Tomatoes

I’ve come to the realize that my garden is junk again this year. Yup, I’m not very successful with raising any type of vegetable this year at all!! So instead of sitting around and getting mad about it, my plan is to just go and buy them. I found out about this one person who sells garden things and after a quick call – I was down for a couple of boxes of tomatoes. The family that I’m going to see if a Mennonite family that is living in a group of families that recently moved into the area. Almost everyone in this group either sells vegetables, flowers, or does woodworking. It’s a great place to go and check out just what is for sale this week. But for me? Well, I’m going to get some tomatoes today. The weather is a little goofy and I’m hoping that it doesn’t rain too hard before I get home. I did run into some patchy rain on the way but it was really only a drizzle. When I got to the stand they had my tomatoes all boxed and ready to go. IMG_2068But you know how it is, I saw some sweet corn that I just had to have and also some kohlrabi, green beans, and peppers. Maybe not having a garden isn’t such a bad idea. It sure would cut down on the stress level!! With my car loaded up with fresh vegetables I started to head back home. I was thinking that I should get some more canning salt and lids, but I was sure that I had enough. On the way home I looked in my rear view mirror and thought that my window was dirty or something. It was pretty dark and it just looked wrong. Well come to find out that there was some bad weather moving into the area and I kicked it in gear to get home before it hailed on the car. I think I got home just in time because when I just pulled into the yard and grabbed my camera when I saw this.

Not a picture of a pretty sunset this time!

Not a picture of a pretty sunset this time!

Yikes! It didn’t take long until the wind picked up and even though we really had the potential to get a storm – the wind just blew and we didn’t get much rain. But it did get dark for 5:00 in the afternoon!!DSCN8871

With the car full from the vegetable stand, you can just about imagine what my night was going to be. I wanted to get organized for canning tomorrow and I was glad that Daryl wanted to go our schools football game. For some reason when I want to work in the kitchen.. I need the whole kitchen :)

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Kyle’s Golden Birthday

Now the boys think that I made this whole ‘Golden Birthday’ thing up – but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t. And with today being Kyle’s Golden Birthday it’s just a good reason to kick it up a notch right? He’s 28 on the 28th. We were able to skype with both boys tonight and to say that I loved doing that is such an understatement. I know that I’ve talked about technology before and how it can be so overwhelming, but if you’re the Mom and have two boys that live quite a distance apart – the heck with those people who say that we can get along without the internet! Now granted this was the first time that we all were on the call and it worked surprisingly well. We found out that the first week of school has been going good for William and Kyle will be traveling this weekend to visit a city that he’s been wanting to go to. He’s taking his new camera that we gave him for his birthday and checking the city out. If you think that I like taking pictures – both boys like photography as much as I do. Which I think is pretty cool! My dad always liked to take pictures and it’s a pretty harmless hobby if you ask me. Kyle got his Birthday box in the beginning of this week which only took about 7 days (including the weekend to get there) There are a lot of things that I’m not good at and I’m not afraid to confess that either.  But I’m really good at packing a shipping box to send to the boys. The box that I sent to Kyle wasn’t very big but I ended up packing 25 things inside it. Now the things that were packed ranged from a couple pairs of shorts, 5 books, a family size bag of Doritos, to a couple pounds of beef jerky and almond bark coated pretzels… plus a ton more stuff!  It’s really too bad that there isn’t a job for this talent huh?

Birthday card for Kyle

Birthday card for Kyle

So like I said we had a chance to skype with the boys and below is a picture that I took. We asked Kyle to pretend to be blowing out the candles on the cake for the picture.  What a good sport!!DSCN8868a

 

And did you guess the picture from last night? This is what I postedDSC_0115a And this is what it actually was. It’s the sunflowers just starting to get their seeds DSC_0115

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Can you guess what this is?

Tonight’s post is a challenge post. I took a picture of something on the farm and see if you can guess what it is. I’ll give the answer in tomorrow’s post.

