Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I've been thinking these kinds of thoughts this afternoon, after hearing the terrible news that my dad and brother learned while at the local equipment dealer/parts store (Titan Machinery)... I guess our neighbor's hired man's wife left him about a week ago--I'm not sure why. This morning, our neighbor tried calling his hired man on the phone but got no answer. He then went to the hired man's place, only to find the man dead... He had committed suicide sometime this morning!
I've tried to imagine what his wife must be feeling tonight, (as far as I know, they weren't divorced, just separated.) Is she blaming herself for what happened? How is she going to explain to her little children what happened today to their daddy? It's all just too sad to think about for long... Please join me in praying for the remainder of this family~
My family & I got various odd jobs accomplished in this day. The guys fixed the baler with the parts that came in at Titan and then helped our landlady, Fern get a new couch moved in and they brought her old one home and burned it. The old couch was stained and the springs poked you in the back when you sat on it, so we decided that the burn pile was the best place for it...
I picked about half of the broccoli from our garden this afternoon and Mom and I were busy with it the rest of the day. Here's a picture of the broccoli, soaking in salt water so as to be rid of any little green worms that might be hiding amongst the branches of our "Miniature trees".
We also got our 57 Holstein yearlings out in a new part of the pasture by the farm here, so they're happy tonight. Now hopefully we can keep them all in the fence!
I think the best part of the day was when we went for a family walk this morning--through the garden; over to get the mail; and then over to the raspberry patch to pick and enjoy several plump berries.
Life is so good. I treasure it so much and just don't understand why someone would decide to end their life?
Beautiful faces are those that wear--
It matter little if dark or fair--
Whole-souled honesty written there.
Beautiful eyes are those that show,
Like crystal panes where heart-fires glow,
Beautiful thoughts that burn below.
Beautiful lips are those whose words
Leap from the heart like songs of birds,
Yet whose utterance prudence girds.
Beautiful hands are those that do
Work that is earnest and brave and true,
Moment by moment the long day through.
Beautiful feet are those that go
On kindly ministries to and fro--
Down lowliest way, if God wills it so.
Beautiful shoulders are those that bear
Ceaseless burdens of homely care
With patient grace and daily prayer.
Beautiful lives are those that bless--
Silent rivers of happiness
Whose hidden fountains but few may guess.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
...and here's another picture of our sorry looking deck further down... (the last big windstorm we had made this mess.)
Dad got out his handy saw and took the railing off. :)
Then the guys cut out some boards in the floor that were rotting and put some new boards in, so now it's safe to walk on the deck once more. Hooray! Now we'll have to find some time to stain and varnish the deck floor some day before winter... It is so nice to be able to look out the kitchen window now and not see that mess out there anymore!!! Thanks so much for all your work, guys!
Well, that was our busy day. I just love days like this when we have time to work on out-of-the-ordinary type projects!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
My parents and Andrew spent almost the whole day in the hay fields. Mom and Andrew just got home now and my dad is staying over there to bale later on when the hay is moist enough. He may not even come home tonight he said...
Quite a few days back, our friend Sarah gave my mom a Kombucha mushroom to make Kombucha tea with. It was ready to be used today, so I made up 2 new batches of tea; separated the "Mother" mushroom from the "Baby" mushroom; and got 2 jars of Kombucha brewing. We now have about 3 quarts of tea to drink, so hopefully we'll grow to like it. :) If all goes well, we will have mushrooms to give to others soon too!
This evening, as Jacob & I were milking the goats, a beekeeper from Steele stopped in to see if he could put bee hives by our sunflowers. I asked him to call my dad, so I'm not sure what's going to happen there. We always enjoy having bees on our land, as then we get some honey in return and, as we do pretty much all of our baking and cooking with honey, we need a lot in a years time.
Well, it sounds like the rest of my family (the ones who are here, I mean) are almost ready for prayer, so I'll quickly post a cute poem I found and then sign off. You've probably already heard this one, but I thought I'd post it anyway as it seemed so fitting for this season.
BED IN SUMMER
by Robert Louis Stevenson
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candlelight.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
I must admit, it's been a while since I've gone to bed by day, but I do have memories of doing so as a child! :)
Monday, July 27, 2009
Mother, Jacob & I weeded our long, side flower bed this morning which took a while. We have some peas planted in the back of the flower bed too, (so that we can pick some on the way out to the mailbox each day,) so we had to be extra careful with those plants.
