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!

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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

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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.



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It’s a good trade

I stopped in at Ma’s tonight to drop off some kolaches and to see what she’s been up to.

Now if you don’t know what a kolache is or even if you do know what a kolache is – there are about a million ways to make them.

Now the type of kolache that I like are the ones that are made from sweet bread and then is braided on the top. 20161125_111535_resizedI’m sure you’re wondering if I ever make them?  and because I’m not very good at any type of bread making and with so many people who live in our area that are….  it’s such a much better idea just to let them do it.

So like I said that ones that people make in our area are pretty much closed on top with just the filling peaking out of them. The last ones that I ordered were Raspberry Cream filled and Blueberry Cream filled. YUM!

But I’ve eaten about 8 since I had gotten them (this morning!!) and well that’s just not good for any diet! So that’s why I decided to head over to Ma’s and drop some off for her. She usually has her friends come over for cards to her house and these rolls would probably taste pretty good with a cup of coffee.

And guess what I came home with? Beef noodle soup.  SCORE!!  She just happened to have some beef noodle soup in her refrigerator that she made yesterday. OK, I guess I kinda heard that she made the soup and so I didn’t even try to act surprised! :)

When I was heading to the car with my noodle soup I couldn’t help to think to myself ‘Yup, it was a good trade’ 20161123_190749_resized

Posted in Baking, Family, In the kitchen | Leave a comment

Just lower your expectations

What a title huh? 

Well let me just tell you that I’m really in a good mood tonight! 

See what has happened these last two months is a very … and I mean very… long story so I’ll try to condense it as much as I can. 

It all started with my old laptop dying. Sad but true and I thought, well no big deal I’ve got my fancy new Mac right? Well that’s almost right. See the printer wouldn’t work  with a Mac computer so I was in the market now to buy a new one. 

Down to the store I go (which is an hour drive one way from our farm) to pick up a printer. I found one and installed it. BAM! I was in business and truthfully feeling quite cocky to be honest. But then I ran into trouble and it kept saying that I was out of paper. That’s when my troubles began. After uninstalling and installing the software and the drivers multiple times and researching it on the internet, I finally gave up.  Both HP and the Geek Squad said to just bring it back to the store and that’s what I did. 

Another hour trip one way to return it and pick up another one just like it and back home I go. Now the laptop needed to be updated so after that happened I found out that the printer didn’t have the latest updates to be able to use with my computer. And I found this out the hard way! I knew when I was working on it, the software that I needed wasn’t available to download. Well both HP and Apple said it would work and after giving up to letting someone remotely trying to get my computer to work and then having them both saying that the other one didn’t know what they were doing, I gave up after around 6 hours and returned that printer. 

Another hour trip one way to return it to the store and pick up a different  Brand this time. The brand was supposed to be compatible with my new upgraded laptop and guess what? Well if you guessed that it didn’t work – You are the WINNER! With a headache that I swear was going to make my head explode I gave up on it for the night. 

Another hour trip back to return it and this time I wasn’t going to buy one for a very long time. The people in the store were really nice and by this time I felt that I knew more about software upgrades that I really felt anyone should. Well other than HP and Apple of course! 

So this past weekend I thought I’d try it again. I think I had a weak moment or something. Of course the people at the store said that they all should work but I seriously knew better than that. So I bought the same type of printer as the first and second time. 

But I had way different expectations this time. I just knew that it wouldn’t work and was hoping that I would be surprised. And guess what? It worked! SCORE!!! Now I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but it seems like the printers finally have upgraded their software to the new operating system for my laptop. 

Seriously who cares right? So far it’s working and that’s all that matters to me. I told Daryl that I think I should change how I look at life. I always think that things will work out and sometimes get so disappointed when they don’t. But when you think that they won’t work – it’s such a great feeling when they actually do. 

Anyway that you look at it, it was a very successful night and I’m excited to have a printer again. 

Posted in Projects completed | 2 Comments

Christmas Shopping

This afternoon Mom and I headed to town to finish off a couple of last minute gifts that she needed.

I swear if there was a Super Women award I would nominate Mom! OK, maybe I’m a little biased, but she’s like that Energizer Bunny and just keeps going and going…

Now how many gifts has she bought and wrapped up so far? I think she said around 60.    60!

And with our families St. Nicholas/Christmas coming up fast,  who is going to be the best prepared? Yup, you guessed it. Ma.

