I just knew…

I just knew that there was something wrong with No Ears. 

Now I don’t know if it’s a gut feel or more of a Mom’s instinct when someone is sick, but when I saw No Ears yesterday I just knew that there was something very wrong with her. 

So when I woke up this morning I was anxious to hear if she came up for the morning feed. Well no news during the morning on what was going on so I beat it home on my lunch hour only to find the local Vet truck sitting up by our shed. WHAT!! 

OK, don’t panic. But instantly my stomach started to churn and then the two Vets came around the corner of our back grove with smiles on their faces. OK, now I’m confused. Was  No Ears sick? If so, is this seriously something to smile about? I’m guessing that it’s NOT. 

But trying to act cool, I said something like, ‘hey what’s going on?’ 

They proceeded to say that No Ears had a baby girl calf and the calf is fine. They also said that No Ears had milk fever before she delivered the calf, so when they got to our farm they decided to help the mom by pulling the calf. No Ears water was broke anyway, and with her fever and not feeling so well, it was in the best interest of both of them. 

OK, that all sounds good with the exception of the milk fever comment. They said she couldn’t get up so they gave her some calcium and if she isn’t up later tonight to call in the morning. Well the air temperature dropped to around mid 70’s so that was good. See No Ears was up in the pasture just hugging the fence line and was exposed to whatever the day was going to bring for weather. 

It was one of those afternoons when the clock couldn’t move fast enough. I was really busy which helped, but when it was time to leave – I was out of there and heading north to our farm. 

And wouldn’t you just know it the temperature now is around 90 degrees and very hot! I just got done giving No Ears some water when the Vets came back again and gave her more calcium and some sugar water to drink. Well of course I just watered her so she wasn’t thirsty but she was very hot! Daryl rigged up a tarp for over her and with a storm brewing it was keeping the sun and hopefully the storm off of her and the calf. See No Ears still hasn’t gotten up yet. 

So instead of standing there just looking at No Ears, I decided to go to the house and get somethings done. We weren’t supposed to try to get her up until later tonight so all I could do was to wait. Yea, I’m not so good at that! 

Well the storm did come. We had gotten black skies and lightening. Well the wind picked up and because it was literally almost a white out with the rain, I decided for some reason to go check on the cows. OK, now hindsight not the smartest thing to do I agree. But it made sense at the time and I went looking for a hooded sweatshirt. When I couldn’t find one, I grabbed a garbage bag and ripped it in half and used it as a tarp on top of me. 

Off I went to the pasture and when I got about half way there my hair was standing up on my arms and the back of my neck with the lightening so I ran quick saw that the tarp was off the cows, knew that I couldn’t do anything about it, and ran back to the house. Yup, not my smartest move of the day or maybe even of the year to be honest. 

And to say that I was wet was an understatement. 

But once the storm blew over and we got over an inch of rain, Daryl and I headed back up to check on No Ears. 

We milked No Ears while she was laying so the calf would have the first good milk in his belly and after talking a little bit with No Ears she got up! It was a good day after all!! 

So here is my first picture of No Ears and her new little calf Lucy.  I’m sure there will be more pictures to come in the next few days :)20160804_192351_resized

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Just hanging out on the farm

It was hot today and when I got home I thought I’d better check in with everybody. It seems like forever since I spent time with the farm animals and well tonight I took the time. 

Daryl was baling straw late this afternoon, so I was pretty pumped that we would actually get some straw bales to use in the chicken coop. But no such luck, he made them into round bales instead. But he did bring home a little scrub bale that I can use to bed the chickens. 20160803_202956_resizedAnd that’s exactly what I did. The only bad part of having this bale in the shed is that I’ve caught the chickens just ripping it apart and making a mess in the shed… and well all through the yard to be honest. I’m sure that this won’t be staying here long!

 Now I have no idea if the chickens will like the new bedding that I put in the coop tonight because my chickens really don’t handle change very well. Can you see it in their faces? :)20160803_203539_resized20160803_203615_resized

What I wanted to do with the straw was to bed down their boxes so they would have a place to lay their eggs on a nice soft spot. 20160803_203352_resizedI guess we’ll see how well they do by tomorrow if they like it or not. 

While I was in the coop I could see that the garden had some nice red cherry tomatoes to be picked. And guess who LOVES cherry tomatoes? If you guessed the chickens you were right! 20160803_203858_resized

Next on my list was to see how the cows were doing. Even though the apples on our trees are really small – the cows don’t care. They are almost like little appetizers for them. I literally was laughing out loud in the cow yard because Scarlet wouldn’t leave me alone and is totally obsessed with these apples. She is like a cow on crack – other than the crack part is really just apples. I tried to get a picture of the cows, but they kept licking me and I was getting pretty slimed before it was all over so I gave up on trying to get a good photo op of them. 

I was a little concerned tonight why No Ears wouldn’t come by me though. This is so not like her and she has me a little worried. I hope I’m not being over dramatic about the situation. 

And finally after giving the dogs a good belly rubbing and a huge hunk of summer sausage to each of them, I spent the rest of the night watering the flowers. And while I was out there, right behind where our windmill is, I could see the space station going across the sky. 

