Keeping the fire going

Wow, what a title huh? Well it might just not be what you’re thinking. This description is dealing with cleaning out some of the closets that we have and burning most of it!

Let me back up a little bit. Daryl spent most of the day outside working on cleaning and getting the machinery ready to put back into the sheds for the winter. It’s usually a couple weekends job and it’s also a good thing done. So while he was outside working on that, I really got serious and started to clean out our ‘every day closet’. Now on the farm we seem to have categories for our clothes. We have our job clothes, church clothes, running to town clothes, going out on Saturday night clothes, and then we have the every day clothes – or another name for them is chore clothes. As you probably know by now, in our house we have only two people living here. Those two people are Daryl and I. Well we had enough clothes in our every day closet I swear for our whole town! I mean honestly, do we really need 12 sweatshirts? And especially since we don’t milk anymore and the clothes is to just to do some chores and that’s about it. So today was the day that everything came out of the drawers and decisions were going to be made. I did the old trick of holding it up and making a quick decision. The fate of the garments were in going to be put into three categories. They were going to be given to Good Will if the item still looked pretty good, they were going to be burnt, or they might be lucky enough to be put back into the drawer. Well let’s just say that only 2 pieces of clothes made it to the Good Will pile and I had three garbage bags of stuff that was burnt. Seriously how many left handed chore gloves did we think we needed? And who took all the right handed gloves anyway? And at the end of the day I just couldn’t help myself but to walk by and check out the results of how nice this every day closet looks now! It’s kind of scary the definition of what makes a good Sunday as you get older isn’t it?

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Places to Visit : Galleria De Paco Restaurant & Harris Haven Funeral Home

Wow! What a title huh? Well to make things clear up front, we went to the restaurant and then we went to the haunted funeral home.

We’ve been talking about eating at the restaurant Galleria De Paco for a couple of weeks with my brother and sister-in law, but with all the field work going on it just wasn’t happening. But my brothers and Daryl finished all have the crops this week, so tonight was the night that we were going to give it a try. We knew a little bit about the restaurant, but not that much and let me just say that not only the atmosphere but the inside paintings  were awesome! The parents and their son spent their life savings and started the business. Paco was interviewed and said that he wanted to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling ever since he was 6 and did it by memory at the age of 27 in the restaurant.  OK, now that’s a pretty big goal for anyone! All the painting is done by spray painting and our waiter said that Paco used around 6000 cans of spray paint. He said not all of them were empty, but because he was using so many, the spray paint company was helping out with the cost. If you are lucky enough to eat at the Gallery De Paco, you’ll know that the painting isn’t the only reason that people come to visit. The restaurant has been Recognized World Wide by the following media:  National Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Omaha World Herald, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Hallmark Channel, ABC World News,&  Rachael Ray. Yea, some pretty big names right? After we were seated (literally! Paco’s dad greats you at the door and pulls each persons chair out to seat them) we started our four course meal. The food and atmosphere was great. I pulled a couple of pictures off the web site to give you an idea on how cool the inside actually is.becf65f64b41cb08d51bf4492ab5ab7f3d9b726b_sample-2

 

1469966_10151788766245197_1502405160_nWith our bellies full, next on our list tonight was to head to Harris Haven Funeral Home. It’s a haunted building and not too far from where we ate supper. We weren’t sure if they were open tonight, and luck was on our side because it was their last night of the season. While we were waiting in line, the monster who was guarding the door said that they’ve had really good crowds and just the other day they had over 600 people in one night alone! But like I said, it was the last night so we didn’t have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes before we were left in. We started our visit by going in the front door and I have to admit I was spooked more than once when we were inside. From people that you couldn’t even see standing beside you,  to others grabbing your legs from under the stairway. You walked through what you thought was an outside pathway, but I’m thinking that it was really inside. And just as we could see the door and the parking lot, I made the comment that we finally made it! Then as if on cue – out jumps someone from the dark wall with a real chainsaw!! Yea.. did you catch the real chain saw part? Well, we did make it out after some pretty scary moments and had to laugh at the girl behind us was literally running through the cars in the parking lot with this guy chasing her with that chainsaw. Even though she was screaming and I did feel bad for her – deep down I was so glad that it wasn’t us he was chasing! Definitely a place to go to if you are in the Waterloo area around Halloween. Here is a picture off of their website of what the front of the funeral home looks like.42310-2

