No sun in Sunday!

I really wanted to go on a full day bike ride today because I’ve got a week long bike ride coming up and well to be honest I’ve got only around 28 miles of training in so far. And if you’re thinking to yourself  – – I wonder if that’s a good amount? The answer is NO!! So I’m hoping to cram in a lot this week because I’ll be gone for about a week for work and well then it’s time for the ride. 

So I got up early and Daryl was going to get chores done quick and then we were going to get on our bicycles and ride. 

Well, not so much! When we were in the house getting ready, all of a sudden the outside sky got really dark and it was like a huge flying saucer was hovering over our house. In reality it was a huge cloud. I tried to get a picture of it, but with it being right over our farm it wasn’t going to happen. 

So I’m posting a picture that one of my friends took of the storm that went through today. As you can see, it was pretty impressive!

My friends picture that she took this morning of the storm cloud

My friends picture that she took this morning of the storm cloud

But with only rain and a lot of lightning, the cloud and storm hung around for pretty much of the day and the day was pretty gloomy. 

Now there wasn’t going to be any bike riding today or even getting in a good run! And the only thing left to do was to do some laundry and make some soap! I really don’t want to get into the situation again when I run out of soap and I noticed that I’m getting a little low on the Lazy Lavender soap so that’s what was made in our farm kitchen today. Because it’s been awhile since I made any of my soaps lately – I’m telling you it was a lot of fun! It didn’t hurt that I got to use some new soap pour containers for the first time either. 

Lazy Lavender

Lazy Lavender

With about 4 loads of laundry done and my soap made, I decided to run and get some groceries. I’ve spent a lot of time in grocery stores in my lifetime, but I’ve never had what happened to me tonight. See I was hovering in the vegetable section and all of a sudden this terrible screeching noise started. I looked at the guys in the meat section and they were looking back at me. They seemed just as confused as I did. Then I saw the emergency lights going all over the store. OK, now we’ve either got a fire alarm going on or there is another storm brewing. Well no one was too nervous about this whole situation and they just kept calling on the PA system for Emergency to call the office. And guess what I was thinking the whole time? I was thinking – I don’t smell any smoke yet and the weather looks pretty good outside,  so I sure hope that they’ll check me out before the fire gets too bad! So I hurried and made my way to the checkout counter and they said it was a false alarm. But did that stop the firetrucks? Nope. They showed up and blocked the front entrance to the store. Next the fire chief come in looking for the Manager and all the workers got pretty focused on their work and didn’t look up. I overheard one of them say that they think that a kid pulled the alarm but they weren’t sure.  

After that, things went back to normal in the store. When I got home I got the groceries unloaded, supper made, some housework done, and then the best part of the night was skyping with the kids in New York. 

What a great weekend that we had again! I’m getting kind of used to these and I sure hope that we have many more before the summer is over! 

And who said old milkhouses can’t be pretty?  Here is my picture of the day: DSC_0719

Posted in Family, Picture of the day, Riding bikes, Soap | 1 Comment

Perfect weather today – kayaking and races were on the agenda!

I debated going kayaking today because the weather was going to be just perfect. Now I know that this doesn’t make much sense, but you know that there is always stuff that you think you should be doing. So guess what I did?

I went kayaking with a friend :)

And with the weather around 80 degrees with no clouds in the sky with a slight breeze – yea it was the right idea!feet kayaking

We ended up going to a different spot to start with and that was also fun! It was still on the Upper Iowa river but a whole different area that before. Now granted there wasn’t the hight cliffs and bluffs as what you would see around Decorah, but on this part of the river there also wasn’t all the people and just tons and tons of trees. It was beautiful!

The river was high on Saturday so we literally just had to float on the water and steer ourselves the right way once in a while. Shazam!!

Because the water was up, it also meant that we got down to our pick up spot also early. So once I got home and cleaned up, it was time to head to the stock car races. See we usually go to the races once a year and tonight was the night.

