This weeks healthy thing to do

First things first. I am not one of those people who are so healthy and eat only what’s good for you. Heck, as I’m writing this post, I’m enjoying a fine beverage and let’s just say it’s not goat milk. Now I’m not saying there’s something wrong with goat milk – but I prefer having a drink once in awhile that has the natural hops in it instead.

OK, so I decided that every week I’m going to commit to doing something healthy. And this week I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for the Young Living Oil program. I’ve been looking at this program for some time now and everything that I read about it is something that I feel is good for you.

So like I said, I’m an official member as of this weekend. And let me also say that I’m quite overwhelmed! Who knew trying to become healthier was so much work! I’ve got stuff to study now at night and I just am chomping at the bit to get my first set of oils in.

Daryl on the other hand – well let’s just say he’s not so much of a believer yet. I’m sure he’s thinking to himself here we go again. And that’s it another gimmick that I’m looking in to. But a bunch of my friends are believers and members and truly love it, so I’m going to give it a try.

Heck, what’s the worst that could happen - I might get healthier?

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Sunday, Best Day

I must admit something, Daryl and I really didn’t work too hard today. I mean, we got up late and watched a movie for most of the morning! Crazy isn’t it? We had NO intentions of spending the morning watching this movie but it was so darn good, well I just couldn’t leave it. 

The movie was called ‘Million Dollar Baby’ and I could see why it was so many awards. It’s kind of an old movie (2004) but we don’t watch too many movies and I was sure glad that we stumbled on this one this morning. I’ve come to the conclusion that I think I must like about any movie Clint Eastwood is in anyway. But if you get a chance to catch this movie – especially on a Sunday morning.. I say go for it! 

Then it was crunch time! First things first. I had the wet towels left over from the supper last night from our church so that went into the laundry machine first. And following that was some bed sheets and towels. While all of that was going on, some fast room pickups to get rid of some of the clutter, catching up on some paperwork, and then…. 

then it is my favorite time of the week. It’s the time that we get together with the boys to skype and see what’s all going on in their neck of the woods. It’s always so nice to see their faces and with Kyle half way across the world and William a couple of hours from us – it’s just a really nice time.DSCN9674We usually only talk for about 30 minutes and then Kyle needs to get ready for classes. With the time changing last week, the difference between us and Kyle is now only 14 hours, it’s the next day there. 

What else did I do today? Now I’m sure you’re guessing that I made some soap, right? If that’s what your thinking… YOU ARE CORRECT !! Whoo Hooo! I made some lavender soap and it was my first time that I mixed in some coloring (boughten stuff this time!!) It wasn’t as dark as I would have wanted it to be, so the next time I’ll know better. All the reviews on the web say that it’s just kind of live and learn and, well today I guess I did the learning thing. 

Do you know what else that I did today? I ordered our new baby chickens. Yup! It is that time of the year. Even though our chickens are diggin’ the good weather lately and started to lay again. I’m thinking they are hoping to sit on these eggs – yea.. not going to happen. No big rooster remember? DSCN9645Our chickens are getting a couple of years old now and it’s time to get some new ones hanging out in the group. So I was doing some research on the web this afternoon and was trying to find a hatchery that would hatch some Araucanas. Now if you are wondering what the Araucana chickens are,  well they’re a fairly new breed in the chicken world. They were recognized by the American Poultry Association as a breed only in 1976. They are blue egg layers with yellow skin, no tails, no beards and no muffs. They have ear tufts, which are feathers that grow from a slender, fleshy flap just below the ear. And if you ask my opinion, there are no two chickens in this breed that will look alike. 

So like I said, I’m looking to see where I can get some and wasn’t having too much luck. Then I got this brain fart and realized that there was a hatchery only about 15 miles from our farm and so I wondered if they would carry them? It was around 5:30 in the afternoon, but I decided to call them anyway. And guess what? SCORE! Not only can they get me some, but they were even a better price than the ones that I did find that I could order. Now since they were less than I had budgeted, I also bought some red chickens and some black ones. I forgot what the guy said they were called for sure, but they lay some nice brown eggs. It’s going to take about 3 weeks before I can get them and I know one thing for sure, they are not going to get too close to any waterer this time!! 