So now it was time for bed and while I was trying to get to sleep I mentioned to Daryl that No Ears acted kinda funny tonight and I wasn’t sure what was going on. Then he mentioned that he thought that she acted kinda funny these past couple of days. WHAT?? And now you think I’m going to get any sleep? I’ll check on her in the morning but until then – it’s going to be a very long night!

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Laundry Day

Well it’s a no brainer that I have to do some laundry after my bike ride and honestly it’s pretty easy to know what should get washed. 

Everything needs to be washed!

Even my shoes – for some reason they smelled pretty bad! So I soaked them in the shower with a bunch of soap and disinfectant. shoesIt’ll have to do for now. They are on the table on the porch drying and I sure hope that I remember to take them in before the dogs find them. For some reason they steal shoes a lot and we end up finding them all over the yard. 

It’s a good thing that I like to do laundry and was able to have all my bike stuff hung out on the clothes line! laundry

And now that the clothes are dry and all organized and put away until next year :)

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Another one for the books

Well I’m back :) 

And I had tons of fun once again on the annual bike ride across Iowa that I go on. I was a little worried how the weather was going to be for the week because we’ve been getting quite a bit of rain and on the day that we left, well it was pretty wet! In the 33 years that we lived on the farm I don’t ever remember the pasture by the windmill ever flooding before. Well until now! And check out our driveway. Or should I saw river!rain

But with the bikes safely stored inside my brother’s enclosed trailer that we take, and my stuff was all packed, I was off for another adventure.Ragbrai box

We were lucky again this year to find housing to stay in and let me just tell you that this is a wonderful thing. There is always a very good chance that a storm will blow through and we’ve been literally stuck in our tent with us trying to hold it down. Only to find ourselves being pushed to the ground and then sucked back up again with the storm hitting our tent. Yea, so not cool! But that year there were others that literally got caught in their tents during the night and because the tent stakes let loose, the tents started rolling through the campground with people in them. Now even though this is not funny – it would be a sight to see don’t you think?

So like I said we’ve had the chance to stay now in housing for the past 7ish years and it’s great! We don’t really ask for anything other than someplace to throw down a sleeping bag and hopefully use their bathroom. Now sometimes we know the people, but honestly most of the time when we pull up to their house after a day of riding it’s the first time that we meet them. And everyone of the places that we’ve stayed are the most gracious people you can ever meet. We usually spend the time sitting around with them and visiting for quite some time. They always feel obligated to feed us – must be a midwestern thing or something. But heck, I’m not complaining!

The first couple of days of the bicycle ride was pretty hilly, but as the week went on it was much better. One of the best things about the ride is that you can literally see some of your friends once a year on the ride and it’s just like you’ve seen them yesterday. You pick up the conversation from the last time you saw them and it’s awesome.

As far as training? I had to laugh when I overheard someone saying that they only were able to get around 400 miles in for training. Yup, I got around 55 miles in!

But to me there is no other feeling than when you start out in the morning and the person beside you is playing Led Zeppelin and the next person up the road has some Rockabilly music just blaring. You just know that it’s going to be a great day to ride your bicycle. All you have to worry about it getting to the last town for the night. Oh yea and flat tires. I did have two flat tires this year which is my worst nightmare! My brother helped me with my first one because he wasn’t too far away from where it happened and then an Air Force person helped the second time. I was so worried that these two flats happened the first two days that this is how the ride was going to go – but they were the only two flat tires that I had all week. Whew!

And for food/drinks there are a LOT of opportunities to pick what you would like along the way, but we usually started the days with Ma’s bars that she sent along for us. I mean how can you resist those bars and some Gatorade to get you going?

Now don’t get me wrong – this week wasn’t all about riding bicycles.

There were naps to be taken napand concerts to go to – Rick Springfield played one night and in every town there were different bands

rickwe had a couple of stops along the way with refreshments with hundreds of your closest friends :)party peopleand plenty of pie to be eatenpie

There was also many other food vendors along the way. I liked how these pizza guys were just cranking out the food. Not only were they fast but the pizza was excellent! One thing that you will do on this ride is to learn fast was that a food truck or street vendor was your best friend. pizza

One day we had double rainbows over the town when we got in rainbowand we saw Iowa’s oldest longest running movie theater movie

You also have to be creative when there are so many bicycles out in a spot, so the corn rows made perfect bike racks bikes

The Bad Boys were out again this year with their insane bicycles. They have a full bar and a barbecue on their bicycles. Man I just have trouble with myself for the heavy weight, I couldn’t imagine how heavy these bicycles weighed! bad boys

After 7 days on the back of the bicycle and around 500 miles, it was time finally come down to the river and dunk our tires to end the ride. See you dunk your tires on the west side of Iowa and once you reach the east side of Iowa you dunk your tires again. Now to put this ride down in the books as a really fun ride. See this ride isn’t all about just being on your bicycle, it’s about meeting up with your friends for a week and having a great time while you are together.

