Monday, August 31, 2009

My favorite zoo pictures~

Andrew found a way to transfer the pictures from his phone to the computer today--even without the part he ordered! (He says he's still glad that he placed the order, as he'll have more storage capacity with the adapter, or whatever you call that thing...) Now I'm able to share my favorite zoo pictures with you. :) (Thanks for taking the neat photos, Andrew.)

This little prairie dog was so friendly that we were able to pet him! We observed that he preferred Cheerios over corn! We didn't pet this guy though....

....or this guy....
...or this guy!
It was so wonderful to be able to visit with the Geiger family as we walked through the zoo. Miranda and I got to visit quite a bit, so that was really special! Pictured below, from left to right, are: Moses G., Jacob, Miranda G., Micah G. (Miranda's little brother), Me, my dad, my mom, and our former neighbor, Terri G., whom we met there unexpectedly.
Molly Geiger was taking pictures for the sponsors of the free day at the zoo...
And one more picture... (left to right) Me, Morgan, Miranda, Molly (holding Micah), Mrs. Geiger and Mother.
What a fun day that was!
I'm really excited now because tonight I received a phone call from Miranda... She asked if she could come visit us on Thursday and spend the night, (I said yes!) so that brightened my day and gave me an unexpected pleasure to look forward to!
And now about our day~
My morning and afternoon were mainly spent in the kitchen, grinding up the tomato sauce; making 6 more quarts of sauerkraut with Jacob; getting the yogurt fermenting; and helping mother with cutting up apples for making apple-cider vinegar and also with getting the new batch of Kombucha going again. Oh, I was going to share the results of a little experiment I did... I had read on-line that, if you don't have a Kombucha mushroom (known as a SCOBY), you can just set out some Kombucha tea on the counter; cover it with a cloth; let it set; and it will form a new mushroom in a few days. Some people said this wouldn't work, so I thought I'd give it a try, even though we're not lacking in mushrooms by any means. The result of my experiment was a very thick, healthy looking mushroom!!! Mom and I used it in one of the jars of tea we started, so in 8-10 days, we'll know if it made good Kombucha or not. :)
Our guys were busy today as well... This morning, they moved our big tire-tank up to one of the cells in the pasture, as the tanks that were up there were small metal ones that were pretty beat up by the cows. After lunch, they worked on the hay-head (that goes on the tractor) for the rest of the afternoon--changing the sickle bars and putting new guards in, etc...
Tomorrow sounds like another full day, so I'd best sign off and get some rest. Goodnight everyone~

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Our garden produce is ripening well and is coming in full force these days, it seems. I picked enough ripe tomatoes this afternoon to make a double batch of our favorite freezer-tomato-sauce. I needed a few peppers for the sauce, so picked a few of them as well...

These two tomatoes were so big that I just had to get a picture of them. Each one is a handful in itself! (That's a quarter in-between them.)
Jacob was my assistant in the garden and kitchen for a little while and pulled some nice carrots for me. He was trying to figure out if a carrot would work as a substitute for a baseball bat, but I think he was doubtful of its capabilities in that area...
As we were in a silly mood, I decided to smell the bouquet of onions I brought in from the garden and Jacob took my picture...
I finally got everything chopped up and added the seasonings to the pot. I cooked it down for a couple hours and then let it cool down. Tomorrow I'll grind it up in our Vita-Mix and put it in freezer bags and freeze it. We enjoy using this sauce either on spaghetti or on pizza, and just add a few more spices accordingly when we thaw it out.
I found this cute poem just a little bit ago and thought I'd share it with you~ So far, we're in the enjoying-the-ripening-tomato stage, but from the looks of things, we'll soon be in the overloaded stage!
Tomatoes On My Windowsill
by Robin Benzle (with a slight change made to the last verse to make it appropriate)

Tomatoes on my windowsill,
Lined up like happy soldiers,
From pale green as key-lime pie,
To red as sunburned shoulders.
They seem to smile at the sun,
While they patiently a-ripen.
And when I do my kitchen chores,
I smile back, enlightened.
One by one I take them down
From their nest upon the sill,
And add them to a salad or
Perhaps a sauce with dill.
Then to my garden I return
To pluck another load,
And tenderly I line them up
On that shelf in my abode.
No sooner do I get them shelved,
Than my garden calls me back.
They're ripening all at once, I think,
As I stuff them in my sack.
So I give them to my neighbors
and I give them to my friends.
I give them to my enemies,
Just to make amends.
Soon, I note they're turning red
So fast it makes me ill.
From off the vine, they drop like flies.
My plot looks like road kill!
Tomatoes on my windowsill
All rotting in a row.
I never thought I'd say this but,
"Where, oh where's the snow?"