Now it’s bed time and the upcoming week is in front of us. I know that Daryl started to clean out the cow yards and will want to continue with that if the weather holds out. DSCN9643But for me? Well, I’m not sure what’s all in store for me just yet. I got quite a bit of the laundry all washed and dried today and now it’s time to get the church towels folded and hit the hay. DSCN9671

The photo of the day is one that I took this weekend of Giggles. He is pretty darn cute! 





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Today is the day – St. Patrick’s Stew

Alright – the sun is shining and it’s going to be a great day to go out and get some stew. Well anyway, that’s what I’m hoping for! The basement is ready and the stew is simmering, so now we just have to do some final things in the kitchen and wait.

There is one thing about helping with a community activity that is going on and that is that there are always people to help if you need it. We had so many great volunteers to help and even some from a neighboring town! Seriously, how cool is that? With so many people on board to try to make this meal a success, how can it not be?

The stew was awesome once again and were happy with the crowd that showed up to enjoy the night with us. DSCN9657Not only was the food really good, the hall looked great and the band was really fun.

The Guilty Kilts Band

The Guilty Kilts Band

But now it’s great to check this off the ‘to do list’ for the year and see what’s coming up next on the calendar :)

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Getting ready for stew

I’ve been busy these past couple of days with an upcoming Irish Stew supper that our town is hosting. It was one of those deals when I said that I could help, and just as fast as that came out of my mouth I found myself setting up the workers list and making sure that we have all the food.

So is it so bad? No, not at all. The towns Irish Fest Committee works really hard and it’s just one way that I can help them with all the stuff that they got going on.  And this meal is a good thing for not only our the town’s Irish Committee, but it’s also good to host it in our church. I’m a big believer that if you don’t use stuff… when it just kinda goes bad. And our church basement isn’t used all that often, so it’s kind of a win/win thing going on.

Like I said, these past couple of days have been busy and that means spending time cutting up potatoes and making a video of the pictures from the past years festivals, to name just a few things. The biggest challenge with any meal is to guess how many to serve.  So with the best guess that we can do for food- it’s Friday and the stew is almost ready and the basement is all set up. DSCN9648Now to just wait for the guests to come and enjoy some great homemade Irish Stew that the chef made and also some fun Irish music to go along with it! We’re ready!DSCN9646

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Mystery Photo 3-11-15

Now to put on your thinking caps. Here is this weeks Mystery Photo ChallengeDSCN9641


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Mystery Photo 3-5-15 results

And the winner of this Mystery Photo goes to…. Gene!

Here was the clueDSCN9619

And here is what it actually was. It’s the glass part of an old lightning rod for the barn. Great Job Gene!! DSCN9617

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Warm weather is here!

I’ve been talking that Spring has finally arrived at the farm and let’s just say that it’s not a minute too soon! It’s so nice to go outside that you actually want to be out there! I mean the sun was shining today and it just seems like people (and animals) all are in a much better mood!

So I went out hunting for my next photo challenge this week with my camera and had to stop and check out the chickens. Now I wanted to check them out not because they were naughty or doing something dumb, but just to see what they were doing. And guess what I found out? Well, they really weren’t doing much other than trying to figure out just what in the heck I was doing! So here’s a picture of Duff just kinda hanging out in the spring mud.

Even the chickens were enjoying the warm mud today!

Even the chickens were enjoying the warm mud today!

Next I checked out the trees to see how they were doing. And just like the rest of the farm – the small little leaves are just starting to form in the warm spring sunshine. It always so encouraging to see leaves starting in the spring. I’m not sure why this makes me smile, but it does.

Our red maple tree that we call the 'Grandpa Franzen tree'

Our red maple tree just starting to take leaves.  We call this tree the ‘Grandpa Franzen tree’ after my Dad. 

I was talking to someone the other day and they were so negative about, well just about everything I think! They were talking about the weather and saying things like, ‘I sure hope it doesn’t flood’ and ‘You know that it might snow again and then we’ll be sorry’. Yikes! First of all, we call these people Downer Debbies. (sorry if you’re name is Debbie!) The reason is because on Saturday Night Live they do a skit where this one girl talks just like the person that I mentioned and pretty much nothing is any good.

