Hanging out with the Amish

My Mom always says that she swears that I could fit into the Amish community and well I guess that could be true. I mean I seriously love hanging out in their shops and it seems like you get a peaceful feeling when you see how they enjoy a much more simple life.

So when it was time to start thinking about picking up some chocolate for Christmas baking, I knew exactly where I was going. I was going to the Amish.

And was I disappointed? No way! I got to hang out and spend some time with the elderly gentleman who was in the bulk store that I was in. We talked about making candy how his wife used to do it, and now that she’s gone he’s doing it the same way that she used to. I mean how sweet is that? Well I smiled at him and thanked him for helping me and after he put my boxes of chocolate and pecans into the car, it was time now to head back to our farm.

I soon realized that it was time for school to be out and I found out that all kids are made the same. When I was coming down the gravel road I could see a buggy turning the corner and it was coming in hot. What happened it that there were two young Amish kids in the horse pulled buggy and they were almost on two wheels on the buggy as they turned the corner. You could see that they were just laughing and having the best time ever! Yup, all kids no matter where they grow up are just the same!

As I made my way up the street, I could see a lot of groups of kids with their lunch pails and their books  with them under their arms making their way home.And do you know what caught my eye? Even though the temperature was very cold and the wind was fullsizeoutput_903pretty raw, almost every kid that I met was laughing and smiling even though their faces were pink with the cold wind blowing.

Then up the street  I saw this man pulling a wheel. Now just what do you think he’s going to do with this? He seemed pretty confident so I’m guessing he had a plan. fullsizeoutput_902

Finally when I got home and everything unpacked and all my other groceries organized for my upcoming Christmas candy making – I realized that I still needed some things and  will need to make another trip to the grocery store.20161218_093119_resized Oh well, I got the main ingredient and had a great time at the Amish tonight!

Posted in Candy | 4 Comments

What’s happening?

I bet your wondering what I’ve been doing these past few days. I mean our house is decorated for Christmas and all the lights are up outside on the farm. I’ve also got 3 Christmas trees decorated so it seems like it would be a good time to put on some Christmas movies and kick back right? 

Well, not so much. 

I’ve been very fortunate to be very busy this month with soap sales and I’m loving it! I went into this adventure with not a clue if anyone would even want the soap  – to selling now in 4 stores and starting to take a few orders on line. Pretty scary if you ask me! And when I look back to the beginning of this adventure when I decided that I would do one vendor show, I realize just how far I’ve come. 

Now am I some huge company with multi billion dollar sales? Nope. But I am pleased that people like my soap and for some crazy reason I just love making it! 

So the last couple of days have been spent making Bath Bomb Fizzys20161206_220720_resized

And putting together some orders to be delivered20161207_220737_resized

I even have had some requests for Christmas gift bag’s with both the soap and Bath Bombs in them. 20161212_085215_resized

And even though some nights can be cut a little short because of this hobby  – I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Posted in Soap | Leave a comment

Naughty Dogs

With it being so close to Christmas, I’m not sure what our dogs are thinking. 

This is what we saw the first night we came home20161208_190548_resized

This is what we saw the second night we came home. It’s the bed scattered all around the front yard!20161209_190741_resized

And this is what we saw the third day we came home. Notice all the dog prints around the skunk. Not sure where they killed it or how?20161210_123114_resizedDaryl thinks that they are trying to make up for tearing up their dogs beds and it was supposed to be some type of gift or something. I’m just glad that they didn’t bring the gift up to the house and put it in front of the door! I think I would have died if I opened the door and saw a skunk!