After the sauce was cooking, I asked Jacob which of Mrs. Bartletts' recipes he'd like me to try baking. (Mother asked her for a couple of her recipes, as the boys really enjoyed her muffins and bread sticks while they were up there for the Appleseed Project....) He said he'd like the muffins for supper, so I made a batch of Raspberry Muffins! The boys said they weren't quite like Mrs. Bartletts', but they were still very good. I think perhaps the difference was in the kind of sweetener I used, as the recipe called for sugar, but I used honey. There was only 1 little muffin left by the time supper was over with, so I think they would be considered a success nevertheless. :)

This picture is old news, but as I never posted a picture of the calf Jacob bought from our neighbors a couple days ago, I thought I'd post it now. "Ellie May" was pretty wild when we got her, but she's already settled down nicely and comes up to the fence with the others when it's feeding time.
This picture was taken a couple days ago too. Jacob was demonstrating some of the firing positions he learned at the Appleseed Shoot...
I have one more picture to share and that is of our apples... They are really falling off the trees now whenever there's a little bit of a breeze, so I imagine we'll be picking the rest soon and will be doing a balancing act between making things with apples and making things with tomatoes!
I thank the Lord for the bounty He's blessed us with this year.~

A recipe~

A friend asked for the recipe for Golden Cheddar Broccoli Bake and I had a few moments, so thought I would post it. Enjoy~

4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup corn flake crumbs (my mom used bread crumbs and they were just as delicious!)
1-12 oz. can whole kernel corn (my mom cut corn off the cob when she made it :)
2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained (fresh broccoli from the garden is even better!)

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter, then stir in the flour and salt. Add milk gradually and mix until smooth. Cook this mixture until it boils--stirring constantly. Add the cheese and stir until it's all melted. Mix in 1/4 cup of corn flake crumbs (or bread crumbs), then add the corn. Arrange the broccoli in 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 inch baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over broccoli. Toss remaining 1/2 cup crumbs with 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

A day at the zoo (and with friends too~)

This day turned out to be a wonderful, wonderful day!!! We actually had no plans for the day as of this morning, but there was some talk of getting out and about and "Doing something." While we children were out in the barn starting chores this morning, my parents were talking over some possibilities for places we could go and then decided to call up our friends, the Geigers to see if they would be at home so we could visit them. It turned out that the Geigers were headed to the Bismarck zoo this afternoon, as it was the zoo's annual free admittance day, so they invited us to meet them there around 3:00 and to spend the afternoon together. Dad and Mom also wanted to take our family out to eat at the Golden Corral, so the plans for our day just fell into place. Of course, when Mother brought up this plan to us 3 out in the barn, it didn't take long for us to make up our minds if we would like to spend our day in this manner or not. :)

To make a long and happy story short, (because it's very late!) we all piled into Andrew's new pickup; listened to a Dr. Davis tape on the way to Bismarck; we had a delicious meal at the Golden Corral; spent several happy hours together with most of the Geiger family at the zoo; and then went to the Geiger's house for supper and visited for longer than we should have once again! It was a really special time though, so doing chores in the dark was worth it...

Miranda and I even got to run a few errands together in town and then got to visit all the way out to their place, so that was really special.
All in all, it was a wonderful day (in case I haven't mentioned that before!)

One sad part, though, was that we all forgot to grab a camera, so we don't have any pictures to post here... Andrew did take some pictures with his cell-phone, but until he buys some sort of an adapter, we can't put the pictures on the computer and consequently I can't post them here.~

Friday, August 28, 2009

An embarrassing moment...

After morning chores, my dad, brothers and I went over to the hay field to finish up with the bales. Everything was going well and I was getting excited to be almost done with my bumpy job. Then------I embarrassed myself------on my second to last load of bales!!! It happened like this:

My dad had been loading my truck up and had 8 bales on already, but for some reason, I thought that there were already 9 bales on my load. Consequently, after he put what I thought was the 10th bale on, (but which was really only the 9th), I shifted into gear and took off--leaving papa with a bale stuck between his "Teeth". OOPS!!! My family and I've been laughing about it off and on throughout the rest of the day (and of course I've been getting teased about my counting abilities), and they were wondering if I was going to post about my mistake... At first I said, "No", but I've decided that it would be a good little lesson in humility to tell you of my absent-mindedness, so, there you have it. :)

We did eventually get everything finished over there and got all the tractors and trucks brought back home. Plus, we got the house cleaned real nice and some delicious chicken and apple crisp prepared, so it was a good day.