Here’s the picture:

DSC_0115a

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Working on the shed this week

Daryl and I have been working every night on our cattle shed this week and if I must say so myself – it’s looking pretty darn good. I usually do the measuring on the bottom part of the tin by the old roof line and he puts in most of the screws to hold it in place on the 2×4′s. Now you would think that I’d have the easy job but when I showed up without my glasses – yea.. not so easy! But I only did that Monday night and tonight -well I’m soooo much smarter! When I’m trying to measure tenths of an inch of the tin while standing in the tractor bucket and being eaten alive by gnats… the last thing that I need to be is almost blind. So what an easy fix it was just to get my glasses. Now I really hate this getting old crap. Since when did ‘I’ have to wear them when I’m doing almost everything? Well I guess the answer is this year. OK, enough whining about that and getting back to the tin roof. It’s really looking good and even though tin is expensive, it’s really saving the cattle shed. We have a pretty good process down and once the tin is waiting to be placed on the roof, I climb back up the ladder and get into the tractor bucket to help place the tin. I was just bragging to Daryl on how lucky he was to have me helping him. You know.. good help and good looks! How could it go wrong? Well I was screwing in the hardware down by the roof line and missed the whole 2×4.  That’s how it could go wrong. I kept my opinions to myself after that. DSCN8861For some reason lately it seems like I’ve been in that tractor bucket a lot. Anyway, I have to use the ladder to get to the bucket and I told Daryl that it felt good to use the ladder again. I mean I was using it every day for months when I was painting the farm and it just felt good tonight. Yup, pretty sure he didn’t get what I was feeling. He gave me one of ‘those looks’ and just kept his head down and kept working. Well, it did feel good again.

So after about 9 pieces of tin we decided to call it a night. It was a good days work done. I think we’ll have two more nights to put up the roof tin and then there are some cap stuff Daryl’s been talking about that has to go on the top.

With getting done late, there was no chance for me to get in my running so what did I do? Well I grabbed a beer and sat on the porch swing just listening to the crickets in the lawn, the windmill creaking, cattle in the yard, and having the little kitties thinking that my legs are climbing posts. But as I was sitting on the porch I realized just how much I love our farm and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Well my beer was done and I was getting tired by now of the dogs just having to be right in my face,  so I decided to head inside. Out of the corner of my eye the sunset caught my attention. Now I took a picture of it and you’re going to think that I did something to it to make it look so red. But honestly, I have not done a thing. So this is the photo of the day – check it out:

Sunset tonight over the corn field

Sunset tonight over the corn field

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Here we go again.

I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with our cats. I mean, in the past if we had one that actually lived past the first couple of weeks, we literally thought we won the lottery or something. We’d just check it out and kind of look at it with awe. So with our little 6 pack on the front porch still alive and really starting to get into mischief, we’re thinking we’re pretty lucky to have this many kitties around. Now we do see some other bigger cats running around and on the farm it’s OK that they’re wild. You want them to hunt the rabbits by the garden and the mice in the sheds. But tonight I walked outside and saw a little kitty that might .. and the key word is might, be three days old. It didn’t have it’s eyes open and still had it’s umbilical cord. Yea she was pretty little. I asked Daryl if he found it and put it on the porch and he said that he hadn’t. So I’m guessing Reno found it and thought that someone better take care of it. Daryl made a comment that we are turning into the shelter for homeless cats and I’m thinking he’s kind of right! Well I wasn’t sure what I should do with this little kitty so I wrapped it up and had it sleep on the couch until I had it figured out. DSCN8858I thought I had a pretty good plan when I was walking through the living room and saw a mother kitty on our porch. I thought that I’d put the baby kitty outside and maybe she would take it with her. Yea, no such luck. The kitty was just lonely and with not having it’s eyes open yet  -I’m guessing it was also pretty scared. OK, so back into the house it comes and I get out the baby kitty bottle. This did not go well and the kitty was now just crying and crying. Finally I asked Daryl if he’d put it in the hay loft in the barn and hopefully someone would come and get it and take care of it. Normally I don’t give up this easy, but I don’t think I can save this kitty and my only hope is that a mother cat will adopt it.

Other than being on cat duty today, my Mom needed some stuff from town and so off we went for the afternoon. Daryl wanted to spend the day working on the lawn and trimming, so it seemed like a good day to head to town and get some shopping done. On the way to town, my brother called and said that if we drove by this one road we could see the air show that’s going on at the airport. Well that didn’t take much to convince me and we stopped for a few minutes to watch.

Some of the stunts that the air show had today

Some of the stunts that the air show had today

It would be cool to see the whole show sometime, but with the temperatures reaching around 99 degrees today,  I’m thinking that today just might not the be day. There was a wind so it wasn’t so bad, but 99 degrees is still hot. I was sure glad that we got the rain yesterday morning at the farm.

I don’t know if other collies do what ours do in the summer, but they will start to loose their fur to try to stay cool. I started to brush Reno down tonight to get rid of some of that extra fur because let’s just say she’s not looking her best lately. And when I got a couple of piles made, I decided it was enough for the night. Hopefully I’ll get her all brushed out by next weekend.