So we had it cremated so it wouldn’t show up again on the farm. It was put into our burn barrel :)

Posted in Our dogs | Leave a comment

Family Christmas – December 3rd

It was an early morning when everything finally was ready for the party today. Just an FYI – when your turkey package says that it’s takes an average of 3 to 4 hours to cook take note the ‘average time’. I have no idea how long one of the two turkeys took to cook, but I was sure glad that that little pop up thing finally gave in. I didn’t want to serve uncooked turkey and possibly make 55 to 60 people sick, but I have to confess I was thinking pretty bad things about these two turkeys in the early morning hours today! 20161129_212840_resized

Now let the party begin! The room is readydscn9154

And now the special guest has arrived. See our family celebrates St. Nicolas day and it’s a great tradition if you ask me. As you’ve probably have noticed over the years, having traditions are really important to me. Now granted sometimes they change and have to adapt to different situations, but still they can be a tradition. For our family we celebrate St. Nicolas Day which is really on December 5th/6th but have changed to having it on a weekend when everyone can make it.

So with around 55 to 60 people in the Roadhouse we had a great party! First was St. Nicolas and all the kids gathered around to share with him their wish list for Christmas. dscn9160Then it was time to eat and with TONS of good food for dinner.  I’m just saying that everyone in our family really knows how to cook. Good for us right?

After everyone’s belly was full it was time for gifts. Everyone brings a gift to share and once your number is called you can either pick a gift or steal a gift. It usually gets pretty loud in there and by this time you can’t even hear the kids in the back playing games and air hockey. There is so much laughing and joking it’s so much fun! dscn9223dscn9213

Well the day had to come to an end and now with all the guests gone, Daryl and I had to head out to the neighbors for a card party. Man I’m thinking that I’m going to be tired tomorrow. And as we are just leaving I take a quick look at the farm and think to myself, What a great day!  fullsizeoutput_8e1


Posted in Family | Leave a comment

Well I just jinxed it! – Friday Dec 2nd

We are getting ready for our company tomorrow and with most of everything done, there one thing that still was on my list and even though it would make sense to forget it – it WAS going to get done.

What I’m talking about was putting the lights on our poles on our porch. See we had the garland up earlier that goes around our porch but there should be lights that are wrapped around each pole. I mean we do it every year and I didn’t plan on not doing it this year. So we got out the lights that we were going to use and when we started to put them up, we found out that we had a couple of strands of the ‘cool lights’ and then some ‘warm lights’. Yup, my good luck just ran out! We (OK, I) didn’t want to mix these lights so off to town to see what we can find. And guess what? We found not a strand we could use in the size that we needed. 

OK, now what? We could put up the mixture of lights that we had, but seriously I’ve come too far to settle. Have you ever been there? I mean when you want to do just about anything to finish it off? Well that’s where I was. I was tired and determined and that can be dangerous. 

Then all of a sudden we had a plan, we found out that the one Hardware store was getting in lights and so I called to see if they did actually get some in. Hooray!!  They did and they were going to be open late tonight and for another hour if we wanted to come and get them.

So with my bag of both warm and cool Christmas lights and the correct size that we needed I was off in a flash. I got into the store and when I showed them the lights they said sure they had some. Well to make a long story short – they didn’t have them because they don’t make that size anymore ! WHAT? No wonder we couldn’t find them… and that’s kind of a dirty trick not to make them anymore isn’t it?

After finding this out, I decided we’d take what ever they had in 6 boxes. We have 6 poles – I need 6 boxes. No problem until we found out that they didn’t have 6 boxes of either one. I think I must have looked a little flustered until they said that they could call some in from their other store and deliver them later that night to town. I decided if I could just get 6 boxes in the morning when they open the store they could be put up before our guests come we’d be good.

That was the plan and it worked! Early in the morning Daryl met the owner before they opened the store and came home with our prized lights. They were put up just in time before our company came and they look great! Whew! Check THAT off my list :)dsc_0918



Posted in Projects completed | Leave a comment

I see lights

My job tonight was to get up some Christmas lights outside. Now normally we don’t turn them on until St. Nicolas day anyway – but with the warm weather that we’ve been having it sure seems that I’ve seen more and more houses and farm that have them turned on early this year. 