Now sure we might get some flooding. Heck we didn’t even get a spring rain to clean anything off yet. And sure we are probably going to get one last snow storm, but it won’t last long!

So just get over it right? Wow, I sure would hate to see this person when things got really bad! But guess what? It’s an absolutely beautiful spring day outside and I think I’m going to stay away from this person for at least a couple of months!

Now I’ve got the biggest clue of all that we’re getting ready for Spring. We were out and about the other day and when we came home kinda late, we stopped at the mailbox to get the mail. Daryl said something on the line like ‘Holy Cow, the mailbox is so full!” Once we got the pile, and it was literally a pile of mail in the house I just had to laugh. There was a huge catalog of farm machinery. There was another catalog of seed corn. There was a postcard for our local Coop spring supper coming up. And there was a catalog that was titled Country Life. And finally there was a Successful Farmer catalog. OK, see what I mean? I’m guessing others are also getting the spring fever. But as I stood and looked at the catalogs, the only one that I thought looked even somewhat interesting was the Country Life magazine, and that’s only because it had some cute ducks on the cover! But for Daryl? Well I think Daryl looked like he died and went to Hog Heaven! He looked over all the mail really close and chose just the best one to start his reading tonight. Now which one was it? I have no clue – but lucky me! He left the duck one on the counter :) Happy Spring!!


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Spring is in the air

It was nice today. No.. it was really nice today! The temperature actually got up to the lower 50 degrees and it was sunny! I saw a saying the other day that made me smile mostly because it was so true! The saying said that you know that you live in Iowa when the weather finally gets to 40 degrees and you can leave your coat at home!  How true is that! Like I said it was in the 50′s today and after work and I saw more than one pair of shorts on the street in town today. 

As for us? Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE that winter is almost over, but after saying that you have to take some bad with the good. The bad part of the spring thaw is that the roads get so ‘greasy’. If you are not familiar with that word – you might have never driven on this type of road either.

When you hear someone say that the road is greasy, well it means that when you’re driving down the gravel road you really have to be watching and careful the whole time. Because if you’re not – well you could very well get pulled over to the ditch and possibly even go into the ditch with your car. Why? The frost is starting to come out and it makes the road .. well greasy. And when your driving on it the road kind of sucks you where ever it wants to take you and in most cases – it’s going to be the ditch. And once you’re going, you just have to hope that your car is going to stop .. like soon! This is kind of a season of it’s own in the country and it normally doesn’t last too long. It’s all part of the spring thaw. Soon the roads will be good and the next thing that we’ll all complain about it how dusty they are!

With the warm weather another spring tradition happens on our farm. The chickens get their chicken coop door open and they’re free! It’s always funny to watch them for the first time of the season and especially the new 5 little chickens from last year. This is the first time that they’ve been out in the yard since they came to our farm, and I had to laugh how they acted. Most of them did a good job just checking everything out and soon was kind of running around. But the little chicken that I call ‘The Mayor’ wasn’t sure at all what was going on. The Mayor was so used to bossing the other little chickens around and because he was so fast and little, for some reason they let him. But now in the open farm yard – well he was not looking so tough. He just stood by my feet for most of the time that I was outside and I don’t think he liked being out in the fresh air one bit! Once the sun went down,  the chickens all did a good job going back into the coop for the night. Then Daryl went out and shut the door back up to keep them safe. We sometimes get fox or other animals visiting us during the night and well that’s a fast way to thin down the chicken population if they’re not locked up. Here’s a picture of some of them that I quick snapped when they were checking out the dirt and seeing Sam the Peacock again. The rest of our chickens decided to head for the cow yard to see if there is any fresh ground corn on the ground that the cows didn’t eat. It’s funny because it’s been maybe 3 to 4 months since they got locked up and once the door opened – these chickens shot across the yard like they were in the Olympics. Have you ever seen a group of 10 chickens running as fast as they could? Believe me … it’s hilarious!! DSCN9629

But the best part of the day is when the door bell rang and it was Mom carrying a big pan of homemade beef noodle soup! AWESOME!! I’m not sure what I did to deserve a delivery of homemade soup – but hey I’ll take it. 