The best part of the day was being able to skype with Kyle. It didn’t work out last week, so I was glad that we could do it tonight. I know that we only missed a week, so maybe it’s a Mom thing or something.  He didn’t get his birthday box yet, but he’s got time before his birthday on Thursday.

So with the little kitty out in the hay loft hopefully with a mother cat near by, the six pack kitty’s bellies full on the porch, the dogs trying to stay cool in the barn, the chickens locked up in the coop, and me just getting out of the shower with my hair still wet – I guess I’ll call it a night and start the week all over again tomorrow.

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Check it out… it Rained!

We woke up this morning to a really good sound. The sound was thunder that we could hear in the distance. Now you wouldn’t really think that this would be like ‘the news of the day’ but in August when we haven’t had hardly any rain -it’s big news! Our crops are starting to really show the struggle with the hot and dry weather lately and honestly any moisture is good moisture!! Like I said it was starting to thunder and it didn’t take long until it started to rain. At the end of the shower we ended up getting around .7 of an inch. Not as much as we would have liked (yea.. I know always wanting more)  but it’ll get us by for another week. The soy beans are just starting to fill out in the pods and like I said, the rain that we got came just in the nick of time for our crops.

Just keep raining....

Just keep raining….

In the afternoon we had a wedding that was in our town and with the rain that came through, they couldn’t have asked for a better day. They were predicting it to be unbearable heat but they were wrong this time. I think any wedding is a great day and today’s was just that. The bride just glowed and I was really glad that we were invited by our friends to help celebrate the occasion.  DSCN8851 After the reception we were also invited to a double birthday party. This party was at the farm where we went to the one wedding earlier this year in the barn. I had a chance to check out the barn now with hay in it and you know that it was breathtaking on the day of the wedding and tonight it was also in it’s glory. Now granted it was filled with hay bales, tractors, and other farm stuff instead of candles, music, and decorations, but honestly it was just right. OK, so I’m a sucker for barns, but with the decision that a lot of people have to make with the expense of trying to do the upkeep on old barns and trying to figure out if you should fix them up or tear them down – it’s always great to have a chance to get inside one that is standing tall and if it could talk I’m thinking that it would also say just how proud it was to still the be focal building on any farm. Pretty cool.

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Zombie Burgers

We knew that we’d have some free time tonight and William needed some other stuff brought down to his apartment, so we packed the car and headed to Ames after work.

With the cows, chickens, and baby kitties all fed – off we went. We haven’t been driving the Pacifica as often as we were before we got the Volt, but with some wood for one of William’s friends in the car, we knew that it was the right vehicle for the trip. It also smelled pretty good in there. I literally took the caramel rolls out of the oven and wrapped them in a towel and we left like in 3 minutes. On the way down it looked like we were going to run into some rain and if we did we were hoping that it would make it all the way back to our farm. The fields are so dry and we really need the rain. It didn’t take long after we saw the dark clouds that the sky opened up right when we were in the middle of road construction. Isn’t that how it always goes?

Finally we find William’s apartment and start unpacking the car. His apartment is nice and it’s so much bigger than a dorm. But we noticed that it’s not as quiet as a dorm either. Now granted we were down there on the weekend before school started and it was a Friday, well let’s just say it’s not the quietest neighborhood that I’ve been in. There were kids on balcony’s, on all the streets, in the parking lots… well you get the picture right? It looked like a lot of fun and man oh man do I feel old.

IMG_2055So for supper we had planned on going to Des Moines to a burger joint. I’ve heard about it from William for some time now and we just haven’t been able to get there. After we had everything unloaded into the apartment and the car loaded back up for stuff he didn’t want we jumped back into the car and went to find the restaurant. No problems in finding it and the wait ended up being around 30  minutes which wasn’t too bad.IMG_2056 But now… what to order. With options like Dead Moines, Undead Elvis, Trailer Trash Zombie.. I chose Juan of the Dead. It had Green chile, cheese croquette, monterey jack cheese, carmelized onions, chipotle mayo and a burger of course.

Note to self: Go running in the morning!

Note to self: Go running in the morning!

There were three sizes of burgers to choose from and thank goodness I picked the smallest size. You know what? I’ve been saying for quite a few years that I don’t really like hamburgers, but after tonight I don’t think I can’t say that again! They were awesome!! IMG_2053After getting our bellies wayyy too full it was time to head back to Ames and drop William at his apartment. Now for the drive back home. It looked like it rained again around Ames but no luck at our farm. There’s a 40% chance of rain tomorrow-maybe we’ll get lucky and give our crops some much needed moisture.