So with my totes pulled out of storage from the old calf shed, I finally got myself somewhat fired up and headed outside tonight in the rain to start. Yup, rain. 

Now normally I do this job in the coldest of cold days and with sometimes snow up to my knees. But I think this might be a first that I”m putting our lights up in the rain! 

And the oddest thing happened tonight. Now I know that I’m going to jinx my good luck, but all of my lights worked but one small string. Yea, it’s amazing! I’ve had such bad luck in the past that I’ve literally called the company that made the lights to tell them how bad they were  and they sent me a big box of all new ones. So what did I do different this year than last year? I have absolutely no clue but I sure hope I do it again next year!  

Well  the fence that surrounds our farm is all lit up now and a couple of other things have lights on them, so I’m happy. I kind of wish I could have gotten some lights up on the buildings, but I finished around 10:30 tonight and even I know that climbing up on an extension ladder in the dark to hang lights on buildings isn’t the smartest idea. But if it wasn’t so dark , I’m just saying that I might have gotten them up one way or another! 

So my goal is to get a couple of more lights up on the farm maybe tomorrow night and then start thinking about the two turkeys hanging out in our fridge that need to be roasted for Saturday. I’m a little nervous I won’t lie about making them so I guess we’ll see how they turn out. 

Posted in Projects completed | Leave a comment

Things to do

I’m planning for a very busy week and tonight was all about getting some soap packed up along with some bath fizzy’s made. This is the first year that I’ve made and sold bath fizzys and now that I think of it, it’s the first year that I’ve sold soap too. 

So I had no idea how much I would need and if I would need any to tell the truth. 

Well my business continues to grow which is exciting and like I said tonight was all about getting some soap delivered to some people who was interested in buying some for Christmas. I decided next year I need to have maybe double of what my inventory is this year and I’m just not sure where I’m going to put all that soap? I mean our laundry room is only so big! 

With the busy week coming up, I’m not planning on making any soap this week other than a batch of Grandma’s Lilacs. See I’m not trying to complain or anything… but I made a special batch a couple of months ago and sent it off to one of our friends who doesn’t  live very far away from us. I tried to deliver it to her house and then I finally thought that I would just mail it to her instead. Yea, what a mistake! 

At the same time I also mailed two other boxes to California with soap in it and found out that they were delivered with no issues so I didn’t think twice about the other box. Well it was never delivered! Arrrrgghhh!!! I made this batch of soap especially for our friend and sent her pretty much the whole batch. I can’t remember anytime when I mailed something when it wasn’t delivered. Well up to now that is. 

And yup, you guessed it. My shelf is bare of this type of soap. 

So I’m going to make a batch for her this week so it’ll be done by Christmas and then no other soap making until next week. I’m excited to spend some time getting some Valentines soap done and to replenish my inventory. 

Oh yea, I’ll also be making a bunch more Soap Fizzy’s next week. I think bath fizzy’s would be a great Valentines gift don’t you? 

Other than working on soap stuff, we had a special guest tonight on the farm, check it out20161129_164402_resized

It’s Mom 

She packed her car and my brother also filled up his pickup with gifts for this coming weekend and brought them over tonight. I laughed when I saw this picture because with her red coat on it reminded me of Santa Claus :) It’s kind of fitting if you ask me.

Posted in Family, Soap | 2 Comments

The weekend is over

What a great weekend we had! 

We spent some of the time with family, we spent some of the time cleaning, and we even spent some of the time doing nothing at all. 

Our list is long not only for what needed to get done this weekend but also for the upcoming week, so I knew that we had to stay focused and on definitely stay on track. But guess what? Well around 4:00 this afternoon I simply ran out of gas and had absolutely no interest in starting another project. 

And then guess what? I decided to take a Sunday afternoon nap. It was wonderful! I literally just hung out my the fireplace and stopped listening to the rainy and windy weather outside.  I told Daryl that sometimes people say that they spent their Sunday afternoon watching movies or taking a nap and up until now I just never could understand that thought. It ‘s wonderful!