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Going for a walk

After work today I wanted to do the whole walk on the trail behind where I work. Even though it was kind of cold, it wasn’t too bad. I threw in the car this morning some thick gloves and also a hat if I needed it. So really there wasn’t any reason why I shouldn’t go right? Well, that’s what I thought and I decided to go for the ‘cool’ look and didn’t wear the gloves or the hat. Yea, cool is right! It was down right chilly! But not the worst that I’ve ever been and I kept going. I’ve never walked this whole path before and I was anxious to do it tonight to check it out. I had pre-ordered a pizza from one of the business’s in town and after my walk I was going to head over to pick it up. I guess I didn’t walk as fast as I was thinking that I could, because I had to call them later and say that I was going to be a little late. But the extra time just checking out the area was worth it. I snapped a couple of pictures (now I sure hope you’re not rolling your eyes :)  ) and there was even a couple that I couldn’t get. The ones that were a given that I missed was a bunch of deer wanting to share the path with me. They took one look at me and ran pretty fast! I could also hear some in the trees while I was walking. Well, I sure hope that those noises were deer. The one picture that I am disappointed that I missed was that of a really cool looking crane standing in the water and the sun was shining just perfect on him. I tried to walk like a stealth machine to get closer – but I guess I wasn’t quite as  successful as I was hoping. He turned his head and took one look at me and beat it out of there. OK, but here are some of the pictures that I did take. The first one is just of one of the small creek running through the area.20141031_160412_resized Honestly when I’m seeing even this little bit of water, I’m thinking to myself… maybe I should go kayaking tomorrow… The next is one of these millions of areas of red berries. I’m not sure if animals can eat them or not, but they sure look appetizing!20141031_152550_resized And finally here is one of an old Pioneer Cemetery. Now I’m not some creeper that loves to take pictures of cemeteries, but I found this one pretty unique. It’s back in this one field along the creek all by it’s self. Now with today being Halloween, I snapped the picture and decided to walk just a little faster when I was in this neighborhood! I didn’t want any surprises here. Happy Halloween!!

Pioneer cemetery

Pioneer cemetery

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Painting projects continue

I was lucky enough these past couple of days to keep working on some of the painting that I need to do outside. You’re not supposed to paint when the weather gets lower than 40 degrees, and I’m cutting it pretty close with the forecast to be at 38. But the wood is pretty bare and my guess is that once the paint is on, it’s going to soak up pretty fast and also dry pretty fast.

This weeks project was to get the one side of the machine shed painted white. It was looking kind of bad and I was hoping to get a chance to do it yet this fall. But I must say that I did run into a problem. My problem is that this part of the shed that I want to paint is on more of a hill and my ladder needed some ‘extra’ precautions when I was setting it up. So I came up with a good idea. My idea is to put the ladder up and then drag out this old cast iron pig water to help hold it in place. Genius right? And once I had everything in place it actually held. At first I wasn’t sure if I lost my nerve when I had the extension ladder extended and I was on the top rungs, but then I realized that with the angle of the ladder, it was almost straight up and down and I needed even more of an angle. So down I go and after dragging the heavy cast iron piece around – I was in business! I did get the part that I wanted to get done finished so that really felt good. But then I still had some paint left in the small painting pail that I was using. Don’t you just hate that? You have to either keep painting or give in and pour it back into the main pail. With the sun going down, it sure didn’t take too long for my fingers to start to get cold. But I decided that I should just keep painting and started to work on the fence by the barn. This was easy painting and my only trouble was to keep the dogs and cats away!