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Baking good things

I went and did errands tonight and ended up by the grocery store. Now normally I’m never in town when they have the Farmer’s Market, but tonight luck was on my side. The market is set up right in the parking lot beside the grocery store so I found myself heading over to see what everyone had to sell. And of course the first booth was a food booth that a local lady was selling her kolaches. Now if you have never had a kolache from scratch – you just never have really lived before. There are a lot of different ways to make them and my favorite is from anyone who lives around the Spillville area.

Raspberry Kolache

Raspberry Kolache

Their church group or other groups always seem to be getting together for a weekend and making these sweet bread rolls. So I bought a dozen and thought that this would be good to keep in the freezer right? Yea.. I opened the bag and by the time we actually sat down for supper I had eaten 4 of them. And I’m sure that I’ll be eating more before the night is over. Now I just need to remember what days those Farmers Markets are and try to stay away!

We’re planning on visiting William tomorrow to check out his new place and I wanted to make something to bring along. I’m going to throw some caramel rolls in the oven when I get home from work so they’ll still be warm when we get there, but I knew that I couldn’t get a batch of cookies done before we left. Heaven forbid if William was hungry right? Ok, he’s only been gone one day – but he can freeze them if he wants. The only thing about these cookies is that I didn’t start to make them until after 9:30 and all I can say is ‘Thank Goodness’ for parchment paper. Now if you don’t really think that you would use this in the kitchen, tonight is a perfect example of when it works really well. I put it on a couple of cookie sheets so you never have to wait for one to cool down and when the cookies come off – so does the paper. Now I’m not sure if you are supposed to wash these pans after you take the paper off or not, but why make extra work when you don’t have to?

It's late and the cookies are all lined up just waiting to go in the oven

It’s late and the cookies are all lined up just waiting to go in the oven

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William is off to college

William gathered up the rest of his stuff that he needed for his apartment and with his car packed full, he was heading south to Ames for the next semester of college. I know that I’m not going to like having the house so quiet again, but I guess that’s just the way that this all works isn’t it. So of course I made him take pictures by his car in the yard and after about 5 hugs from me, he was pulling out of the drive way once again for the fall. He’s excited and so are we to see what this next year brings for him. I was just thinking why I always have him take pictures by his car when he leaves? I guess it’s kind of a testimony that he’s leaving and maybe this is what he’ll be driving? Not sure, but I think I do this a lot!

Below are a couple of pictures that I took. One by his car :) and the other with the dogs wanting to be petted one more time.

And William is off to college!

And William is off to college!

Reno and Kaiser saying good bye to William

Reno and Kaiser saying good bye to William

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Cats

Now who would think that the 6 little kitties would be so much work? Well for sure not me until lately. OK, I know that some (or most) of all of this is brought on by me – but someone had to take care of them right? Well to give you an idea on how much work they are, in the mornings they were getting scrambled eggs with ham and bread mixed with warm milk and then at night they’ve been getting mashed potatoes and milk. But now that they’ve got a little older they’ve finally graduated to kitty food. Yea! I take the cat food and put hot water with it to soften it up. Then when it’s cooled down enough to eat – out it goes into their pan. Dump  a little milk on it … Yup, much easier! So now all I have to worry about it giving them their eye drops a couple of times a day and they are also getting amoxicillin twice a day. This is only supposed to go on for a week and then everything will be good.

Tonight we had some trouble with the kitties and Kaiser. Kaiser has these small toys that he plays with all over the yard and for some reason he thinks that the smallest of these little kitties is an orange version of his toy. He takes her and runs through the yard and throws her up in the air. Just so not cool! She’s the size of your palm and tonight she looked really bad. The poor thing just wants to always be by the dogs and that is such a bad decision on her part. So tonight Daryl came and got me and said that this little kitty was almost dead and when I looked at her, I knew that he wasn’t exaggerating. I found a nice soft bath towel and wrapped her in it and held her while I was sitting by the camp fire with William. I would peak at her and she had her eyes closed, but then all of a sudden I could her something and thought – crap she’s dying. But after I listened a little bit closer, she wasn’t dying she was purring! Now granted it wasn’t the best sounding purr I’ve ever heard but for a cat that couldn’t even walk about an hour ago and was expected to die, I’m thinking that she’ll pull through another day. Now to just keep the dogs away from her!

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