Monday, May 31, 2010

A poem in honor of the men who fought for (and are fighting for) the freedom of this country~

~Freedom Is Not Free~
by Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A fun day away~

Mother, the boys and I (Dad decided to stay home and get some more hay and work on things at home) were able to go to our friend, Angelica's graduation this morning and were blessed by the service--especially by the lessons her pastor had to share. He told a wonderful story of sharing God's love with EVERYONE and had many good insights.

I tried taking pictures of Angelica during the ceremony, but they all turned out too dark. I'm hoping Mother was able to get some good ones...

This was Angelica's table at the reception: It was fun to see pictures of when she and her older brother were little and to remember some special times spent together back in those days. We would get together for music lessons--Angelica and her mother started me on violin playing; Angelica's brother Stephan would show Andrew some about the saxophone; and then my mom would teach singing to them in return. We had such fun learning how to read notes together (Mom taught Andrew, Jacob and I how to read music at the same time) and I still remember the hours we spent working on learning the different parts for the hymn, "Trust and Obey". :)

At the graduation, we were able to see other friends as well, so that was special. (I believe Mom got pictures of that as well, Ellen, so I'll try to share them when her pictures are imported--or maybe she'll have time to post soon too...? It was great to see you and Clifford again!)

Once we were done visiting and eating there, we went shopping for some supplies Mother needed for her new office yet and then went to her new place. I had not seen it yet, so I was very curious what it would be like! Here's the back-side of the building--it's shorter to get to her office from the back than it is from the front-side.
For a while, we had a real mess going, but by the time we left a few hours later, things were much more in order. :)

We picked out these chairs today at Sams... Mother was able to find the desk for a really great price on BisMan ($20!), and after some applications of Danish Oil and elbow-grease, it looks in pretty good shape--if I do say so myself!
The table and the bright orange pillowcases... :)
My mom's renting just one room in the building, but wanted a waiting room of sorts, so she found these really pretty room-dividers on-line for a good price also and they "Just so happen" to match perfectly with the blinds that are in the office window! :) Here's the waiting room...
There are still many fun things to add--decorations and things, but her room is at least in usable condition now. Good thing too, as she has clients coming on Tuesday! Mother still plans to only go to Bismarck once a week (even though she can have full use of the office--not like before in the other office that she shared with 4 other ladies), but she's soooooo happy to have a place of her own.
When all the work was done, Mother bought some ice cream and sherbet bars to celebrate. We ate several of them and then wrapped the rest in our coats to keep them cold until we got home and could share the rest with Dad at supper.
It is raining again. I wonder if we'll get the rest of our garden and fields planted before June???????????

Saturday, May 29, 2010

There's a storm on its way...

...Soooo, I may not have Internet access after family prayer time and thought I'd just write quick now while I do have a connection. :)

I'm excited about tomorrow! I was supposed to work in town, but a young lady whom I work with there switched shifts with me so now I can join my family in attending the graduation celebration of a friend of ours. I'll try to get some pictures to share with you all....

We had a lovely day at home, just enjoying each others' company and taking it easy--except for when two of the bulls broke out again and ran THROUGH our garden...... We decided that was enough of that and hooked up the electric fencer to one of the wires. They were in tonight! :)

Well, my family's waiting (we need to get up early in the morning so we're trying to get to bed early-ish tonight) so I'll say adieu and be off.

Sweet dreams~

Friday, May 28, 2010

Need some rhubarb?

I went over to harvest some for a dessert for supper and found that our little patch had grown considerably since we had all that rain! It actually looked like a small jungle until I cut all the seed heads off (prior to taking this picture)...

As I received a comment today with a request for more pictures with my posts, I decided to snap some photos on this sunny, windy day---AND to post them!

Here is my faithful guard dog, roaming through the tall grass across the road while I was getting the rhubarb...
Jacob and I mowed lawn this morning and now things look neat and tidy again... Aren't those clouds and blue sky, and the contrast of the green grass beautiful? I love spring time!