We got there with the races just starting, we laughed when we walked up to the Grandstand because with the smell of gasoline in the air and dirt flying off the track, well we knew that we were in the right spot. 

Now even though this track is part of a small town race track, but where will you go to see all different types of cars racing and going so fast that only two wheels of the four will only be on the ground. Or when there was a roll over and the car is sitting on the side, everyone knows that the driver is OK and ends up sitting on the door waving as they take him and the car off the track. races 2016

But the best part of the races? Well for me it’s when they have the beginning of the winners races (not sure what they’re actually called) Anyway right before they start these races, the whole grandstand stands up and wave as the drivers drive by on the track. And the drivers wave back at the grandstand. Now I don’t know where this tradition started, but it’s pretty cool if you ask me! 


Posted in Places to visit | Leave a comment

Trying out a new soap design

I am working on an experiment these past couple of days to see if I could stamp the bars with a type of an identifying mark on them. So my thought was to make a white bar of soap and then stamp the bars with a food grade colored mica and one of my scrapbooking stamps.making soapsoap loaves

So first I made a batch of lemon white soap and then stamped them with the mica. Well guess what? It worked. Well it worked so far. I learned my lesson from the bath bombs to not to get too positive too soon!

So for tonight, I’m letting them dry overnight and check them in the next couple of days to see if the mica works or not. I sure hope so, it looks kinda cool! stamped soap 

Posted in Soap | Leave a comment

Standing guard

Now with all the crazy weather that we’ve been having lately, over 3 inches in 2 days!, some people use the news to keep up on what to expect for the coming weather for the day. Others use the internet and watch the future radar to see what’s happening.  

And if you are on our farm we use Lucky the peacock! He keeps watch and literally screams. How funny is that!!

Can you see him sitting on top of the garage? 

Lucky on weather alert!

Lucky on weather alert!

Posted in Farm animals | Leave a comment

Bath Bombs

I tried my luck on making bath bombs and honestly I was feeling pretty sassy about the whole thing. And the reason why was because it was my first batch that I made and I was mostly worried about getting them out of the molds.

So I ordered all my ‘ingredients’ and had them set out and pulled up my recipe that I wanted to use. OK, I’m ready.

After I made the first one – SHAZAM! It worked!! Hey this isn’t so hard after all. I even posted a picture to say that I was pretty good at this. Only to find out that this theory was very premature in the whole process. IMG_20160702_081128

Then the unthinkable happened. They literally fell apart as they were drying. I was hoping to keep at least one in tact but I wasn’t so lucky. 20160702_135428_resizedThe only good thing about the whole experiment is that our kitchen smelled pretty good, it smelled like Lavender.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board. But until then? Well I’ve got a mason jar full of bath salt to use up and now our bath room smells like lavender. 

Posted in In the kitchen | Leave a comment

Happy 4th of July !

First of all – you can’t have the 4th of July go by without taking a picture of someone standing in your corn field. So here is Daryl in ours :) The old saying of knee high by the 4th of July was blown out of the waters again this year! Daryl in corn field

And what did we do with the rest of this long weekend? Well you remember that we were in Des Moines and this wasn’t just some coincidence. No sir! We went there specifically to head to the Adventureland Amusement Park. See they opened up a new roller coaster called ‘The Monster’ and it was on our list to do this summer.IMG_3719

So we met up with the kids at our hotel and we were off to meet up with the Monster! 

Let me tell you a little bit about it first . Well for starters it goes literally straight up 133 feet in the air IMG_3713and then you reach a speed of 65 mph once you hit the bottom! Yea.. can you say FUN!!