Here is the pictures of the before and after of the machine shed.

Trying to keep up with the painting.

Trying to keep up with the painting. It’s looking kind of bad after I got it all scraped!

After my day of painting

After my day of painting

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Mystery Photo 10-29-14

Here is the mystery photo of the week. DSC_0281a

And the clue is – ‘But of course it was needed back in the day’

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Mystery Photo 10-22-14 results

I was sure someone would have guessed this one.

Here is the clueDSCN9072a

And here is the answer – Milkweed DSCN9072

So that’s why I gave the additional clue that “look at it quick before it’s gone”

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Starting another painting project

When I got home from work today I had to make a decision. Should I lay on the couch drinking a Diet Coke and eat Halloween candy or go outside and start scraping the machine shed so I can paint it yet this fall? Seriously, the couch gig sounded like such a much better idea with the wind blowing and it cooling down in the afternoon. But to even my surprise I put on a sweatshirt and some gloves and headed outside. I was really glad the part of the shed that I wanted to work on was out of the wind, so it wasn’t too bad. I’m a little concerned that I might have lost some of my nerve when it gets windy and your ladder starts to blow sideways. But luckily I didn’t have that problem at all today. So after I find my new scrapper and trusty extension ladder  - I was in business. Now there are a lot of things that I am not good at, but honestly I can scrape a building like the best of them! It’s just too bad that it’s not a good paying job right? And I must say that I like to do this work in tank tops, shorts, and flip flops much better than the wardrobe attire that I had on tonight. I had a scarf to keep my hair somewhat under control, sweatshirt, crop thick pants, socks, shoes, and gloves. Yea, not a pretty sight but I was warm. Now that this part of the machine shed is ready to paint, I’m hoping that the weather cooperates and I can get it done yet this week.

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Going for a walk – Plum Creek Bike and Nature Trail

The weather hasn’t been too bad lately and because it seems like I’m sitting more and more behind the desk at work, I thought I’d better get up and go for some walks during my lunch hour. I mean I literally ate a whole bag of Halloween candy Sunday night by myself, so a walk (more than once!) should be included in my day. And with having the walking path right behind the building where I work there should be no more excuses. So that was my plan as I left home this morning with my tennis shoes tied and off to work I go. Now I have to wear different shoes during the day, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t change back into these tennis shoes during the lunch hour. And guess what? It was a really good plan. Not only did I get to see tons of birds, but also I swear there was a squirrel by every tree gathering the black walnuts and running off with their treasures. At our farm I don’t think I’ve ever seen a squirrel in the 30+ years. Kinda weird isn’t it? But with crazy dogs and cats running around all the time, it doesn’t leave much room for squirrels to survive. OK, back to my walking excursion. The trail that I went on was the Plum Creek Bike and Nature Trail and as I was walking on it I thought how lucky this town is to have such a nice path to enjoy. Maybe it was the sun shining with a cool wind hitting my face or the leaves crunching under my shoes, but I was really enjoying this. I had my phone along to keep track of the time and of course it has a camera on it, so I snapped a couple of pictures along the way. Are you surprised? I didn’t walk the whole 5 mile loop today, but maybe I’ll walk it after work sometime. I spend too much time checking out what’s in the creek and counting the squirrels as I go by to really focus on getting a lot of walking done. Oh yea, maybe also taking pictures :)

Speaking of pictures, here are the ones that I took today. The first one is part of the path that I was walking on. I kind of like how it turned out because to me it looks like something that you glue up on the wall behind your couch or something doesn’t it?   20141027_114419_resized (1)The rest of the path that I walked on went by an old school house, some cows just hanging out, and a vineyard.

The old school house stand pretty proud against the fall sky

The old school house stands pretty proud against the fall sky

I think these cows have it made! Their pasture has a small creek running through it!