While Jacob and I were doing things at home, my parents and Andrew were attending the funeral of the mother (Rose) of the farmer (Dave) Andrew helped recently. He got to know Rose pretty well, as Dave (who lives out of state) and Andrew stayed at her house and she cooked for them that whole week that Andrew was working there. My parents knew Rose some and my Dad knows Dave pretty well, so they went to show support for Dave.
Rose was the loving mother of 15 children--and, I'm sure, a friend to many. Her death was sudden and I know she will be very much missed...

Our afternoon was spent in doing various things... We ladies cleaned the house and worked some more on switching our winter/summer clothes around. (We're REALLY enjoying our new washing machine!!!!! The wind is great for drying the clothes quickly on the wash-line too, as long as you can get enough clothes-pins on the articles of clothing to keep them there that long!)
I planted 3 more beds in the garden and the boys got the lawn-tractor-mounted-tiller mounted onto the lawn-mower and tried it out. Andrew also worked in the field for a while and Dad finished planting the corn seed that we had here. I picked the last two tulips that were blooming across the road and also cut a fresh bouquet of lilacs for the table... We had a late supper and then sat in the living room and visited for quite a while and watched the fish and snails enjoy their water life.....

And now, it's bed-time once again. I'm glad we're staying home tomorrow and we can all sleep in in the morning. :)

Have a happy weekend,
Yours truly~

~Wind-swept me--after getting in from out-door activities.~

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Now you know...

I just got home from working in town again a little bit ago and don't know what to write tonight, so I thought I'd share these interesting, though maybe not useful, facts that we got in an e-mail the other day... :)

1. It's possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs.

2. Pearls melt in vinegar.

3. The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy
dog" uses every letter in the alphabet.

4. The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without
repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable."

5. "Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with
only the left hand.

6. No word in the English language rhymes with month,
orange, silver, or purple.

7. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

8. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from
the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The
horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how
to walk up straight staircases.

9. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

10. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence
on July 4th, 1776: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of
the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't
added until five years later.

11. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

12. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen

13. The name "Jeep" came from the abbreviation used in the
army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.

14. The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the
lowest point in Colorado.

15. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

16. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four
pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of
money in coins without being able to make change for a

17. Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or

18. The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually
indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they
could be confused at a crime scene.

19. The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile
in every five must be straight. These straight sections are
usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

20. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.


21. Snails can sleep for three years without eating.

A lot got done today--or rather, yesterday...

As it's tomorrow already, according to my clock, I'll tell you quickly the events of "Yesterday".

Dad and Andrew hauled the load of metal to the scrap metal place and got over $700 for it! They also hauled 2 of our bottle calves up there, as we didn't have enough milk to feed them.

Mother and Jacob got the keys to Mom's new office in Bismarck (for her BodyTalk business that she's goes up there once a week for.) Later, Dad and Andrew joined up with them and helped Mom get a desk; her massage table; and the room dividers set up.

The guys went then and bought lumber at Menards AND they bought us a new washing machine!!! It's really nice and I can hardly wait to try it out tomorrow morning...

Also, Andrew had made arrangements to buy a used garden tiller that hooks onto the back of a lawn tractor, so now it will be soooo much easier and nicer to till up the garden!!! :)

I stayed home, though I would have liked to have been a part of all the excitement up there, as I had work to do in town again. Things went well today, especially since there are some new people training now, which means more help...

Well, those were the highlights of the day. I'm afraid my thinking cap has slid off my head and I'd best crawl under the covers and find it again by morning. :)

May God be with you, every one~!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick post...

We're in the middle of a game of Rook, but Dad got a phone call, so the game is paused and I thought I'd take advantage of the few moments I have now to post. :)

Last night, I got home from working in town and shortly after, sat down around 11:00 to do my daily post, when I found that the power had gone off here while I was away, thus terminating our Internet router functionability, meaning that I could not post without getting Andrew up to fix the problem, which I chose not to do, and instead went to bed. (How's that for a long sentence?)

