very Cool! 

And of course she wanted to give me something for making it. And of course I said no! 

Then she asked if I wanted some tomatoes. Now that’s a good trade if you ask me! So when I got home into the freezer they went with the others until this winter. 

One of our kids called when I was over at Ma’s so I quick snapped a picture and sent it to them saying Hi back from her. It was a fast picture – but I like it allot!  


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I think it’s going to rain

It’s been very dry around our area and even though any rain wouldn’t help the crops at this point, it would still help to settle the dust. 

So on my way home tonight I saw the sky and thought to myself that I’m thinking that we’re going to get some rain. 

After quite a bit of thundering, it finally came!

I tried to take a picture to show that it was a white out – but I don’t think I did too well. And it sounded like we got over an inch so that’s good. It sure makes the air smell much cleaner and hopefully will settle the dust! 

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Front porches & Company

If you have a front porch then you know that it can have many jobs. 

Now at any given time on our front porch you’ll see our two dogs just kind of hanging out and checking who’s driving by during the day , I think they feel that they are guarding the house and farm. And what better angle than the porch? You’ll probably also see Checkers and Waffles our cats laying on the patio furniture doing… well nothing I think!  You can even catch a glimpse of a tomato or two in the sunshine away from the chickens trying to ripen. 

Even though because we live so close to the road it needs to be cleaned everyone once in awhile, I guess it’s just what you’ve got to do when you live in the country.  

But this weekend our porch was used for company and I loved it! 

We had a chance to have some of Daryl’s relatives stop by the farm and stay with us. And before we headed out for supper, we had some time to visit and what better place to do that than on the front porch. 

I had to smile because it was a typical night in the country. The air was warm, there was some fieldwork being done by the neighbors so they were driving around in the fields with tractors and wagons, chickens were running around our farm, and the dogs just wouldn’t leave us alone. Yup, a pretty typical night! 

But because our guests haven’t been to the farm for quite awhile because they live in California, it was our pleasure to have them stay with us while they were in the area. 

Now the house was anything but quite this weekend. See we also had a long time family friend’s wedding and William & Jude were going to that wedding too.  But they were getting home later and we would meet up with them when we got back from supper and a stop in our town. 

Off we went to a local restaurant and then to our town’s bar.

It was really a good time! Then back home to get settled in for the night and meet up with the kids. 

What a great way to start the weekend! Thanks Bruce and Diane for stopping by and staying the night with us. We loved seeing you and please stop by again when you in Iowa! 

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Baby it’s hot outside

There is an old saying that if are in Iowa and wait long enough the weather will change. Well that’s exactly what happened! 

We’ve been having cooler nights lately and when the forecast was to get the temperatures up into the high 80’s or 90’s .. well I just have one thing to say.

BRING IT ON! 

I’m not a huge fan of fall and if we can get some more summer days, that’s what I’m looking for. 

The only problem is that I’m going to speak at a class today and I wasn’t sure if they were going to have the class because the school would be letting out early if it got too hot. And guess what I’ll be talking about? If you guessed SOAP – You are the winner!!! To be honest, it was an easy question wasn’t it? 

OK, so the class was still on and off I went to my old high school to talk. It’s kinda funny because I would have never in my whole life guessed when I was going to school that I’d come back to it and talk to the Senior class about starting a business. I’m not sure if I’m feeling nervous or excited – it’s kinda hard to tell. 

But I was only supposed to talk for the last 5 minutes and well for some reason the plan changed. I was sharing the class with another speaker from a local college and I’m not sure just what happened but within the first few minutes I was taking the floor. 

And then I found out something that I really never knew before about myself. I’m kind of a talker 🙂 I had no trouble talking about soap and what opportunities are out there, along with bringing in some generic examples from my workplace. See for some reason it all rolled together and because I’m the Business Development Manager at where I work, I have a lot of opportunity to visit with new businesses just starting out. 

So to my defense – there was a lot to talk about!  

There was 35 in the classroom and below is a quick picture of some of the kids who have a current business along with the representative from the college. 

And after spending some time at school – back to my real job I went. I think I must have been pretty juiced up on how it all went, because I stopped at my Boss’s office when I got back and jabbered some more. He smiled and I think it was my cue to keep moving. 

But man was I warm. I wasn’t sure if it was the adrenaline or the heat, but I think it probably it was a little bit of both.  Oh well, it was a really fun day! 

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Kitchen Time

It sure is a busy time of the year isn’t it? 

For me it’s the time of the year that I pretty much live in our kitchen. I mean I get up, go to work, come home, and spend the night in the kitchen.  

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m very very happy that we have the kitchen that we have! It’s very big and supports a lot of activities. 

So what happens in our kitchen in the fall ?

Well the grapes are picked and grape juice is canned

apple sauce is made

and I just keep putting tomatoes in the freezer until I have time to process them into tomato juice. 

and I’m now in the soap making mode. 