I’ve had a chance to ride my bicycle the past 17 years on this ride and hopefully there is still more years to come! bonnie

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Getting organized

It’s that time of the year again when we gather up our bike shorts and suntan lotion and head to the west side of Iowa for an annual bike ride. Our group is pretty much the same but this year Daryl won’t be able to go :(

With the weather absolutely horrible these past few days (heat index around 113 F), it’s for sure not weather that you want to be climbing the hills with your bicycle with. I mean I am always at the end of the pack and when you throw in some heat and hills – well you might as well add some headwind! OK, I’m really not hoping for this combination. 

BUT after saying that – it’s awesome that it’s this terrible heat wave is this week and maybe it’ll get it out of it’s system by next weekend. 

So you would think that I’ve been riding my bike a lot and really prepared and organized right? Yea, not so much! I haven’t been home much because of traveling for work – so who knows how this upcoming week will turn out! But my bags are pretty much packed and just a few more things to do tonight and off to bed I go. I’ve got a busy week coming up. (now seriously is there ever a time when it’s not busy?) 

Ragbrai box

Wish me luck and I’ll catch up with you when I get back home! 

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Chicago here I come

Well I’m off to Chicago for 4 days for work so I’ll catch up with you when I get back!

Have a great weekend!

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Save the tomatoes!

I stood in front of our garden tonight and thought to myself if I really wanted to tackle the weeds that have grown like crazy these last couple of days… weeks, or not?  

Well, I really wanted to have some tomatoes this year to can and I also wanted to see how the celery and peppers were going to turn out – so I guess that answered my question and I went in. 

Now was it fun? No! I filled up a small trailer that we pull behind the lawn mower and called it a night. I rescued the tomato plants and some other things in the garden and that was about all I was going to do for now. 

With the hot weather coming this week, I’m kinda wondering how the plants are going to react to it. I mean with some of the weeds as tall as some of the plants, they kinda shaded them. Oh well, too late now! 


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This post is about lavender – both my soap and the flower.

It was pretty coincidental that when I stopped in at my sisters after work tonight,  that she asked if I wanted some lavender to take home for my soap. Little did she know that I was brewing up a batch as we spoke of just that – lavender soap. 

Well I’m not that crazy to say no, so I said absolutely! With a baggie full of the fresh cut flowers, back home I went with my car smelling absolutely awesome! 

Now what should I be doing with them? I debated if I should hang them or dehydrate them. I decided on dehydrating them and so for now they’re cooking in our cellar. And guess what? Instead of our cellar smelling like beef jerky when I’ve got the dehydrator going, it’s smelling pretty floral down there! Yup, whoever said that change isn’t good :) 

Judys lavender

And for my soap? Well this was the first batch that I’ve made with my new soap containers and at first I wasn’t just sure what I was thinking about them. They are a little smaller than I was thinking they would be, but after I used them on my lavender soap and took a second look at how they came out – I’m digging the new equipment. 

Now to get on the stick and make a bunch more soap. We’ve got a busy July (surprise surprise !) but with another trade show coming up in September, I seriously don’t want to pull a couple of the all nighters that I did with the last trade show to get ready.

So for the photo of the day I’m sharing a picture of my lavender soap. With each change of color of the soap means that I added a new layer to the bar. lavender soap

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And how does your corn grow?

Check out Daryl’s corn. 

If you remember just one week ago we took this picture on the 4th of July Daryl in corn fieldand tonight when we were on the other farm I took this picture.DSC_0724 You can almost hear it growing! 

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Things you find in the yard

Late last night our dogs just starting barking like crazy and then they did what normal dogs would do. They tore off through the yard chasing something. They were peacefully laying on the porch and at first it looked like it might be a ploy not to have to get locked up for the night. But it was such a funny bark that I knew something was very wrong. 

And wrong it was! 

We still don’t know what they really were barking at, but we did find whatever they were chasing was probably doing. What we found was left of a peahen!!!!!! 

My stomach just hurt. See we know that we have fox in the area and my guess is that a fox caught this peahen and killed it. Now I don’t know how in the world he could have caught her because peacocks are very very tough! They are so strong that you better make sure you know what you’re doing if you really want to catch one. 

Now it just didn’t make sense why our peahen (Sally) would have gotten caught. But it definitely was a peahen. My only hope was that there was a strange peahen in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and maybe, just maybe, it was that one. Now that would be a long shot don’t you think? But it was the only thing that I could think of when I was laying awake in bed for the long hours after I should have been asleep. 

So tonight I asked Daryl if he saw the peacocks and he said that he didn’t really see them today at all. OH NO!! Maybe the bones and a few wings left from the one in our yard actually was Sally! 

Well tonight I went looking for her myself and guess what? I found her! She was hanging out with the cows in the yard and it seems like Sassy and Audrey were keeping on eye out for her. DSC_0737

I just laughed out loud tonight when I was trying to take this picture because both Scarlet and No Ears thought that I was only in the cow yard to give them treats or something. Now normally that’s a true statement, but for tonight I was just trying to snap a picture. And when I stepped back so they wouldn’t keep trying to lick the camera and my face, well Scarlet could still reach me and she started to lick my legs!

I think I’ll buy them some apples tomorrow. 

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