This day was busy, busy, busy, even though we weren't able to work in the fields or the garden (because of the 4+ inches of rain we've received in the last few days). This morning, I rode over in the semi with my dad to the land we rent (about 25 miles from our farm) to get a load of hay. My dad can do this chore himself, but he wanted someone to drive the tractor back home once we were done, so I was along to help with that. Jacob usually does that, but he said he'd rather do chores this time instead, so I went along. It was a slow drive home (that tractor goes about 20 MPH), so I had lots of time to observe the scenery and to sing... :)

When we got back, Mother said the washing machine was not working right, so Dad investigated and, after a while of trying to fix it, he declared it "Dead". Sooooo, now a washing machine is on the list of things to get in Bismarck tomorrow.

Another thing on the list is to deliver (to a junk yard that buys the stuff) the load of scrap metal we loaded up all afternoon! This is something we've talked of doing for years, but just never have done it. I helped the guys some with rolling up old chains and tying them together and picking up pieces that were declared as "Junk" and throwing them into the truck box. With the money we get from the metal, my dad wants to buy some lumber and plywood to finish up the garden shed we're building--to store more valuable "Junk" in. :)

Mother made Kombucha again today and also had the boys get down the Summer clothes from the attic and started the big job of changing clothes around. She also brewed up some spicy tea (she needs to drink hot, spicy things to maintain her health)--with lots of ginger in it. I almost was able to drink my whole cupful down......

Well, it sounds like it's time to get back to our game, so I'll wish you all a good night and be off.

~Sweet dreams~

PS. Here's a mystery picture, of sorts...


(You may be able to click on the picture to enlarge it...)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Before and after pictures...

Before I begin on the "Before and after" pictures, I just wanted to share this one of the bouquet of lilacs that are on our table... They smell so very sweet--nearly good enough to eat!

Now for the pictures...

I'm sure the boys will want to post about the purchase of the morning, but as I have a before they worked on it, and an after one, I wanted to share them here.

Here's the before picture, taken at someone else's farm:

...and here's the after picture, by our shop: :)
Mother was taking a class in town most of the day, so that left the big kitchen clean-up to me this afternoon. On Sabbaths, we do not do any dishes, so Sundays are always big clean-up days in the kitchen.

So, here's the before picture:

...and here's the hour-and-a-half later picture:

The lawn in our "Park" needed mowing, as the grass was already 5-6 inches tall after growing for one week!
After: (Taken much later in the day, that's why the grass looks so dark).
Then too, there were the chicks that needed moving out of doors. (This is an older picture... We've since lost the black one for some unknown reason.)
Before--in the kitchen:

After--inside of a stock tank my dad cut the bottom out of today and that I put a rack on top of, so the cats and other critters stay out and the chickies stay in:
Oh, and this picture is a "Before" picture--before our cat, Mixie has her kittens: (I'll try to remember to post an after picture, if I can find the babies when they're born. She usually hides them pretty well!)
I hope you enjoyed a view into our day... :)

Is there such a thing as sleep-typing?

If so, than that is what I'm doing.... I guess I fell asleep in the comfy chair in the living room at the end of family prayer time and my dad just woke me up, saying if I stayed sleeping there, I'd probably wake up with a neck-ache, and so I'm so very sleepy and wish to head for bed directly, which is what I'll do.

I did just want to note here that it rained, or rather, poured during evening chores and, within an hours time, we had 2 more inches of rain--on top of the 70 hundredths we got last night. The air smells so Heavenly---what with the mixed scents of blooming lilacs, chokecherry blossoms, and fresh rain............. At least, that is what I imagine Heaven to smell like. ~

Friday, May 21, 2010

Farming has its challenges--and dangers...

As the title of this post suggests, we had some difficulties in the land of farming today. (Examples: Bearings going out; a tire needed replacing; fuel filters were needed from town; two sick calves; a stuck tractor; Mother's feet are swollen from using the tough pedals on the tractor so much lately.....)