I made a batch of fresh bread this afternoon and then made a pizza crust out of some of the dough. Mom and I cut up a bunch of vegetables and we had a very yummy veggie pizza! Dad and Andrew just got home from the hayfield, so I need to go put the rest of the pizza on the table for them...
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Here my parents are visiting while waiting to go through the food line... (My mom's up on the deck and my dad is sitting in the wooden chair.)
Friday, July 24, 2009
While Jacob was out with my camera, he decided to take a picture of Millie too. When I saw this picture, I realized that our puppy can look really mean and wild! If you know Millie though, you know she is anything but mean, although the wild part might be applied to her--as in, wildly full of energy!!!
This is the cake I decorated this afternoon... It was not nearly as time consuming as yesterday's project, which was good, as we had the house to clean and Mom and Jacob went to town for part of the afternoon for supplies, so there was not a dull moment in this day!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I soooo much want to show pictures of Andrew's new, used pickup that he brought home tonight, but I think he should have the privledge of posting about it first, so, sorry, you'll have to be patient. Perhaps he'll have time to blog on Saturday...?
Mother took this picture of the bales Dad and I moved in yesterday. They look pretty disastrous currently, as my dad hasn't had time to stack them yet. They do make a really nice place for our barn cats to crawl around in and find mice this way though!
I spent most of my afternoon in decorating this cake for our friend's 30th wedding anniversary that's tomorrow. Mrs. K. requested a covered wagon going into a valley, with mountains surrounding it and a few Sego Lilies and some gulls. The oxen look kind of fake, but I was happy with how the rest of the cake turned out. Here is the end result:
I have a birthday cake to do tomorrow for another friend, (I need to go take it out of the pan right now....Be back in a minute....)
I'm back... We had family prayer in between there too, as we wanted to pray together before my dad headed out to bale alfalfa. He'll be out for a few hours he thinks. That sure makes me appreciate my nice, soft bed all the more! Speaking of which, I think I'll post this and crawl in...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
It seemed like our family was going in every which direction today and it is so nice to all be under the same roof once again! God has blessed us with safety through all our adventures and we are so grateful!
Let me tell you a bit about our day...
My dad and Andrew left right away in the morning for the hayfield, as they had equipment to fix before they could start baling... That left Mother, Jacob & I for chores, which really isn't a problem now days, except for when the neighbor calls your mother right before she comes out to the barn and says that your cows are out in his hay field!!! Yup, they were. I helped with chores until just the goats were left to milk, and then I headed up to the pasture in Andrew's fencing vehicle, the Ram. Mom and Jacob had to get going to Bismarck, as they had appointments to keep, so it was just me against the cows. After chasing the apprx. 30 cows back and forth a couple times, (and after taking the fence down and putting it back up when they ran right by it and didn't go over it,) they finally found the gate I had opened for them and went in. I had to fix the fence in a couple places and then headed for home. I was just in time to meet Mother and Jacob heading for town. I gave them the cell phone and they quickly left me in a cloud of dust.
Once home again, I started in on the project of baking a large (14"x22") carrot cake for an anniversary of some friends of ours. I had just gotten everything mixed together well and was pouring the batter into the pan when the phone rang...
"Hello Cora, this is Dad. Ah, what are you up to?"
(Me speaking...) "Well, I was just getting ready to put my cake in the oven, why?"
(My dad again...) "I was on my way home on Andrew's motorcycle, when it died."
(Me...) "Oh oh, and you'd like me to come pick you up?"
(Papa...) "That would be nice!"
So, I popped my cake in the oven; set the timer for an hour and a half; went out and put gas in the Ram and climbed back into Andrew's somewhat-trusty vehicle for a 7 mile journey to the West. Actually, it was only about a 6 mile journey, as my dad had started walking already and was about a mile East of the bike when I got to him.
On the way home, we took a short detour up to the pasture to check on the cows. We were pleasantly surprised to see that they were behaving themselves! When we got home, my cake still had an hour to go, so Dad asked if I'd help him get bales in. He looked at the time on his cell phone (so he'd know when I'd have to come in and check on my cake) and we headed out.