I think these cows have it made with a small creek running through their pasture

There is a winery along the way on the path and grapes as far as you can see all lined up in the fields

There is a winery along the way on the path and grapes as far as you can see all lined up in the fields

I ended up at the pond and then turned around to head back to work. I saw this little caterpillar and couldn’t help but notice how much brown he was wearing. The old wives tale is that the more brown –  the harder the winter. Looking at this little guy, I’d say we’re in for a whopper of a winter!20141027_115710_resized

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Combining Corn is done!

Combining corn is done for another year. Now this is either good news or bad news. The good news part of it is that the stress of trying to get the harvest done is over and it’s not even November. Whoo Hoo!! But the bad news is that when you are done it’s the end of your crop and it seems like you’re always hoping for more you know? But for tonight, well I’m glad that Daryl got done. It’s as exciting to see the combine come back in the yard as it is to see it go out for the first time of the season. DSCN9134

As for me? Well I spent the day working on getting some stuff painted around the farm. I wanted to get for sure the old milk house painted and the fence by the cattle yard done today. Now there’s been much debate on the color of the milk house and I really wasn’t sure what color it should be. So I left it up to Daryl and he said that the milk house has always been white and I guess then I should paint it white again. DSCN9125My plans for this building is to make it into a play house for when we have family over the little kids can go in there and play. Seriously I think that will be pretty cool don’t you?  I laughed when I was working on painting today because I kept having Smoochie the little orange kitty hanging around. She’d rub against the pail or the wall and then she’d rub against my legs. Needless to say that at the end of the day I had white stripes all over my legs from her. When I was washing it off later, I found out that Daryl had some trouble with the cat when he was opening up the paint. And when the cat had gotten white all over her face, well Daryl ended up having to give it a quick bath in the barn. I would have liked to see that!  I was going to show the before and after of the milk house, but I didn’t get enough of the landscaping bricks on Friday, so you’ll just have to wait to see the official ‘after’ picture.

After I got the milk house painted, it was time to move on to the fence. I took a quick snapshot of the fence before and after and even though it might not look like that much of a difference – it really was and it looks a lot cleaner now.

Before

Before

After

After

Daryl was also able to get the cow yard cleaned up for the winter months in between unloading corn today. We had some trouble with Ed the bull lately, and he’d put his head under the one gate and keep lifting it up and down until he broke the hook. Now you’re probably asking yourself, who cares if they broke the hook right? Well the gate was the only barrier between the cows and all our round bales of hay. Yea, once they’d get into the shed they were some pretty happy cows! But since their couple days of fooling us, Daryl put a kabash on that and now they’re locked out for good. In the meantime, they sure made a mess. So that was his other project today, cleaning up the cow yard. (Looking at this picture, it seems like this fence needs a little paint also! )DSCN9127

And the photo of the day is that of our cows while Daryl is working in the yard. DSCN9130

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In the zone man!