It also was voted by CNN as one of the “Best New Roller coasters of 2016″  

Well we had our tickets in advance so once we were through the gates the only thing to do was to head over to the ride and get in line. And guess what? The line wasn’t even too bad! Well I just could hardly wait to go on it and soon it was our turn. There are only 4 people on the ride at once and with us four in the front it was going to be great! But I have to admit when you are literally going straight up in the air it makes you think how this whole thing was going to go. But soon you were looking straight down and then BAM! There you go. After that it was just one blur after the other. You would go so fast and then flip up side down and then take a turn and flip again. And man oh man it was fun!! So after the ride they always want to sell you some over priced photo and we always so no. But this time? Well I think it’s so funny – check it out! Can you spot me in the front?? Adventureland

After that ride we went on a bunch of other roller coasters and also the ride called the Storm Chaser. If you look in the first photo above the tall yellow ride with swings on it is the Storm Chaser ride. We’ve never been on this ride before and once you are 260 feet up in the air and going 35 mph it seems kind of like a breeze compared to the Monster. So I decided to try to take a picture of the park while spinning around and hopefully not dropping my camera. I really didn’t do too good with the photos, but this one wasn’t too bad. I shows you how many twists and turns the Monster ride actually took you on. IMG_3718

We had a quick dinner and then we headed over to the rides at the Waterpark and just had the best time. I’ve never been in a water tube that most of it was pitch dark and you have no idea where you’re actually going. And NO I didn’t have my eyes closed … 

Finally at the end of the day and before we said our goodbyes to the kids, it was funnel cake time. funnel cakeNow you absolutely know that these things are not good for you, but boy they sure taste good don’t they? velley fair

After a long day at the park, we found our car and headed back to the farm to get ready for the work week ahead of us. Hopefully next time we go to this park all the kids can go with us. It was such great time!! IMG_3709


Posted in Family, Places to visit | Leave a comment

Sunday is Fun Day! 4th of July weekend continues

Today is Sunday and we’ve got a few things that we have planned. Keeping with the theme that this weekend we’re going to have fun! 

But before we can do some of them, there are some things that I’d like to do. So first things first – laundry. OK, not a fun thing to do but with the weather perfect outside I wanted to hang a couple of loads on the line. 

Next? I want to get the dishes done because we’re debating on heading out later tonight for the night in a hotel and I for sure don’t want to come home with dishes in the sink. Yuck! So I quickly do the dishes and let them air dry while Daryl and I get dressed for a bike ride.

But one more thing before we left for the bike ride is that I wanted to put in a double batch of beef jerky into the dehydrator to bake while we were off on the ride. And I know I’ve said this before, but man I sure wish I would have kept track of how many lbs. I’ve made over the years. Well I don’t have a count but I for sure know it’s been a lot! beef jerky

Now it’s time for a bike ride and I’m really glad that we’re going because the annual bike ride that is coming up in a few weeks will be here before you know it and I need to get ready. Now you would think the ‘getting ready’ part is getting my legs in shape or something like that. Well when I say I need to get ready I need to get  my bottom ready. And NOT really the bottom you’re thinking of. I need to get the bottoms of my feet ready. Weird I know – but I must ride and push off with the bottoms of my feet or something. And OK, I also need to get my ‘bottom’ ready too :)

But I had a chance to wear my new gloves that I got for Christmas. Having new bike gloves is like being able to put on new socks for the first time. You put them on and just kind of stand for a little bit enjoying the feeling. If you know what I’m talking about then you know what it feels to wear new bicycle gloves. It feels awesome! new gloves

We didn’t go too far, maybe 20 miles and then came home quick to get chores done and get packed. We were off to Des Moines to a hotel with a swimming pool and hot tub for the night. 

Yup, July is turning out to be a great month so far!


Posted in Riding bikes | Leave a comment

4th of July weekend

Yea! Finally the long weekend is here!! I was so happy to have a long weekend without much planned – it’s just going to be awesome! 