My dad drove the tractor and loaded the big square bales onto the back of the white truck that I was driving around to wherever the bales were. We got one load in before I had to go check on my cake. It needed a few more minutes, so I did some dishes in the meantime and Dad put some gas in the truck. Then I took the cake out and we went back out to the field, although I had to return after the next load to take the cake out of the pan!
We worked in the field for about 3 hours and got all 111 bales off (I could haul 10 at a time). Now Dad just has to stack them all up neatly...
By the time we got in, it was 6:30, so I made some supper quick and Mom and Jacob pulled in just in time to join us in our hurried meal. Then Jacob & I worked on chores while our parents went to get Andrew's motorcycle home--which they managed to do with no new problems. :)
Andrew got home just before dark---hungry; tired; and happy! Yes, happy.... He is now the proud owner of a very nice pickup, but I won't say anymore, as I'm sure he'll want to tell you about it sometime in the near future. :)
As I was thinking tonight about our busy day, I remembered a song that used to be my brother's and my favorite song to sing around the place. We heard it on a computer game we had bought for Jacob when he was 4 years old or so and liked it so much that it didn't take long to memorize it! Here are the words to "The farm song":
"Well, we're up with the sun and out in the fields,
Raising up the crops for their highest yields,
Plowing and a plantin' and a balin' up a storm_____
It's a great big job when you're workin' on a farm!
Got a tractor out here and it's working all day,
A pullin' and a pushin' and a towin' things away,
Then it's in from the fields and back to the barn_______
It's a great big job when you're workin' on a farm!
'Cause you gotta be big, and you gotta' be quick,
And you gotta watch out that the plow doesn't stick,
And you gotta be tough, and you gotta be strong________
'Cause this is one big job that lasts a whole year long!
In the Spring we plow, in the Summer we grow,
In the Autumn we harvest it--row by row,
In the Winter we've got to keep the animals warm______
It's a great big job when you're workin' on a farm!
I wish you could hear the melody of this song too, as it's very cute and has some neat harmony, but alas, this song is not on U-Tube. :(
Well, I need to get some sleep.
Until the next break in farm life,
In the examination paper, the professor wanted us to sign a form stating that we had not received any outside assistance. Unsure of whether he should sign the form, a student stated that he had prayed for the assistance of God. The professor carefully studied the answer script and then said, "You can sign it with a clear conscience. God did not assist you."
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Anyway, other than that, we had a good day. My dad and Andrew worked on hay (they're still in the field as I write this); Mother had a client come this afternoon from over by Linton; Jacob & I fixed some fence up in the pasture; I got another cake order; and our honey-man stopped in to talk about where he could put another setting of bees.
Oh, by the way, I discovered today that I have a green thumb. ---I noticed it after picking hundreds of suckers off of the tomato plants!
Monday, July 20, 2009
My dad and brother, Andrew worked on stacking hay most of the afternoon, and somewhere in all of the hustle and bustle, we children mowed the lawn again. It is so wonderful to have green grass in July--a time when the lawn is usually drying up and turning a sickly brown color.
I am so grateful for Andrew, as he took my camera apart and fixed it for me today!!! Hooray! My mom took this picture of him showing me what the inside of my pink camera looks like:
Those were the highlights of our day.
Now I'd like to share one of my very favorite stories--one that provides a good role model for women everywhere. It's simply called:
My friend Leslie had married a beautiful and accomplished girl, who had been brought up in the midst of fashionable life. She had, it is true, no fortune; but that of my friend was ample, and he delighted in the anticipation of indulging her in every elegant pursuit and administering to her delicate tastes and fancies..... "Her life," said he, "shall be like a fairy tale."
The very difference in their characters produced a harmonious combination---he was of a romantic and somewhat serious cast; she was all life and gladness. I have often noticed the mute rapture with which he would gaze upon her in company, of which her sprightly powers made her his delight; and how, in the midst of applause, her eye would still turn to him as if there alone she sought favor and acceptance.
When leaning on his arm, her slender form contrasted finely with his tall, manly person. The fond, confiding air with which she looked up to him seemed to call forth a flush of triumphant pride and cherishing tenderness as if he doted on his lovely burden for its very helplessness. Never did a couple set forward on the flowery path of early and well-suited marriage with a fairer prospect of felicity.