And the photo of the day? Well it’s a good representation of how our dogs also like the nice warm weather. It’s just too bad that their days of coming into our living room are pretty much nonexistent for awhile!

Happy Dogs!

Happy Dogs!  Dirty yes, but happy!!

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Day Light Savings Time

OK, so I’m going to try to write this post and not be too crabby while I’m writing it. What would make me say such a thing? Well let me give you a hint – Day Light Savings Time.

Now you can argue that it saves money in oil consumption and also electricity in homes, but for me? Well I can hardly see the benefit. I mean, there are some of us who are very comfortable with being on time schedules and being able to wake up about 10 minutes before the alarm goes off, only to wait blissfully in bed with the covers pulled up over your head until it actually does go off. Now we have to adjust to this new time schedule and well honestly.. I just don’t like it.

I’ve read a lot this afternoon on the pros and cons of Day Light Savings Time and there is a lot of controversy on it. Some claim that in the first 3 weeks when your body is trying to adjust, car accidents go up, there is more of a chance to have a heart attack, increase in work accidents, and more headaches. OK, I’m thinking that these statistics really depends if you like or don’t like the time change. Now the others who like the change claim that with it being light out longer in the afternoon we’re more productive and it saves energy.

Well as for me? I guess there’s not much that I can do about it except start changing all the clocks that we have in the house. I think I counted around ten.DSCN9625

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Working in the house and then Road Trip with Daryl!

With Daryl gone all week, there is one thing that I have to do today. And guess what that is? Well if you guessed that I have to wash a couple of dog blankets – then you guessed right!

I had a pretty good routine down this past week. I would get home from work, change clothes, feed the cows and feed the chickens, hang out by the nipco heater for awhile with the dogs and cats, and then off to the house we all would go. All I had to do was to open the french doors and the dogs soon found their spots on the living room floor. Now the only trouble that I had was the kitties also followed me to the house and well… they didn’t get at night at all. But they did get in the morning before work, so it wasn’t all unfair.

Now of course as the night would go on and I’d be in the kitchen, I’d have my visitors sneaking into the kitchen looking for some ham or cheese. I guess they wanted a small snack to tide them over too. So today the blankets are in the washing machine and the dogs don’t even seem to mind playing outside. The weather is warming up pretty nice!

Other things today? I was in the kitchen making some ham and potato soup for dinner so I decided that I wanted to try to make a roasted red pepper hummus for next week’s lunches. Hummus is really a good alternative to other sandwich spreads, so I thought I should be able to do this! First things first, I needed to roast my peppers. The first thing that I did was to get rid of the skin. Now I’ve never really done this before, but I’ve seen it like a bazillion times on the cooking shows. I took the peppers and put them under the broiler until they started to turn black. I think it turned out OK and the skin did just peel off like their’s did.

They look bad, but that's how they're supposed to look

They look bad, but that’s how they’re supposed to look

So the next thing was to roast them and into the oven they go after they were cut up and had a  little olive oil added to them. And in no time they were smelling great! I kind of made up the recipe as I was going (only because I was too lazy to find the real recipe!) but it didn’t taste too bad. I saw on one of the containers in the Health Food Store that they added celery powder. Now I couldn’t find any of the celery powder to buy, but I bought celery seeds the other day and was able to use my new handy dandy coffee/spice grinder to see if I could get some powder.  SCORE! It worked pretty good. Now I have no idea what the celery powder tasted like because I just dumped it into the mixture, but it was a pretty good excuse to try out the grinder.

Roasted red pepper hummus.

Roasted red pepper hummus.

Other things that got done today was to work a couple of hours on catching up on some paperwork, ordered some more soap stuff (shhhh) and then made a couple of cards that I really should have done earlier this week. Both of them are Thank You cards .DSCN9622DSCN9624

And now for the rest of the night, Daryl and I are going on a road trip to look at cars for William, pick up a couple of gift certificates at some local restaurants (to put in the one Thank You card) and then try out this restaurant that we’ve never been to before.

All in all it’s a really great Saturday!

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