It also had its good points though.
(Example: Our hunting friends are in ND now and stopped in to borrow a tractor for a few days; I got my little garden planted and picked the first bouquet of lilacs for the year; the grass is planted now in the places where it needed replanting; more rocks got picked; it's raining so we don't need to run the sprinkler in the garden for a few days again; Dad got about 30 acres of corn planted...)

Also, there are many things in bloom now that smell so nice!

There are the apple trees:
(Notice, below the apple tree is our handy garden seeder that saves us hours upon hours of time in the garden!)

...and the tulips (which are about done now though...)

...the little irises (or flags, as we sometimes call them)...

...and the bleeding hearts...!

I have a couple prayer requests for friends and acquaintances of ours tonight.

First, we learned this evening that some long-time friends of my parents', well, their son (who was just a little older than I) committed suicide today. They found him in their back yard. Please pray for this family to feel God's love this night and in the days ahead!

Secondly, a few days ago, we heard the news that a man and his wife (from around this area) were out hooking up their stock trailer when the mans' foot accidentally slipped off the brake pedal and onto the gas pedal--and he ran over his wife! She died, just yesterday, I believe. Can you imagine how that poor man must be feeling now? How terrible......

Please join me in praying for these families--especially in the next few weeks as they deal with the deaths of their loved ones. ~

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Many seeds went in the ground today!

Many hands (plus some heavy equipment!) make light work......

My parents and Jacob and I have been working out in the fields this week, as I think I've mentioned before. With the guys being gone cleaning grain so long in the spring, it's a mad rush to get our seeds in the ground once they're done helping everyone else.

This is Mother driving the big tractor, working under an alfalfa field with the Wishek disc...

Jacob and I rushed ahead of her to the places where the rock piles used to be and cleaned up the few remaining rocks: (Do you see the rock flying through the air?)

The railroad took a total of 24 rock piles off of one quarter of land--plus took a few piles from another field. We hope they'll come back this fall to get the rest!

Below is one of the used-to-be-rock-pile sites:
I didn't get a picture of Dad working, because he was in another field, but he got most of the wheat planted today. Hooray! Tomorrow, Lord willing, the corn will go in the ground. Then there's the durum, and the oats......

Did I ever tell you all that my goat, Tulip kidded the other day? Well, she did! Here she is pictured with her two kids, Roger and Osborne. :) Roger's really tiny, so we have to make sure he gets enough milk at each chores...
These two snuggle-bugs are Andrew's kids. They enjoy curling up in the grain troughs!
I have several more pictures I'd like to share, but it's almost tomorrow already, and I am tired after a long day of planting in the garden and working in town, so I'll wish you all a good night; leave you with a quote; and be off to dream land. ~
"God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them. "
PS. It was so good to have Andrew at home with us last night and you know what? He even took the time to fix our Internet problem last night! (Thank you brother.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ahhhh, sitting down feels so good....

Jacob and I (and Dad this morning) have been picking rocks most of the day, and we picked a bunch yesterday too. Mother's busy discing, and Dad's trying to get seeding after many difficulties. Andrew is still gone helping that farmer, but will be home tonight (hooray!) only to leave again bright and early to help that farmer some more....

So yes, life is very busy here right now! I would have posted last night, except for the fact that we had a lot of problems with our Internet yesterday and I didn't, and still don't have the Internet on my computer (where I always write from.) Just so that you know I'm still here though, I am on my parents' computer posting this...

Well, this little break sure was nice, but now it's time to get supper on the table and then Jacob and I will do the chores (except for feeding cows which Dad will do later) by ourselves so the others can keep going.

For supper, we're having: vegetable soup that we canned last fall, and a baked zucchini (still from our garden last year) with tomato sauce and cheese on it. Neither Mom nor I have had time to do much cooking or baking lately, and consequently, we don't have any dessert on hand and will probably once again resort to the candy bowl which contains chocolate kisses left from Dad's birthday. :)

I'd best get back to work!

Monday, May 17, 2010

This was the busiest day yet--

--at the nursing home! The lady I was working with said too that this was one of the busiest shifts she's ever had. It seemed like everyone needed something or other--all at the same time.... Thankfully, the ladies working on the other end came and helped C. and I get caught up (we had the hard end) and we finished up with everything with 3 minutes to spare.

