Finding a treasure

Tonight we found a treasure.  Now the definition of treasure is for sure in the eye of the beholder, but in this case – it was truly a very good find!

It all starts with our cow yard fence that needed to be fixed. We’ve put it off for quite a few years and honestly it was time to replace it. You could kind of see the cows laughing at the gates that have been put up and Ed would just literally push them out of his way if the cows wanted to get through. He’s kind of a ring leader if you haven’t figured that out yet. So Daryl had a whole wagon of fresh lumber from the lumber yard that he picked up after work tonight and that was this weeks task. He wanted to fix the fence and had asked for Kyle’s help with the project.

Working hard to get the job done

Working hard to get the job done

There was some talk at first about putting back in gates or some other kind of sectioned off things in the yard, but the final verdict was going to be replaced with a good old fashioned fence. Yup, I’m loving it! Daryl usually gets home pretty late from work, so he knew that it was going to take a couple of days to get the work finished. The project started Monday night and it was off to a great start! Then with kind of a smirk on Daryl’s face, both him and Kyle were looking down on the cement in this one part of the cow yard. I had no idea what they were doing, so off I go to investigate. The only thing that I knew that was in this part of the cow yard was some dirt and weeds that grew up.

What they found was some very small foot prints in the cement. No one had a clue that they were there and it seems like this is the second time that this has happened in the past couple of years to us on the farm. But honestly I have no idea how Daryl didn’t know that they were there. I mean this is the side of the barn with the basketball hoop on and I’m thinking that many hours were spent shooting hoops while waiting for the cows to get done milking.

So the next question is who’s are they? The best guess using when the lot was cemented was that it is either Daryl’s or his younger sister’s foot prints.

Now even though these foot prints are only about 6 inches long and have been there for a very long time, it’s about the coolest thing to find them. It literally is like finding a hidden treasure.  And when you look at these tiny prints you can just imagine Daryl’s dad holding one of the kids up above the cement and telling them that they can be the one that gets to mark this spot. It just makes you smile doesn’t it? It truly makes your belly feel good and it was a great treasure to find. DSCN0027

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The Big One!

I got up early this morning even though it’s Sunday and we went to church yesterday, I had some things that honestly needed to get done. So instead of laying in bed thinking about it I actually got up and did something about it.

First thing – get the garden planted. The guys had the garden all tilled up for me so my part was super easy. I’ve got a lot of tomato plants that needed homes and with more self control than I thought I had,  I only planted eight of them. I pawned about 30 off to my sister  but after both of these things, I’ve still got quite a few left. Then I planted only two cherry tomatoes. But now I’ve got about 50 (or more!) cherry tomato plants left. My other sister said she would take some, maybe it’ll be her lucky day :)

Now grow!

Now grow!

After a quick Irish Fest meeting at our house, Daryl and I were off to St. Olaf for dinner. The scenery along the way to this town is so awesome! There are rolling hills with rows and rows of corn fields and hay fields. You swear that you are going to see Norman Rockwell standing along the road painting a picture or something. Then once you got to the town it was an old town and the buildings look like they were from the turn of the century. I found out that it was established in 1872 so it really was old.  Just my kind of place. Now a lot of the buildings looked abandoned but still never the less, pretty cool! When we stepped into the bar/restaurant it also felt like you were stepping back into time. We found a booth and sat down. The next thing was to figure out just what kind of pork tenderloin we should order. I mean this is what this town is known for and that’s why we were here. We chose ‘The Big One’ and decided to split it if it was too big. The bar boasts that they have the largest tenderloin and when we got our meal – I’m pretty sure that they do hold that record. Holy Cow! It was huge!! A quick picture and then we dug in.

The tenderloin sandwich I ordered - The Big One!

The tenderloin sandwich I ordered – The Big One!

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, did we eat it all? And the answer is no way! We brought home at least half of it for a meal later.

What a good road trip and then back to the farm to get ready for another Irish Fest meeting. I never got my soap made this weekend, so I sure hope that I can get some made early in the week.

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First 5k of the year – Saturday

Kyle has been helping me to get ready for the 5k that was on Saturday and I sure needed the help. Have you ever run and physically turned around to look to see just what in the heck your dragging? Then you realize that it’s your own backside that’s giving you all the trouble.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do understand that I’ve gotten myself in this situation (remember the mints?) and now I just really want to get better at this whole running stuff. I mean, I just should be able to do this don’t you think?

Well, I had everything ready the night before because Saturday was going to be super busy so when I got up I was already dressed and packing the car way before I probably needed to.

Like I said, Kyle has been helping me to get ready and my goal continues the same to try to get under 30 minutes.

After giving it my all… and not even puking once!, I made it across the finish line in…… 32 minutes 22 seconds. I’m pretty sure it would be much later if Kyle wasn’t there to keep me going. But not the time I was hoping for. I guess the only thing that I can do is to keep trying and maybe also try to stay away from the mints :)

The first 5k done for the season. Now it's the time to beat!

The first 5k done for the season. Now it’s the time to beat!