But now that it’s almost time to call it a night and hit the hay,  I’m also getting prepared for the upcoming week and making my list of things to do. Yea,  I’m thinking that maybe that nap idea today wasn’t such a good idea after all after taking a look at my list.

It’s times like this when I sure wish I didn’t give up Diet Coke!

Posted in Projects completed | Leave a comment

One of my favorite places at Christmas time

I was lucky to have today off from my job in town, so I decided to head over to the local tree nursery to pick up some garland for our house. We like to add it to our porch every year for the Christmas season and I like to get it from this one specific nursery. 

With the back of the truck somewhat cleaned out, I was ready to see if they got my order ready. I had called it in this morning to them, and usually they need about 20 minutes to get it done –  so I was pretty sure that it was waiting for me. 

And when I pulled up to the nursery  I could see a bundle sitting on the ground and sure enough – it had my name on it. It probably was done for a couple of hours to be honest. 

Well you can’t just go to this business without spending some time talking to to the owner, so I went to the front door to see if someone was around. I mean the parking lot was packed, so someone should be here right? 

Once I opened the door and stepped inside I knew exactly why I love this place. You are greeted by an overwhelming aroma of fresh cut Christmas trees and it is just so awesome. There are trees drying because they just were flocked with a white coating that looks like it just literally snowed on them, humungous wreaths that seemed like they were 10 or 12 feet big waiting to be picked up, two ladies in the corner just busy as all get out making smaller wreaths, and a family in the back picking out a Christmas tree. 

As I was just standing there soaking it all in, I heard someone ask if I needed anything else. Well, it sure seemed like a good time to look at a tree. So I headed to the back of the shop and I found one that fit the bill. I didn’t think I was going to look for a tree today, but check it off my list to do later this week. 

And I normally need a couple of pieces of extra greenery for something at Christmas, so I decided to pick up 12 lbs of that too. Hindsight – 12 lbs is kind of a lot :)

Next thing to do was to make my way into the office and pay my bill. The owner was sitting by his big wooden desk that looked like it was put there when this business started many years ago, and his son was on the other side of the room by his big old wooden desk. They are father and son that have been doing this business forever and have a great routine going between them.  The father takes the phone calls with the orders and the son writes up the bills at the end. 

I had a really great visit with the dad talking pretty much about everything. From marriage, to farmers, to Bohemian cooks! And as we were talking, I couldn’t help to notice the 50 lb. bag of salted peanuts beside me. The dad said that his son orders them every year and to make sure to take some. 

Well it was about time to head home, so I paid my bill and headed back to our farm. I found myself thinking about the friendly smile on the owners face and the peanut shells all over the floor,  I thought about all the people working hard on the trees and the Christmas wreaths, and especailly how can you forget that great smell! Yup, I love this place. 

And this is what the back of the truck looked like the next morning when it needed to be unpacked20161126_075339_resized

And you’ll never guess what was in my pocket!20161127_094242_resized

Posted in Community, Places to visit | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! 

It’s kind of a forgotten Holiday isn’t it? I mean we go from The 4th of July straight to Christmas and throw in a couple of weeks of Halloween in between. It’s the time most remembered by if you’re lucky you have a 4 day weekend to spend getting ready for… Christmas!  

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m really not that big of a Thanksgiving person. But maybe as I’m getting older I think that a lot of people are. I mean they spend a lot of time cooking and baking so everyone can enjoy the good times around their dining room table or in most cases around the farm kitchen table. Then when everyone has gone back for that second piece of pie, the tables are then cleared off and a good game of Euchre is on it’s way. The room is filled to the brim with laughter, teasing, and of course there is some harassment going on and everyone sure is having a great time. 

So when it’s time to head back to the farm and to get our chores done it never fails, everyone was looking in the fridge for something good to eat. And man were they disappointed! What was in there? Well not much except for some leftover green bean casserole from dinner.



Posted in Family | 2 Comments