So first things first. Even though we had a wedding later this afternoon we decided that it would be a good time to get some of the rock picked up off the bean field. OK, this isn’t looking like the funnest thing to don in this weekend now is it? But it is something that we’ve been trying to get done for a couple of weeks. The reason that we didn’t get it done is before is because we’d end up getting some rain (which is a GOOD thing!) and the fields would be too wet to pull a wagon through. 

My original plans for this morning was to go for a run, but seriously I think walking around in the bean field and stepping over the plants kinda qualifies as much exercise as running now don’t you? Anyway I’m counting it. 

Well Daryl got out the tractor and said he’d meet me in the field when I was ready. The only thing that I had to do was to try to find some farm gloves. Now I seriously thought I saw about 4 good pairs in the beginning of Spring, but today? Heck no! I ended up using two right handed ones. Yup, so not cool. But I didn’t want my hands to look so grubby and dirty for the wedding later 0n this afternoon. 

So we were off. This was my first time picking rock with the hog farrowing crate, but with the crops getting taller Daryl didn’t want to damage the field by pulling a wagon through it.

Now seriously I really thought this crate thing was a great idea! Because most of the rocks were on the smaller side you could just toss them in the crate and they would stay in. Not like a hay wagon. If you threw rocks on the wagons, you were risking it flying off the other side and then you’d have to pick up that rock for the second time. Just not a good game plan is it? 

Well things were going well for our quick rock picking adventure. And there was not a lack of rocks by any means where we were picking. At first I always start out pretty ambitious. I mean I am picking up the rocks that should be picked up and then pick up some of the other ones that you think ‘I’ll just grab these guys too’ 

Then as the time goes into the second hour that you are picking rocks, my attitude changes. I look at the smaller ones and ask myself if they are rock picking worthy… and if not? Well I might just accidentally step on them and push them back into the dirt. From the looks of our rocks on the farm, they’ll probably grow up to be bigger ones next year! :)

Now remember how I thought the farrowing crate was a good idea? It really was until we had to unload it. 20160702_113253_resizedIt was so heavy from literally one round in the field,  that when we went out of the field and up a hill the front of the tractor lifted off the ground. Scared me to death!! I just held on and then we finally got into the yard and because the load was so heavy we had to unload it by hand on a rock wagon in the yard. 20160702_115820_resized

We still have some more to pick and time is running out before the crops are way too tall. But I’m guessing that we’ll have maybe a chance later this upcoming week to pick after work. 

And how did my two right handed gloves work to keep my hands and nails clean for the wedding? Not worth a darn. 



Posted in Farming | Leave a comment

Nashville here we come!

We had a chance to go to Nashville earlier last month with my brother and sister in law and we had a blast! 

Now our first instinct is to say that we had too much going on for June. But that’s taking the boring way through life right?  So we said we were in and packed our bags! Let the good times begin!! 

Well I should also say that I hate using vacation days. I mean I have some to use, but jeepers you just never know when you’ll absolutely need them. So we left after work on a Thursday and headed south. Literally.

My brother drove and we ended up the night within a few hours of Nashville, or just on the other side of St. Louis. The hotel that we picked was one of the first ones on the side of the road and it turned out just fine. When we got up in the morning we knew that we’d be in Nashville after noon sometime. Check out the fun car that we saw when heading out for something to eat. We scoped out the restaurant to see if we could find the guy – or girl, who was driving it. Never did find the right person, but there sure some characters that could have fit the bill. bug car nashville 

And guess what? Well we did make it to our next hotel in no time and with luck on our side we ended up in the newly remodeled part of it. I mean I swear no one had even been in there before. It was like when you got a new car and the smell of it being new is something that is very noticeable. The cords were all still hooked together. Yea, pretty cool!