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Mints

Tonights experiment was to make homemade mints. Now everyone has told me that they are so super easy, so I was going to give it a try to bring to a baby shower and also a wedding shower on Saturday.

First things first. I needed to figure out just what was needed. I thought that I needed a whole sheet of mint molds because then I would just fill all the molds, run a rolling pin over them and Shazam! I’d be mass producing them and would be done in no time.

That was the plan and honestly I felt pretty smart coming up with the idea.

But when I went to buy the mold for the mints they only were selling them one mold at a time. Now that’s crazy talk isn’t it? When I asked them why they don’t sell them in a sheet so you can get more done, they looked at me like I was crazy.

So I bought a couple of each design and some flavoring and home is where I headed. I still thought my idea was a good one but I figured that I’d give the idea of making one at a time a chance.

Yea, my idea wasn’t so smart after all. Once I got started, I realized that I was going to do everything that I could just to get enough made for tomorrow’s showers. There definitely was an art to this whole mint making thing, and for some reason I don’t think I showed up for that art class!

But I made the commitment to my sister that I was bringing them, so I decided to buckle down and just get it done. The recipe is so super easy, it’s crazy! For the recipe you take a package of cream cheese (8 oz) and mix it with a bag of powdered sugar (2 lbs) That’s it. I added food coloring and some flavoring and then you roll them in small balls and sugar and put them in your molds. Well, this is where it takes some time and I realized why the ladies at the store looked at me and I swear that I heard them say under their breath Rookie. I decided that this isn’t something that you can rush and I also found out that you really shouldn’t eat all the ones that don’t turn out so good. It was for sure a learning experience for me tonight!

I finally had a bunch of lemon yellow mints, cherry pink mints, and finally almond grey ones (they looked more purple for some reason) sitting on tin foil on the table so I packed the remaining mint mixture into a bowl and called it for the night. It was around midnight and I really needed to get to bed. This is the part where I mentioned that you shouldn’t eat all the rejected mints. I had a lot, and I mean a LOT of these sugar mints in me and for the life of me I couldn’t fall asleep. I needed to get some rest because I’m in the first 5k of the season and I need all the help I can get.

So when I looked back at the pictures that I took of making the mints, I had to laugh because I took one when I was mixing them up and then… that was it. You know when you’re doing a project and when you’ve done it for a couple of hours you’re kind of ready to be done with it?

But let me just tell you that these mints are easy to mix up and pretty darn good!

So here is my photo of my mints for the night
DSCN0016

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Picking Rock – first wagon of the year

With the fresh spring air, warm sunshine, and grass growing, this time of the year also means checking out the fields for rock picking. If you remember Daryl had the wagons all ready the other day DSCN0006and with the weather perfect for hanging out in the field – we were off for the first of our many days of rock picking.

Now I know that it’s kind of a crazy thing to say, but with the first day of the ‘season’ it’s kind of exciting. You know that you get to be out in the fresh air and sunshine and it’s not hard work but just really time consuming. So  like I said… we were off. The wagon was hooked up to the tractor with the bucket just in case we found some super duper rocks that will need a little bit more encouragement than we can give with our sand shovel.

As we were heading down the road sitting on the rock wagon and with Daryl in front us on the tractor, I had to wonder if something so common this time of the year around our area is something that a lot of people probably have never done before. And maybe they would never want to either :)

Now once we got into the field and it was our first time out, like I said it’s something that is kind of exciting. But then…. well after about the 85 gazillion rock that you’ve bent down to get and so much dirt in your fingernails and in your shoes, well let’s just say the newness wears off. And I might say it wears off pretty fast.

But the reason that we do it is to protect your farm equipment from picking up the rocks, so it’s a good thing. And for me? Well I can use all the exercise that I can get so I need to stay focused on the job and to try not to whine. Well at least not out loud.

The first field that we decided to do this year is where a long time ago there was a small creek that ran through the field and somewhere along the line the creek was straightened  out. But what does that mean for rock pickers? Well it means that you’re now picking the rock that someone had on purpose put there when the creek was there. See you put rocks along the side of the creek to keep the sides from eroding. Crazy stuff!

Oh well, we just barely made one round and the wagon was getting too heavy for the field. If the wagon gets too heavy, you end up leaving some pretty big tracks in the filed and also you might blow a tire on your wagon. Either way, after one round and a couple of hours later, we were done. Well done for tonight.

Tonights load

Tonights load

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Off to the Vet – it’s Kaiser’s turn

It’s that time of the year again when we need to get the dogs tested for heart worms. I don’t know if everyone does this and to be quite honest we have only started to do this within the past few years. When I was growing up if someone said that they were testing the dogs for heart worms I’m positive I would not have had a clue what in the world they were talking about. I mean we dealt with worms before, but they were earth worms and were good for fishing! But now…Holy Smokes! The Vet will show you the heart that they took out of some animal that had heart worms and tell you just terribly gruesome stories. I’m not sure if it’s to get you to bring your animals in or to drum up business. Either way it works!!