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Overnight guests

We spent Friday night and a good part of Saturday visiting the kids down at Ames. We’ve been trying to see their new apartment since early summer, we also wanted to take William out for supper to congratulate him on passing the FE exam (whooohoooo!), of course I wanted to talk about their wedding coming up, and to just spend some time with them! 

It seems like around our place we’re always so busy and I hate to say it… but tired, that we just don’t slow down and hang out when everyone is home.  

So that was our plans this weekend to just hang out. It’s the first time that we spent overnight at their place and it was a lot of fun. We went out to eat at a German restaurant and then with all our bellies way too full we decided to play a couple of hands of cards. Yea, the kids beat us this time – but there’s always the next time! 

We even managed to get in a little shopping done the next day and of course more food was on the agenda. 20161119_112056_resized

What a great time, I sure hope that we can do this more often. Now to just figure out a time that we can get to New York ….

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Whats in your suitcase?

I had a chance to go through a suitcase the other day and it really got me thinking – what would be in my suitcase if someone else was looking through it? 

See the suitcase belonged to my Aunt who recently passed away, and without having any children to pass her things down to, her things were passed on to other members of her family. 

I really like looking at older photo’s and especially ones that are taken way before digital cameras. And the instant photos back in the 70’s in my opinion was a terrible time in the life of capturing any type of photographs!! So my choice is definitely the ones taken probably with a little brownie camera.

So my Mom had the suitcase and asked if I’d like to look at the photos?  I would love to! So I eagerly put it in my car and headed home to see just what treasures that I would find in it.20161120_101148_resized

And was I disappointed? Absolutely not!

But what I realized was that in this suitcase held pretty much my Aunt’s whole life story. It held the times that she was growing up on her parents farm before she was married. It held her early life when she was just married and her ‘new’ home on their farm with their first car and the first pieces of farm equipment that they purchased. It also held the many trips around the United States that her and her husband traveled and even pictures of some of the 50 states they traveled to! There were pictures of what she loved to do which included sewing projects, pictures of flowers, and every kind of cake that you could imagine.

There was also some of the best pictures of her husband throughout the years standing at their doorstep either on their farm or in the later years at their house in town with a handful of flowers that he picked someone along the road home just waiting to surprise my Aunt.

I had a couple of pictures that I really liked and I’m thinking of having this one blown up for a wall hanging. It’s my Aunt and Uncle on a road trip in their old car going to an adventure somewhere. What a great picture! fullsizeoutput_80d

And what was the best saying on the back of these pictures in the suitcase? Well this one really caught my eye.fullsizeoutput_80f

The front picture is that of some flowers from their farm. These photo’s are what her whole life was made up of and who she was.20161120_101133_resized

So I’m wondering just what would be in my suitcase? Probably some soap I would guess :)

Posted in Family | 2 Comments

In the zone baby – in the zone!

Wow was it a busy night after work and did I get a lot done!

After doing quite a few errands after work, I finally got into our house around 5:00. Now the first thing to do was to turn on the stove so I could get supper started. But it wasn’t too much later when Daryl showed up and then I remembered that he was going to take his sister out for supper for her birthday. 

Well with the stove already heating up, I decided to put a pan of scalloped potatoes in the oven anyway and we can always eat them as warm ups later this weekend. 

So now that the oven was going, I decided to keep cooking and after baking a pound of bacon that would be ready for  breakfast, I then started to mix up a batch of brownies. 

I was on a roll. Literally! So while I had some cinnamon rolls raising on top of the warm oven, out came the marshmallows and a pan of Rice Krispie treats were now on the counter top. And while I was getting the box of Rice Krispie’s out of the cupboard, I decided to grab a couple of boxes of Chex Mix cereal and ended up with some Puppy Chow too! Finally I chopped up some vegetables for the refrigerator, cleaned the upstairs, figured out what I was going to wear literally for the next couple of days, worked on a brochure for a committee that I’m on in our town,  and then called it a night. 

It’s a good thing that we’re headed down for a visit to William and Jude’s this weekend. I’m thinking that I kind of overdone the food thing tonight :)

I still need to frost the cinnamon rolls in the morning

I still need to frost the cinnamon rolls in the morning

And look at my two helpers in the kitchen. They were supposed to be sleeping on the blanket in the living room, but I think they could smell the bacon so they wanted to stay close to the action in the kitchen. Do you have any idea how many times I had to step over these dogs tonight? A lot! 20161117_190119_resized


Posted in In the kitchen, Our dogs | 2 Comments