I ran out of soap last year in early December and I’m working hard not to run out this year again. But even though our kitchen is pretty big, it sure seems times like sometimes it’s just not big enough! 

So my new plan is to see what building I can move into outside. But using a farm building means that we’d have to insulate it, put in new walls, put in new electrical, add water if it’s not in the building, and then probably add a better floor. Yup, nothing is move in ready at this point. And I’m not really in the huge profit stage of my soap business yet either to support all of that! 

So for now, I’m moving things in and out of our kitchen from the laundry room. So don’t be too surprised if you come to our house and you see a lot of soap sitting around and it smells like a gift shop. I guess there’s worse things to smell on a farm right? 

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Switching it up!

Our back room, or as we have lovingly called it in the past – Our Parlor, Toy Room, Kid’s Room, Christmas Tree Room, Spare Room, and probably a whole lot more that I just can’t think of right now has got another new name. 

We now have an official ‘Guest Bedroom’ SCORE! 

When we’ve remodeled the house we set it up so that all the doors are the standard 36 inches along with a walk in shower and a room downstairs for when we get to where we don’t want to go to a bedroom upstairs anymore or if some unlucky chance that someone broke a bone or something. . You know… be prepared for the worst! But if none of that happened, it was a good transition room for when we didn’t want to go upstairs anymore. You know – got too lazy or old 🙂 

So with the kids coming home to visit us on and off and company coming this weekend, it was time to give the room another new name and function. 

And that’s how the guest room was born. 

You know those projects when you just hate to start them and then once you’re in the middle of it, it wasn’t so bad? Yea, I know it doesn’t happen too often but when it does it really takes you by surprise right? 

Well that’s what happened to this project. After a phone call to give the sleeper sofa to a niece, and moving the kids bed downstairs – well that was it. I know a shock right? I’m thinking that we should have done this a couple of years ago. 

The funny thing is that I have to admit that I purposely walk into the room to check it out. Now I don’t know if I think it’s going to change or what – but I do know that I end up leaving smiling to myself. I guess it’s one of those times that people say the simple things in life are the best. 

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Working around the farm – Sunday

Even though it was Sunday, it was a good day to work around the farm and to get a couple of things done. 

Daryl spent a good part of the day getting the combine all cleaned up for the fall harvest and I don’t think it was such a good move on the peacocks to hang out on top the combine after Daryl walked away. It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t mess it up, but I’m guessing that they left their mark before they headed to the shed for the night. 

We also spent some time today looking for a new hatching of baby chicks in the barn. Daryl saw a couple of new little chickens hanging out with the hen in the barn and when we came to get me and we went back – well they were gone! Now I’m guessing this one big Tom Cat who was lurking around the back of the barn while we were in there had something to do with the missing baby chicks, but who could blame him? He probably thought it was a buffet or something! And was the mother hen mad! She clucked for about and hour or so just looking for her little chicks. Not a good situation at all! 

I spent quite a bit of my day catching up on laundry and getting some things organized in the house. I even watched a movie this afternoon on the TV. Now normally I don’t do that very often, but it was a great day to slow down and even watch a movie if you wanted to –  so that’s just what I did! 

And I noticed today that our cows are still not sure why there is gates up going back into the pasture. I don’t ever remember having gates in the pasture before, but our little calves would just walk under the electric fence and hang out in the yard all the time. And our dogs HATED that they were out! So Daryl & I hung a couple of gates and that took care of that problem! And as you can see in the picture below our tree pile is still there. It’ll probably have to be there until later this fall when the crops are out. We’d hate to burn something other than the tree pile so we’re probably going to wait until it snows or gets a whole lot more wet in the fields  🙂 

And speaking of fields, you can almost see the fields changing every day. Here’s a bean field that is starting to drop it’s leaves. Soon the combines will be out working on getting the beans harvested and then the busy season will begin! 

And we ended the night by skyping and talking with all the kids which is always my favorite part of the week. But now it’s time to get some projects organized that will need to be done this week and think about what we’ll do next weekend! 

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Saturday – Kayaking, weddings, and barn parties

When I got up this morning I could hear that it was trying really hard to rain this morning just as the sun was starting to come up for the day . 

Now I know that we need rain, but with a day planned to be on the water today -well I sure wish that it would rain like maybe later tonight or something! 

But after checking the weather radar it looked like we would be OK for our kayaking trip and off I went with the truck with the kayaks in the back to meet up for breakfast before we hit the water. It was still overcast, but it was one of those times when you knew that the weather was going to turn out just be perfect. 

And guess what? It was absolutely perfect! The weather was around 80 degrees, a slight breeze was blowing, and hardly anyone on the river but us. Yup, just perfect. 

Then to top it off the trees were just starting to turn their fall colors and we never had to get out once because the water was too low. I think I could have stayed on the river even a couple more hours if we didn’t have plans for the night. We had plans to go to a wedding reception then off to friends barn party. 

Whew! What a great day! 

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