It is so nice to have our boys back with us this weekend--swinging on the swings with us; singing and whistling in the barn with me; and telling funny stories back and forth... Sleep well, brothers~ (and everyone else!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A year ago today......

......was one of the most exciting days of my life!!!

Here's why:
The Lord allowed my brothers and I to find an elderly man who had been missing for several days---a man who people were afraid would be dead because of the time that had lapsed without him having a refill of oxygen in his tank---a man who was thought to be dead because of his mental troubles (he has dimentia), meaning he could be ANYWHERE---and a man whose last sighting had been on Sunday (and it was now Tuesday afternoon). It was a true miracle that we found him for several reasons, but I think the biggest is that our pasture equals about a thousand acres of rolling land, (can you imagine finding one person in all of that grass?) but it is divided up into many different cells... It "Just so happened" that our dad had asked us to go up to the flowing well that day to check that the water was going into the tanks and to check the fence. It also "Just so happened" that that cell we went to was the one that Mr. Millers' pickup was in. Once again, it "Just so happened" that Andrew had heard on the radio that a man was missing and remembered the description of the pickup and the phone number to call if you had any information that might be helpful in the finding of the missing man. And, once more, it "Just so happened" that my family home schools, but we don't start school quite this early, so we were all free in the early afternoon to go up to the pasture and do our assignment--and that's when we found the pickup and, later, the man! I really think that, if we had not found him when we did, he would not be alive now, as that night it got very cold out and it rained. It would have been hard for even a person in good condition to stay in good health--lying out in the middle of a pasture with no protection, let alone a 76 year old man who had Dementia and who was dehydrated and in need of oxygen! The last we heard of Mr. Miller, he was in a nursing home in Bismarck, close to his family. We received much thanks from his wife and his daughter, which we were grateful for, but which wasn't really necessary because the excitement of the day and the joy it brought when we found Mr. M. alive was payment enough for us!

I'm sharing a link to the article that was printed in the Bismarck Tribune a year ago today in case you'd like to read more: I praise God again tonight for His guiding hand on that special day and for His letting us play a part in that real-to-life drama...

So, how did we spend our "Anniversary", you ask? Well, the boys went and picked up and payed for a calf from our neighbors, the Jankos, while I ground up the applesauce so Mother didn't have to do that when I left.... Then we spent the afternoon in the hayfield once again: Andrew & I moving around about 200 large square bales and Jacob bunching a fields' worth of round bales. We arrived home to the smell of freshly baked bread and to the news that our dad had just returned home about 5 minutes before us from his grain-cleaning job...

Those were the highlights of the day. It was nothing like last August the 27th, but it was a good day nevertheless!~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why do I have hay in my hair?

~Did a little birdie put it there?

Hmmmmm..... Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, from 11:00AM to 7:00PM today, my dad, Andrew and I worked on stacking hay bales and, as it was hot and the truck doesn't have air-conditioning, I had the windows open and the hay would blow in whenever one of the guys would put bales on the back of the truck!

We finished the field that we didn't quite get done last night, and then moved everything over to the fields south of Hazelton. We finished stacking all the hay in one field and started on another before having to come home for chores once again. Everything went pretty well today, except for when the pin came out of the bale-fork behind Dad's tractor twice-----and except for when a few bales tipped off the side of my truck while I was going down a very bumpy part of the field--3 times! :)

Mother and Jacob kept things going here at home and had a wonderful meal ready for us upon our arrival. It sure is nice to come home from a hot, dusty job and to find a kitchen full of good smells~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Busy day, once again~

Before I tell you a bit about our day, I have one more blog to add to my list of places you can see pictures of the Appleseed Shoot. :) You can visit Mrs. Bartlett's blog here:

After chores this morning, my dad and Andrew went up to the pasture to move the cows to their new cell. In the meantime, Mother and I took some flowering broccoli over to the goats and then Jacob and I picked our first chokecherries of the season. We had half a gallon picked when Mother called me and told me that I needed to take some medicine, a syringe and a lariat up to the pasture, as there were 2 calves that needed shots. Jacob agreed to fill up our gallon container the rest of the way, so I left him and headed for the barn to pick up the required items. Then I grabbed a gas can (just in case) and hopped into the Ram (the vehicle we use up in the pasture) and started it up. I was just going to put it into gear when it chug chugged and died. "OK, I guess I will have to put some gas in right away!" To make a long story short, I put gas in the Ram and made it up to the pasture in good time. The guys and I worked together to catch the calves and gave them their shots, then we all returned home for our lunch. After eating, my dad fixed something on the grain-cleaner and then headed out to clean some grain for a new customer. He was gone pretty much the rest of the day.