So we had Reno in for her tests some time back and she was so good and I was thinking the other day that Kaiser is on his second summer, it’s time for him to get checked. No big deal right? Well, not so right. After work the plan was for Kyle to take the truck and the dog to the Vet while I got some other stuff done on the farm. But the problem was that the dog was absolutely positively not going to go anywhere. So we thought, OK we’re going to put a collar on him and lead him to the truck. The reason that we had to put a collar on him was because he lost his other one somewhere. And who knows where. I found a larger one that I had in the closet and soon found out that the reason that it was in the closet and not on Kaiser was because it was wayyyyy too big. By now the clock was ticking and we had to get him in or we’ll miss his appointment. So we took Reno’s off and made it larger and onto Kaiser’s neck it goes. Well let me just say that this is one stubborn dog. Even though he had a collar on and we had the lease, he was NOT going to go anywhere by being lead. So finally I took his front legs and kinda walked him to the truck. And where was Reno all during this? She was literally hiding on the porch trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

So now Kaiser is in the truck and Kyle was trying to get going and Kaiser thought it was so much better sitting on Kyle’s lap instead of any place else in the truck. I finally gave in, and hopped into the truck and we all went to the vet tonight. Poor Kaiser was so scared that he was literally shaking when the truck stopped and it was time to get out. So of course here is Kyle carrying the dog all around the Vet’s office because the dog went frozen on us and for some reason was’t going to walk anyplace!

The appointment finally came to a finish and Kyle picked up the dog again and back out to the truck we all go. We laughed about it later because we said if Reno was there, Kaiser wouldn’t be acting like this at all. Girls Rule!!

But what a simple task turned into such of an ordeal. I guess we’ve got another year to get ready for the next Vet visit.

Our big baby - Kaiser

Our big baby – Kaiser

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Baling hay

Well I didn’t get out in the field to snap a picture of the nice hay all raked up, so this is the closest that I could come. I got into the field when the hay was all baled into round bales. We debated if we were going to small square bale them or not, and with rain in the forecast the big round bales won the contest. And honestly that’s OK. Daryl just puts one big bale in the cow yard and makes a lot of friends. For some reason our cows think that the grass is so much better on the other side of the fence and if they get a new bale of hay, well they quit sticking their heads and their whole upper body through the fence to get to the grass. At least they haven’t found my little tree again. I was having the most worst time with the cows reaching under the fence and eating my flowers and trees a couple of years ago, so if they just stretch out the barb wire fence one in awhile… yea, that’s OK with me. 

So the pictures that I am sharing tonight are of the hay looking so nice out in the field.

Hay bales just waiting to get picked up to be stored in the shed

Hay bales just waiting to get picked up to be stored in the shed

When I was out in the field taking the hay photo I also noticed all the flat wagons in the yard. DSCN0006At first I was worried that Daryl was getting ready for picking rock soon, but he needed them to haul the hay to our farm …. and then we are going to pick rock :)  With the rain in the forecast, Daryl hurried up to put the hay bales into the cattle shed before they might get wet.DSCN0010 For some reason it feels the best if you can get the first crop of hay baled without it getting rained on. Maybe a little superstitious or maybe a little proud – not sure which one? Maybe it’s just a little bit of both. 

Close up of the hay bale

Close up of a hay bale

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Mystery Photo 6-3-15

Let’s test your skills on this one    Bwaaahaaahaaahaaa!! (evil laugh interpretation)

Here is the clueDSCN9987 - Version 2

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Results for Mystery Photo 5-28-15

There is no stumping you guys is there? Elaine you nailed it!!

Here was the clueIMG_2908 - Version 2

And here is the answer. It was a vise-grip! We have a LOT of these on the farm because Daryl uses them for just about everything. You have to check his chore pants pockets before you wash them because 9 out of 10 times there is one in there! IMG_2908

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Sunday stuff

It was so funny this morning because we all woke up and felt that we overslept. The sun was shining so bright and I don’t know if we haven’t seen much sunshine lately that it kind of freaked us out, but it was only 5:30 am. Crazy!!

First things first. This weekends soap is called ‘Fancy Chickens’ and is a yellow soap (I hope the color stays!) and has the fragrance of Lemon Verbena. It smells pretty good, so I guess we’ll see.  It should also turn darker, so I’m hoping it won’t loose the yellow color. I’m not the best at this coloring stuff yet. And for the name?  I wanted to really call this soap ‘Chicken Legs’ but it sounds like something that you’re supposed to be eating instead. Not really the way I was going with this…

Fancy Chickens

Fancy Chickens

The rest of the day was spent having an Irish Fest meeting at our house in the morning and then another one later in the afternoon. Whew! It’s a good thing that everything is coming together and we should be ready.

Daryl cut hay most of the afternoon and he said that it looks pretty nice. I didn’t go out and look at it yet, but hoping to get there before it gets too dry. Now I know that you want the hay to dry and all, but it’s so much prettier when it’s green :)

Ready for the first hay crop of the season

Ready to cut hay, grind feed, and also pick rock! Yup it’s Spring in Iowa

 

 

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