It was the misfortune of my friend, however, to have embarked his property in large speculations; and he had not been married many months, when, by a succession of sudden disasters, it was swept from him, and he found himself reduced to almost penury. For a time he kept his situation to himself and went about with a haggard countenance and a breaking heart. His life was but a protracted agony; and what rendered it more insupportable was the necessity of keeping up a smile in the presence of his wife; for he could not bring himself to overwhelm her with the news.
She saw, however, with the quick eyes of affection, that all was not well with him. She marked his altered looks and stifled sighs and was not to be deceived by his sickly and vapid attempts at cheerfulness. She tasked all her sprightly powers and tender blandishments to win him back to happiness; but she only drove the arrow deeper into his soul. The more he saw cause to love her, the more torturing was the thought that he was soon to make her wretched.
A little while, thought he, and the smile will vanish from that cheek---the song will die away from those lips---the luster of those eyes will be quenched with sorrow; and the happy heart which now beats lightly in that bosom will be weighed down like mine, with the cares and miseries of the world. At length he came to me, one day, and related his whole situation, in a tone of the deepest despair.
When I had heard him through I inquired, "Does your wife know all this?"
At the question he burst into an agony of tears. "For God's sake!" cried he, "if you have any pity on me, don't mention my wife; it is the thought of her that drives me almost to madness."
"And why not?" said I, "She must know it sooner or later; you can not keep it long from her, or the intelligence may break upon her in a more startling manner than if imparted by yourself; for the accents of those we love soften the harshest tidings. Besides, you are depriving yourself of the comforts of her sympathy; and not merely that, but also endangering the only bond that can keep hearts together--unreserved community of thought and feeling. She will soon perceive that something is secretly preying upon your mind; and true love will not brook reserve; it feels undervalued and outraged when even the sorrows of those it loves are concealed from it."
"Oh, but my friend! To think what a blow I am to give to all her future prospects--how I am to strike her very soul to the earth, by telling her that her husband is a beggar! That she is to forgo all the elegances of life--all the pleasures of society--to shrink with me into indigence and obscurity! To tell her that I have dragged her down from the sphere in which she might have continued to move in constant brightness, the light of every eye, the admiration of every heart! How can she bear poverty? She has been brought up in all the refinements of opulence. How can she bear neglect? She has been the idol of society. Oh! It will break her heart--it will break her heart!"
After additional patience, I finally persuaded Leslie to go home and unburden his sad heart to his wife. The next morning I was eager to know the results. In inquiring, I found that Leslie had made the disclosure.
"And how did she bear it?"
"Like an angel! It seemed rather to be a relief to her mind, for she threw her arms 'round my neck, and asked if this was all that had lately made me unhappy. But, poor girl!" added he, "She can not realize the change we must undergo. She has no idea of poverty but in the abstract; she has only read of it in poetry, where it is allied to love. She feels yet no privation; she suffers no loss of accustomed conveniences nor elegances. When we come practically to experience its sordid cares, its paltry wants, its petty humiliations, then will be the real trial."
Some days afterward he called upon me in the evening. He had disposed of his dwelling house, and taken a small cottage in the country, a few miles from town. He had been busied all day in sending out furniture. The new establishment required few articles, and those of the simplest kind.
He was going out to the cottage where his wife had been all day superintending its arrangement. My feelings had become strongly interested in the progress of the family story, and as it was evening, I offered to accompany him. He was wearied with the fatigues of the day, and as he walked out, fell into a fit of gloomy musing.
"Poor Mary!" at length broke, with a heavy sigh from his lips.
"And what of her?" asked I; "Has anything happened to her?"
"What!" said he, darting an impatient glance; "Is it nothing to be reduced to this paltry situation, to be caged in a miserable cottage, to be obliged to toil almost in the menial concerns of her wretched habitation?"
"Has she, then, repined at the change?"
"Repined! She has been nothing but sweetness and good humor. Indeed, she seems in better spirits than I have ever known her; she has been to me all love and tenderness and comfort!"
"Admirable girl!" exclaimed I. "You call yourself poor, my friend, you never were so rich! You never knew the boundless treasures of excellence you possess in that woman."
"Oh, but, my friend, if this, our first meeting at the cottage were over, I think I could then be comfortable. But this is her first day of real experience; she has been introduced into a humble dwelling; she has been employed all day in arranging the miserable equipment; she has for the first time, known fatigues of domestic employment; she has, for the first time, looked around her on a home destitute of everything elegant, almost everything convenient; and now may be sitting down exhausted and spiritless, brooding over a prospect of future poverty."