We 3 younger Bornemanns headed over to the hayfield (about 16 miles away) to stack the large square bales there. My brothers stacked the hay and loaded the hay on the white truck and I drove the truck around the field and went and dumped it when I had 10 bales on. We got a lot done, but then had to come back for chores about 7:30... It sounds like our dad will be able to help with stacking tomorrow, so either Jacob or I will not have to go over.

Mother cleaned up the kitchen while we were gone and made a very delicious supper--the main dish being "Cheddar Cheese Broccoli Bake". This was one of Mom's favorite dishes growing up, but it's a lot of work to make it from scratch, so we haven't had any for a long time! It was well worth the wait...

Tomorrow's sure to be another long day, so I'd best sign off.

May God be with you all in, well, whatever you find yourself doing!

More info....

If you'd like to see even more information about the Bartletts' Appleseed Project, you can visit my mom's blog: and David Bartletts' blog: David even posted a little video of one of the shooting times...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Smells--pleasant and not so pleasant!

This afternoon, I cut up the apples that had fallen off of our apple trees and made a batch of apple-sauce and apple-juice. After I had gotten the apples cooking, I went outside to the garden for a little while and, while I was out there, I smelled a very unpleasant scent: skunk "Perfume"! I was plenty happy to return to a kitchen that had that wonderful aroma of apples cooking!!!

This morning, my dad and I went up to the huge cemented-in water tank in the pasture and swept/shoveled it out. Dad had drained it a few days ago, as the water looked pretty brown and he wanted it cleaned out before we move the cows into that cell. While we were driving up there, we noticed a cow sticking her head in between the top barbed wire and the electric wire, so we knew that the fence wasn't working right somewhere! After going around the fence and untangling it in about 10 places (and putting several clips on that had fallen off,) we had it back in working condition...

After lunch, my dad was going to go finish baling straw, but decided to check on Andrew's milk cow, Cheerio, first as she was looking very close to calving this morning. Sure enough, he found her in the pole barn with one foot out, but nothing else. As he wanted to get going, he decided we should get her in the calving pen and see if she had trouble. It turned out that it was a good thing we did too... The calf was in the right position to come out, but she wasn't pushing and needed some assistance. We could soon tell that the calf was not alive. :( As we pulled on the calf, trying to get the sholders to come through, the strangest thing happened... A bunch of watery stuff started coming out of the calf's nose and mouth. Each time we pulled on the calf, a bunch of liquid would come out and splash onto the ground. Literally, there must have been a couple of gallons of water that came out of that calf. It was really gross and really sad. I felt bad that Andrew had to come home to that disappointment, but like my dad said, it would have happened that way even if he had been here... My dad said that he has never seen anything like that calf before, and he's had a LOT of calving experience in his lifetime, so it was just really strange.

On a happier note--our house is once again fully occupied, as the boys got home about 7:00PM. It is so good to have them back, and we've been enjoying hearing what an Appleseed Shoot is all about. We saw pictures too--both the pictures that Andrew had taken and the pictures that one of the members of the Bartlett family took (and that Andrew had added to his card.) It looks like the shoot area was set up really nice and I especially liked the picture of the grass that one of the B. boys had mown down to say, "Appleseed" on the hillside! If you'd like to, you can visit here:, here:, here: and/or here: to see pictures and to learn more about what an Appleseed Shoot is all about.

Now I'll post the rest of the pictures I promised--the ones that were taken at the Dagley homestead yesterday.......

Here Mr. Dagley is talking about Kombucha, I believe...