I knew today was going to be a perfect fall day. Just the kind of day that you should be on the water kayaking right? Well, that wasn’t going to happen today! Daryl is working hard to get the corn out of the field before the weather turns and I have more than enough to keep me busy. I really want to see if I can start painting today. And wouldn’t you just know it? Wayyy too much dew last night and with the last couple days of rain, the wood was too wet. Arrrgghh! OK, so first things first. I had some chicken breasts in the refrigerator, so I quick threw a marinade on it and back into the refrigerator it went for supper tonight. Next? Let’s get a pork roast into the crock pot so I can make some shredded pork sandwiches. I kind of made up this recipe as I went and who would have known that it actually was pretty good? Since I kind of made up the recipe, I don’t think that I can give you the actual amounts. But I’ll give it a shot on how I did it. I cut up an onion and put that on the bottom of my crock pot. Then put the pork roast on top of that. Next I mixed 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 of a cup of brown sugar, put in a pretty good dash of soy sauce, a couple of tablespoons of garlic, splash of olive oil, some red wine that I had in the kitchen :) , salt and pepper. After I poured it on top of the roast, I let it cook on high for around 6 hours.DSCN9075After it was tender and cooked, I shredded it and added some barbecue sauce. Now I’m not that big of a pork person, but this roast was good! But since I wanted it for dinner, and it wasn’t going to be done yet, I had to grab the chicken that was in the refrigerator and barbecue that up quick. I knew that I’d have too much, but that was OK. After dinner, I used the leftover chicken and mixed that with some chicken broth and added the leftover rice also from dinner, some carrots, onions and celery. And just like that we have chicken and rice soup! Well since I was in the kitchen, I also made a zesty shrimp pasta dish to put in the refrigerator for this week. This one I also kind of made up and it’s also not too bad. The last thing that I’m making today was a chocolate cake with sour cream frosting. I’m not sure why are clothes are getting a little too tight, do you? I washed two batches of dishes by hand and ran the dishwasher twice also. Now it’s time to move on to another activity. After I picked up all the floor rugs, I quick gave the floor a good scrubbing. You would think with only Daryl and I in the house that it wouldn’t get that dirty right? I threw the rugs outside and found out later that the Fearsome Five really was also pretty glad that I cleaned the floors! DSCN9122Do you ever put stuff off and then finally get so crabby about it, that you just think ‘all right’!! I’ll do it. Well, that’s me and the changing of the closets. Our house is an old farmhouse and the closets aren’t that big, so I have to take out the summer clothes and switch it for fall and winter. I’ve come to realize that with the company work shirts that we wear, I really don’t need that many clothes and I’ve gotten really pretty good at the whole purge thing. So my summer clothes were on two small piles and now to move in the winter stuff. It’s kind of dorky what I do, but I hold each piece of clothing up and look at it and see if it’s worthy to go into THE closet. See I told you it was dorky. If I haven’t worn it or I don’t think I’ll wear it, into the Good Will pile it goes. And if I’m on the fence on something, it might or might not make it – it just depends on my mood. It was a great feeling to have this done again for the next 6 (hopefully less!) months. I’m not sure why I put this off every time, but it’s pretty much a given that I do. Now what should I do? Daryl was busy doing field work and I needed a plan for me. Well, laundry was on my list. Like I said the weather was great, so I did I think around 6 loads of laundry and hung only 3 on the line. Most of the line stuff was work clothes or jeans and pants. You know, bigger stuff. The smaller stuff like socks and also towels all go in the drier. I like the smell of fresh clothes on the line, but I don’t really like a towel dried on the line. I like my towels to smell like fabric softener. After checking again if I could paint, I thought I’d better wait until tomorrow to start. Now about this time, Daryl came home again and he asked me to watch the corn wagon and auger. No problem, but I wanted to grab my camera just in case I got a little bored.

Daryl asked if I could help watch the auger

Daryl asked if I could help watch the auger

DSCN9083 So here are some of the pictures that I took while I was watching the auger. Good thing I didn’t have any problems with the auger, I was having a good time getting the pictures! I was going to go for a quick run after he got home, but I just got lazy and watched a movie instead. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get a run in!

Our roses are still blooming and for some reason they are both pink and yellow?

Our roses are still blooming and for some reason they are both pink and yellow?

Sweet Miss Reno. Always ready to give you some love!

Sweet Miss Reno. Always ready to give you some love!

I swear Kaiser poses for his pictures!

I swear Kaiser poses for his pictures!

Our drill just waiting for another Spring to come

Our drill just waiting for another Spring to come

One of our new little chickens.

One of our new little chickens.

Messing with my camera settings to get this picture.

Messing with my camera settings

Tools in the machine shed. Hummm I see a pulley, I wonder if Daryl would notice if it was gone?

Tools in the machine shed. Hummm I see a pulley, I wonder if Daryl would notice if it was gone?

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