Now to scope out the town. We had a shuttle bus for the weekend from our hotel so no driving for us for the weekend :)

Well a trip downtown to see the sights and boy we tried to fit it all in. From visiting the new Grand Ole Opry posing big guitar nashvilleto stopping in at the Ryman Auditoriumoutside ryman theater nashville20160611_171545_resizedfor a matinee. We saw the following performers: Riders In The Sky, Margo Price, Exile, Mo Pitney Jamie Lynn Spears, The Whites, Kristian Bush, And Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers.20160611_152441_resized4 guys in nashville What a line up right? When when we wanted a tour they said that there wasn’t any tours with the matinee going on and I’m sure glad that we chose the matinee. 

20160611_175105_resizedNow you can’t be in Nashville without checking out the Honky Tonks. And there are sure a lot of those type of bars here. Just one of the things that I learned this weekend is that there are so many levels in each bar and each level had a band. What fun! I also learned to never go out of the bar without your phone or your ID. You will not get back in so easy! bar in nashville

20160611_222418_resizedThen the weekend was over way too soon and back home we went.20160611_175713_resized

Now honestly we really need to do this type of weekend more often!  

Posted in Family, Places to visit | Leave a comment

Fun Day 2016!

I’m so far behind on my postings I decided to start at the present and work my way backwards. 

Because this posting is titled Fun Day 2016, it’s what was going on this weekend at our farm. 

See every year for the past few years we’ve hosted a ‘Fun Day’ for Daryl’s side of the family. After his Mom passed away, they’ve decided not to get together at Christmas and get together in the summer when everyone has a little bit more time just to hang out and to not have to worry about getting to the next Christmas party or a snow storm that’s brewing. Great idea! 

And with us having the Roadhouse available, well it just makes sense that we host it. 

So after saying all of that, I seriously watch the weather for at least 10 days out to see if it’s going to rain or not. Now not that rain would make that much of a difference in the party, but it does make a difference on what games we would be playing. I knew that the weather could be kinda crappy (60% chance of rain in the morning and 100% chance by 8:00) I decided to have both inside and outside games ready. Little did I know that it wasn’t really going to rain until around midnight. Oh well, better to be prepared right? 

Well I worked late the last couple of nights before Saturday to make sure that I was prepared, and after quickly scrubbing the cellar steps and kitchen floor, I literally jumped into some clean clothes and beat it to a local town to run in a 5k. Now was this the smartest move that I could make? Hum.. not sure. I mean I was going to have around 40+ people at our farm for dinner in less than 2 hours after I got home from running. But was I up for the challenge? Heck yes! I seriously thought if I kept the idea that I had to get home to wash the windows in the house and Roadhouse I would run faster. Guess what? It didn’t work :) But it still felt good to go for a run even if I seriously think the whole 3 miles was uphill! 

Then after the run, I got caught up in a tractor parade on the highway that I was going to take home. Thank GOODNESS it wasn’t all 70 some tractors in front of me and I was able to get around them and do some gravel travel to make up for some time lost while I was in the parade. Yea literally driving in the parade.  I mean what are the odds of that? 20160625_090522_resized

Well I made it home and after some quick window washing and a good shower – the party began. And what a great party it was!

Starting out the party with a potluck dinner

Starting out the party with a potluck dinner

I was hoping that it would turn out well, and it was just perfect! The weather was warm and thank goodness for the breeze (yup you heard me right – I was grateful for the wind today!) everyone seemed to have a good time. 

Below are some of the games we played

Bags, Ladder golf, Bocce Ball, Kubb, football, catch, and water ballon fights were just some of the games for the day

Bags, Ladder golf, Bocce Ball, Kubb, football, baseball catch, and water ballon fights were just some of the games for the day

The egg toss is always a favorite

The egg toss is always a favorite

Water volley ball

Water volley ball

DSCN8923After an afternoon of visiting and playing games, the annual hay ride gave me some time to get supper on the table before everyone headed back home. DSCN8949

Like I said – it was a PERFECT DAY!! 

So here is one of my favorite photo’s of the day. Some of the gang just hanging out on our front porch enjoying the afternoon on the farm. DSCN8921

Posted in Family, Roadhouse | Leave a comment