Mrs. Dagley was giving some samples of the tea...
Hannah S. helped shred the cabbage for the Sauerkraut demonstration.
Mr. Dalhberg has completed a challenge (it was for at least a years time, but I think it was for even longer) to only eat foods that he could buy locally.
He had many neat things to show about preserving foods without canning them--by using lacto-fermentation. It was interesting to see his variation on making Sauerkraut and I think we'll have to start packing our cabbage down harder like he does, as it saves space in the pantry that way...
Some of the audience...
Yours truly~
Amanda and Hannah smiling sweetly~
These are some of the flowers Amanda's nieces pressed in my flower press over the weeks time that they had it. I was surprised to see how well the yellow flower petals retained their color...
This man was talking about using cover crops and no-tilling and such... He is the father of the young ladies I mentioned (in last nights' post) that I was very happy to meet.
Some tall corn...
...and some of the Dagley's pretty flowers...
Mr. Schadler demonstrated one of the ways to get the kernels out of heads of grain... What he's doing is called "Flailing" and it looked like a lot of hard work! It made me grateful for the invention of such things as combines. :)
Mr. Schadler also showed how to get seeds out of bean or pea plants... I remember doing this very thing when I was younger, except Mother would put the plants in old pillow-cases and Andrew and I would then jump on them to our hearts content. :)
Hannah took this picture of mother and I out by one of the garden sheds...
Mr. S again--showing how they use their hot-houses for plants in the garden. This system looks like it would work really nice and the tomatoes inside looked really well.
The garden tour...
Ben Dagley's cover crop experiment...
Hannah S. going over the somewhat-scary bridge. :) (You can't bounce the bridge too much or you'll get water in your shoes!)
My new friend, Alyson (left) and my old friend, Carrie (right) visiting...
The zip-line over the creek was very popular--as usual...
"Hold on tight!"
More tomatoes...
After a shared supper, some of the Dagleys and members of their square-dancing group demonstrated their skill... It was hard to get a clear picture as they were all moving so fast!
It was a wonderful day and I'm so glad that Mother and I were able to attend! (I hope you enjoyed the pictures, Dagleys--and Hannah--and everyone! :)

A fun and informative day~

Mother and I spent a lovely afternoon at the Dagley farm, learning tips and tricks about a large variety of food preserving techniques and other things about gardening... We met a new family today who, once I started visiting with their oldest daughter, I learned we have a lot of things in common with. It was so wonderful to spend time with dear sisters-in-the-Lord and to meet new ones!

As it's quite late, I will limit this post to only two pictures and post the rest sometime tomorrow. :)

This was taken while on the garden tour... It looks like the Dagleys should have plenty of tomatoes for Winter, as this is just one of their patches!

Hannah S. was so kind as to snap this picture of Amanda (left), Gloria (middle) and myself (right) in the Dagley's kitchen...
We had such a great time and stayed longer than we should have once again. (We did most of the chores in the dark tonight!)

While Mother and I were enjoying our time at the Dagleys, my dad spent the day in mowing down weeds around the farm. When that was finished, he baled some straw over at the neighbors place until it was almost dark (except he had to come back after making the 3rd bale to weld something, as it had broke...)

The boys should be returning tomorrow afternoon sometime. It will be really nice to be all back together once again! I hope they really enjoyed their vacation~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A mostly quite day~

From 2:00 on this afternoon, our day was restful and peaceful... My parents and I sang a few hymns together; listened to a Dr. Davis cassette (called, "Are you a giver or a taker?") and discussed it for a while; popped some popcorn and made popcorn cereal and then watched a movie.

12:30 this afternoon however found my dad and I up at the vet clinic with my milk cow, Leisle. (You may remember that she calved several days ago, but had difficulty with the birth of her 2nd calf...) She developed an infection and this morning, we realized that what we were doing for her was not enough and that she was going downhill pretty fast. She wouldn't eat anything and only drank about a gallon of the water I gave her, so we decided to take her up to Steele. The vets there doctored her up good and pumped a lot of water and electrolytes into her, and by this evening at chores time, she was eating some grain and her ears weren't drooping as badly as they were this morning. I am SO glad!!! The vet said that we still need to give her strong doses of Penicillin twice a day for a few days though--to help her fight the infection. I have hopes now that, with her medicine and some more prayers, she'll pull through...

My parents talked to Andrew this afternoon and it sounded like he and Jacob are both having a great time. We're hoping that they're remembering to take at least a few pictures, although I imagine the Bartletts will have great pictures on their blogs too, after all the excitement is over with. :)

Oh my, it is already tomorrow~ Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our house seems so quite tonight~

Today was the day the boys have been waiting for--the beginning of their little vacation! Mother had a list of things she wanted the boys to help with before they left though, so much got accomplished in a very short amount of time this morning! It's amazing what incentive can do...

Andrew took time to fix my new bird bath for me too before they left. I had broke it while trying to assemble it and didn't know how to repair it, so I was very grateful for a handy-dandy brother once again!
I now have it filled with water and it's sitting out in our garden, but I think it was still too cold today for any birdies to want to take a bath!
Finally, after eating an early lunch, everything was ready for the boys' departure...

...and they were soon settled in....
....and ready for the long drive up to the Bartletts' place.
We miss them already, but know that they're having a grand time, so that makes it easier.
Chores went well this evening with only the 3 of us... We are currently milking 6 cows and 7 goats and we're bottle-feeding 15 calves. Plus, the older calves always want their grain; the geese want their water; and everyone else needs the staples of life too. I think we were finished in an hour and a half... Now we only have 5 more chores to go until the boys return.~
Have a great time, guys, if you happen to be reading this. :)