I am so tired tonight, but thought I'd give a quick family update:

Mom wished to work in the garden today, so I tilled up a good-sized spot before going to town, (and made a batch of bread...).

As Andrew is spending the nights at our organic farming friends' house while he's working for them, and since I was not home for evening chores and Jacob wasn't feeling well and Dad was feeding cows, Mother milked Sally tonight (we milk her by hand now). She said it went really well.

My dad did the last grain-cleaning job of the season this afternoon, so now we can concentrate more on getting our seeds in the ground...

A little birdie told me that I'll be picking rocks tomorrow. Want to come join me? :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love in action~

It's late here once again... I just got home from working in town a little while ago and am tired.


I've been meaning to tell you all the following for a few days already and, when I sit down to write a post, I forget about this, so while I'm remembering, I thought I'd write it!

~This is a little story about love in action.

First, I need to explain a little bit about the car I'm driving to work... It's my parents' car and as you may recall, it is an oldie, but goodie. However, the windshield wipers were far from goodies, and as you may also recall, we've been having a good deal of rain here lately.

SO, last Thursday after our noon meal, I was headed for town in the rain, thinking that, if I made it to Napoleon early enough, I'd be able to stop at the Cenex to buy some new windshield wipers for the car so I'd be able to see better when it rains. As the road was muddy though, I decided to take the longer, paved road through Kintyre to avoid the very muddy, slippery gravel roads as much as possible. When I got to Kintyre though, the train was parked across the road (they were loading the train-cars with our rocks.) It looked like it would be a while until they moved, so I went to plan B and took the gravel road out of Kintyre, which leads to the original road I would have taken if it hadn't been so muddy...... All this took time and I did not get to town early enough to go buy windshield wipers (and by the time I leave at night, the Cenex is no longer open). I thought I'd have to wait until the next time I went to town.


What I didn't know until the next day was, when my dad and brothers drove to town that afternoon to watch the calves sell, they also drove to the Cenex station and bought a set of new windshield wipers for the car---and then they drove over to the nursing home and put them on for me---all without telling me!!!!! :) Mother told me later that they even prayed that it would rain on my way home so I would need to use the windshield wipers, which sadly, it didn't, although I did use them a little bit to wipe the mist off the windshield before heading home. I did think it odd that the squeaking noise the wipers had been making wasn't there anymore, but didn't imagine that my dad and brothers would have done something so sweet as to have bought new ones and put them on!

I just feel so blessed to be a part of this family! Sure, we're all far from perfect, but we do have some wonderful times together as we try to share God's love with one another. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Awards from friends~

I've been awarded the Pure in Heart award by my friends, Hannah F. and Hannah K.! Thank you for your thoughtfulness, my friends! May we all try to be pure in heart every day, with God's help.

~"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8~

Here are the rules:
1. Post about the tag.
2. Choose 5 bloggers whom you'd like to give this award to.
3. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people you tagged, letting them know they were awarded.
4. Answer the questions along with your post. You can omit any you don't want to answer.

And here are the questions:

1. Which do you prefer–Apples, Oranges, or Bananas?
Oranges--sweet organic ones from Azure Standard!

2. How many siblings do you have?
Two, both younger brothers--and they're now both taller than me. :)

3. Where do you live–a prairie, Woodland, city, or other?
We live on the flat prairie land.

4. What are some things you enjoy doing with your family?
Playing games; watching movies; visiting friends; working; and swinging on our big swing-set.

5. Is your room clean?
Well, usually. Right now it could use some tidying up, as this is one room I didn't get to yesterday...

6. Which would you prefer to visit–Italy, Greece, France, Spain, or England?
France, or maybe England...

7. What is a scripture that encourages you?
This is a very common one, I know, but is some of the best news in the Bible to me. :)
~John 3:16, " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!"

