Mystery Photo 11-26-14

Now even thought this photo might be a little hard to figure out, it’s part of a piece of equipment that played a very important part of our lives when Daryl and I started farming.

Can you guess what this is? DSC_0341a

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Mystery Photo 11-19-14 results

Awesome job if you guessed that this DSC_0328a

is actually this!DSC_0328 It’s a knipco heater that we use on the farm to not only thaw the tractors out in the winter, but also to thaw us out when we’re doing chores!

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Living the Hippie Life

Now honestly - – what is the difference between a Hippie and someone who is maybe a little old fashioned? Probably not too much right? Well I never really thought of myself as maybe living on the edge of being maybe somewhat of a Hippie until tonight. What happened was this….

I was busy in the kitchen after work setting up for my next project of soap. Now I don’t like making soap – I LOVE it! Maybe it’s a phase that I’m going through or something, who knows but man I’m really digging it!! So tonight I got my things organized and was feeling pretty smug that my first batch actually worked and was curing behind me as I was starting this next batch up.

Getting ready for the second batch of soap

Getting ready for the second batch of soap

This batch was going to be Lavender & Orange scented with Lavender flowers in it. Yea, pretty cool right? Well I got my things organized and my oil melted and I found myself thinking that this batch was even easier to put together than the first batch. We’ll see how it all turns out tomorrow.  But when it was all done it looked like it was supposed to, so score for me right? The only thing that I did different this time was not to fill the mold completely full and put some in a box that was lined with parchment paper. Now I don’t know if this second box is actually going to work or not – but I also didn’t want to throw it away.

I found an old box to put the leftovers in it. I'm hoping that this will work

I found an old box to put the leftovers in it. I’m hoping that this will work

And do you know the best part? My kitchen smelled AWESOME! It had both an orange and lavender smell that wasn’t too strong, but still strong enough that you could smell it. After I put both containers under the blanket to keep them warm for 24 hours, I was thinking about what my next soap should be.

The soap has to stay warm to cure for 24 hours

The soap has to stay warm to cure for 24 hours

I was talking to Daryl and told him that the next soap that I should make is a lemon grass one. I had bought the lemon grass at the Food Co-op, so it was just a matter of figuring out what recipe I should use. When I said that I had bought the lemon grass he looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. He said that he had never heard of that before and honestly when he heard the words “lemon grass” he thought it was something that you should go to the ‘Farmer’s Coop’ for and pickup some Roundup to get rid of. That’s pretty funny!

So with the soap curing in the laundry room, I was trying to figure out what I should do next. Then I had a great idea. OK, maybe not everyone would think that this is such a great idea but I did! I’ve been on this coconut oil kick lately and have been using it not only in the soaps, but also as a lotion for dry skin. It works really good for that other than it’s kind of hard to get out of the container and not the most user friendly. You have to break it up either with a butter knife or your finger nails. Since I don’t really have the longest nails, I always reach for the butter knife. So I got out my Kitchen Aide Mixer tonight and literally whipped up a batch of coconut moisturizer.DSCN9183 And I’m sure you’re wondering how this whole thing turned out right? I mean it’s probably not the most common thing to do on a week night.. or maybe any night right?  Well I’m happy to say that it worked! (yea, I’m even kinda shocked at this!) So now I’ve got a jar of whipped body oil just waiting to be used. I’m sure you can put in some essential oils to make it smell even better – but for tonight it’s going to be in the raw stage. DSCN9184

Now going back to the original question – does making your own soap and lotion make you old fashioned or a hippie? I know that I’m OK with either answer to be totally honest. My Grandma was the furthest from being a hippie and  I think she would be kind of proud to know that I was making soap. She might not really know just exactly why I’m doing it, but I think she would be proud!

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Out Visiting

I had scheduled some time to visit someone in the Assisted Living Home tonight after work. She’s been helping me with a couple of projects that I’ve been working on and it’s been great! Not only has she given me some family history that I don’t have, she really has a funny sense of humor! But the coolest thing that she had was this one toy drawer. We were having a conversation about the old times and some history and then she stared to talk about an article that was wrote about her a couple of years ago, along with a display that was set up. The article & display was about how her and her husband made toys every year for at least 25 years for all the grandchildren. Now I’m not talking one or two kids – I think she said that they had to make 16 toys every year! The toys were all wooden and all of them did something. Like one was a monkey that would swing on a bar when you pinched the sides together and another one was a bunch of chickens eating when you twirled the hand held toy. Now there’s no way that I can explain just how cool these toys were to anyone. She showed me them the first visit that we had together and I just couldn’t get them off my mind after that! What they would do was her and her husband had to come up with an idea and then make one of the toys up and see if it works. She said that sometimes you would have to do a lot of ‘fixing’ up. Like making what looks like a monkey actually into a boy by sanding and then maybe re-cutting, and finally adding some paint. Once they had a good design, then they were off and mass producing for their grandchildren. The story that was wrote about her was that you really don’t have to go out and buy the most expensive gifts all the time. That maybe some of the ones made with tons of thought and care could be so much better. As for me? Well I’m just glad that I had the chance to see all the things that she made. It was really cool!

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My Christmas To Do List

Even though there are still quite a few things on my Christmas To Do List, I’ve gotten a couple of them checked off these past couple of days. Yea for me!! But… I’ve also got quite a few left. I’m not giving up hope just yet and I’m thinking that I can cross even more off that list by the next weekend.  I guess we’ll have to see just how focused I will be this week. And if I stay away from my show that I’m watching on Netflix :)

As for today, it was kind of a miserable weather day. It was windy (YUCK!) and it also rained on and off for awhile. I wanted to get our porch furniture put away this weekend, but who wants to do that in the rain and wind? Certainly not me! With laundry in the washing machine and sleeping in a little later than normal, it wasn’t the most productive morning around the farm. But in the afternoon I went to visit Mom to see what she was up to. We worked on some things for Christmas that she wanted my help on and then I did a quick stop at my brother’s farm. I beat it back home just in time to Skype with Kyle. Our Skype timing these past weeks just didn’t let us hook up, so it was great that it worked tonight and that we could talk to him.