There was a degree of probability in this picture that I could not gainsay; so we walked on in silence. After turning from the main road up a narrow lane, so thickly shaded with forest trees as to give it a complete air of seclusion, we came in sight of the cottage. It was humble enough in its appearance for the most pastoral poet; and yet it had a pleasing rural look. A wild vine had overrun one end with a profusion of foliage; a few trees threw their branches gracefully over it; and I observed several pots of flowers tastefully disposed about the door, and on the grass-plot in front.
A small wicket gate opened upon a footpath that wound through some shrubbery to the door. Just as we approached, we heard the sound of music. Leslie grabbed my arm. We paused and listened. It was Mary's voice, singing in a style of the most touching simplicity, a little air of which her husband was peculiarly fond. I felt Leslie's hand tremble on my arm. He stepped forward, to hear more distinctly. His step made a noise on the gravel walk.
A bright, beautiful face glanced out of the window and vanished, a light footstep was heard, and Mary came tripping forth to meet us. She was in a pretty rural dress of white; a few wildflowers were twisted in her fine hair; a fresh bloom was on her cheek, her whole countenance beamed with smiles. I had never seen her look so lovely.
"My dear Leslie," cried she, "I am so glad you are come! I have been watching and watching for you; and running down the lane, and looking for you. I've set out a table under a beautiful tree behind the cottage; and I've been gathering some of the most delicious strawberries, for I know you are fond of them, and we have such excellent cream, and everything is so sweet and still here! Oh!" said she, putting her arm within his and looking up brightly in his face--"Oh, we shall be so happy."
Poor Leslie was overcome. He caught her to his bosom, he folded his arms around her, he kissed her again and again, he could not speak, but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me that, though the world has since gone prosperously with him, and his life has, indeed, been a happy one, yet never has he experienced a moment of more exquisite felicity.
In making application to this story, remember, you may be required to adapt to something less romantic than a cottage in the woods. It may be a cold house in a crowded city, or a barren home in a dry desert. But, adapting to these dreary situations cheerfully will deepen his (your husband's--or your families, for that matter) appreciation and love for you.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Anyway, I dug out a couple pictures from when we were small and thought I'd post them here-- along with the wedding pictures. Enjoy!
Here is a picture of Andrew, myself and Kjersti...
This picture I believe was taken at my 4th birthday sleep-over party. Kjersti's on the left, then me, and then is our friend, Lindsey, who lived upstairs from my family. We three were best of friends for several years!
As I was thinking today about Jason & Kjersti's wedding, and about growing up, I thought of this song from "Fiddler on the Roof" and just had to share it... Time goes by so quickly!And now for the pictures from yesterday! A certain somebody (of whom I'm still ignorant who it was) came in my room and took this one of me--taking one last peek in my mirror to make sure I was presentable. "A smile might be nice!" :)
Here's the cute couple... Actually, these two are uncle and niece!
Then we went inside and watched the picture taking.... The trumpeter is Kjersti's dad, Steve, and the lady standing by Jason is Kjersti's older sister, Andrea (who sang "Panis Angelicus" beautifully during the ceremony.)
The pretty bride (she still has really red hair!)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here I was trying to look brave. :)
The tractor, baler and I made it all in one piece, (or, 3 pieces, rather) and without difficulties, so it went well.
After Andrew came and ate his lunch, I sat in the tractor and read for a long time until Mother and Jacob came to pick me up. When we got home, we cleaned the house in record time and made a lot of food......as tomorrow we ladies aren't going to be here! My friend of 19 years is getting married tomorrow in Fargo (Tamera, it's Kjersti who's getting married!) and the guys are doing the chores so Mom & I can go. I'm so excited!!! I'll try to get some pictures, but my camera's been acting up lately, so we'll see.
Tomorrow is a special day for another reason... It will be one year since we got our dog, Millie! She was SO cute when she was small, although I must admit I like her temperament and manners better now than back then. :) Here's Millie and I a year ago:
And this is what she looks like nowadays... Ah, she's the one on the right. :)
Well, I need to get to bed and try to sleep. :) Weddings are always so exciting...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
These Runner Beans are finally getting to the point that they can wrap around the old plow that we use as a lawn ornament.
I'm not sure where these flowers came from, as we didn't plant any like this this year, but I think they're really pretty!
That's all for now~