It was a really good Sunday around the farm. The cows haven’t balled once today because they have the big hay bale, the dogs slept on the front porch most of the day, Daryl was able to read the whole Sunday paper ON the Sunday, I visited Mom, I also stopped in at my brother and sister in laws to drop off some stuff, and William is home for a week. Yup, it was a really good day after all.

The photo of the day is that of the Little Turkey River in Waucoma, Iowa. I crossed over this bridge on my way home this afternoon and when I saw the mist starting on the water,  I turned around to try to capture it in the picture.

Little Turkey River - Waucoma, Iowa

Little Turkey River – Waucoma, Iowa

 

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Andy Williams

We were invited to a wedding today that was about 4 hours away and with the fog lifting this morning, we were relieved that the travel shouldn’t be too bad. There’s been a warm front coming through and with the ground cold and the air warm – well that just makes trouble. But like I said,  this morning it wasn’t too bad. After I got a card made and we packed some overnight bags just in case it got foggy again or if we got too tired to drive home, we were off. DSCN9174 The drive was pretty uneventful and we ended up getting to the town way too early to go the church yet. And just as we were driving through the town,  Daryl mentioned that this is the town that Andy Williams was born in. In the same second that he said that I looked at him thinking – Score! we can go and check that out before the Mass. And also at that same time I could see him kind of scrunching his face and kinda looking like he wish that he might have not wanted to really say that out loud. Too late. But with the town being pretty small in size, this shouldn’t be too hard to find. And just as I was going to Google the address on my phone, the house was literally right in front of our car. Daryl parked the car and down the hill we went to get a picture. It was really windy and I’m sure glad that he’s such a good sport!

Andy Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa

Andy Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa

But even with this little detour we were still too early. So we drove around the streets to find where the reception was going to be at and then ended up downtown.  The town that we were in was Wall Lake Iowa and has around 800 – 900 people living there. It’s really a cool town and not only the houses,  but even the Main Street looks like something that you could have easily seen back in the 50′s. Yup, my kind of a town! But there was also some nice improvements to make it a great stopping point if you’re driving by.  After the wedding and reception we ended up coming home last night and it felt good to be able to sleep in a little bit. As I was thinking on the about the wedding and kind of reliving how the flowers looked and how fun it was to see some of our friends that we haven’t seen for awhile,  I was also thinking that who would have thought that in this little sleepy farm town that someone as famous as Andy Williams was born there. I guess it really doesn’t matter where you get your start from. And for Andy Williams it was in this little house in Wall Lake Iowa.

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Late Chores tonight

Daryl and I got home about the same time tonight and that meant one thing, it meant that chores were going to be late. Normally Daryl will do the chores in the morning and I’ve been doing the chores at night. But tonight when I got home, No Ears was making so much noise because she was hungry – I swear the could hear her in town! The problem is that she stands by the gate and when you drive into the yard and she sees you, she thinks she needs to be fed in at least 30 seconds or less! And she’ll keep mooing until you come and feed her. It can drive me crazy just listening to her because you can even hear her in the house and she won’t stop once she knows your home until she’s fed! Like I said, tonight was a little later than normal for the chores to be done and before the cows could be fed Daryl got the mill out and ground some corn for the cows. And once the fresh corn was given to them, along with a big bale of hay – well they were more than content. Thank Goodness!

Working late grinding feed for the cows

Working late grinding feed for the cows

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Naughty or Nice?

With December just around the corner you could hardly believe that I should be posting such a title right? Well, after I tell my story,  you can decide what the decision should be – Naught or Nice.

In order to tell the story I have to go back a couple of weeks ago to a conversation that Daryl and I had. He was getting the dogs and chicken electric dish waters around to see just what was going to work for the winter and what needed to be replaced. I knew that some of them were in tough shape because I found parts of them in the yard. (good clue right?) But I figured that it seems like every year we buy at least one new one and at one or two of them should work. Well, Daryl said that some of them didn’t work because the dogs chewed off the ends of the cords. At first I thought no big deal, let’s just put some new ends on the cords.But it didn’t turn out that easy. I found out that the dogs chewed the whole cords off!  And then the trouble began. I have been also thinking about what is needed for our outside Christmas decorations and went looking for my ‘good’ extension cords. These are cords that I try to keep even away from Daryl. Otherwise they seem to disappear in the machine shed or cattle shed and it drives me crazy when I’m ready to plug in the lights and I can’t find them. When I was telling Daryl that I wanted to get things organized for Christmas he said that the dogs got a hold of the extension cords and that he didn’t think that I could use them. I wasn’t sure why he just couldn’t put new ends on them – well… until he told me to go in the barn and take a look at what was left of the cords.

This is what I found. A lot of small pieces of the cords. And the worst thing is that I have no idea where the ends are. I’m thinking that maybe Kaiser ate them!

I have no idea on how many different cords this is

I have no idea on how many different cords this is

I know the dogs get bored during the day, and I also know that Kaiser just plain can’t help getting into trouble. But for now? Now they’re both on the naughty list  :(

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Mystery Photo 11-19-14

Let’s see if you can guess this one:

DSC_0328a

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Mystery Photo 11-12-14 results

OK, maybe I made this one a little too hard.

Well here is the picture:DSC_0320a

And the clue was ” If you are not able to see what the picture is telling you then listen close for it’s clue” 

The answer is a shelled ear of corn. Get it – ‘listen close’ …. DSC_0320

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