8. Gum, chocolate, or jelly beans?

9. What are your favorite types of books?
Fiction or non-fiction books that build character, inspiring you to be a better person. Gardening books are great too, as are cook books, .......

10. Which is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I like vanilla a lot, but Mint Bon Bon probably gets to be at the top of the list!

11. If you had to eat one type of food for two weeks, what would that food be?
Probably Mexican food (tacos, enchiladas....)

12. Are you an outside or an inside person?
In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, I like to be outdoors, but when the Winter months come knocking at the door, inside is definitely the place to be (once chores are done)!

13. What chore(s) do you like to do the most?
Milking, gardening, pie baking . . .

I tag: Anybody who'd like to do this, as there are many of my blogging friends whom I'd like to give this award to and I don't wish to leave anyone out...

The second award was the:

"A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. "

Thank you again, Hannah F. for this award! :) (I'd give it back to you if you hadn't already had it...)

Feel free to have this award as well... I enjoy so many of your blogs, and don't wish to just pick out a set number to give this to. I know some of you don't do awards or tags at all, so that's another reason I choose to leave this open to whomever would like to accept it.

~Even if you don't have time to write often, it's great to see what the Lords' doing in your lives and I enjoy reading what you have to say when you do have a few moments.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Happy birthday Dad!!!"

What a sunny day it was today. :) The sunshine added nicely to the festive spirit of things...

My dad was gone cleaning grain for most of the day, so that gave us all plenty of time to get the house cleaned up and tasty food made and presents prepared!

  • For the big job of getting the house cleaned up after all the mud that had been drug in this week, it was mostly just mother and I, as the boys went over to the land we rent to get a load of hay. They had to move the tractor from one field to another, so it took them quite a while...

  • For supper, we had chicken enchiladas; mulled apple juice; Ritz cracker cookies; and angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Yummy!

  • For presents, we had one big gift (the one I mentioned before), which was a new medicine cabinet for the bathroom! Our old ones' glass had cracked when a member of our family had left the curlers plugged in too long on the shelf of the medicine cabinet--the shelf being right in front of the mirror....

The old mirror: (It was off the wall already by the time I took this picture.)

Andrew took the time today to get the old cabinet down and the new one up in its place--wired and everything!

Mother helped get the new cabinet up in the right place:

All done!

We found that the double mirrored doors make for some really neat (and funny) reflections...
We made my dad a birthday card with the following pictures of Mother,
My camera and I (and Andrew a little bit),


and Jacob!
That was just some of the fun we've had with the mirrors already. Just in case you ever try such a thing as this, I thought I'd warn you that it can actually make you dizzy if you are looking into one side of the mirror and someone else starts moving it back and forth really fast... :)

When Dad got home around 9:30, we enjoyed our feast and gave him the gifts we had for him. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow of those.
It was a lovely day!
Oh, I also wanted to share the good news that Andrew and I took his 2 calves outside and found their mothers this morning, and both mothers readily accepted their babies back! PTL!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do you know what tomorrow is?

It's my dad's birthday! :)

This was another busy day... Two of the three calves we got in the barn last night were doing better this morning and the other was about the same. I'm not sure how they were tonight, as I was working in town.

One of our goats kidded today and had twin bucklings. I'll try to remember my camera one of these chores so I can get some pictures of our 6 kids!

We sold the milk cows today in Napoleon. I'm glad I had to be at work while the sale was going on, as it would have been pretty sad to have to see them being sold.....

I'm also glad that we still have one cow here that we're milking (by hand) and feeding the milk to our two and a half bottle calves. (I say two and a HALF, because one very young heifer had a baby recently and she doesn't have enough milk for it, so we're feeding half a bottle to the calf twice a day.)

I'm tired tonight and my thoughts are not flowing smoothly together, so perhaps I should just wish you all a good nights rest, say a prayer, and go to bed.?! I had planned to do a couple Award/tags tonight that I received recently, but that will have to wait for another day...

So, dear friends, "Good night!"

~Quote from daily calendar~
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds has come.
~Song of Solomons 2:11, 12

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I looked and smelled like something the dogs drug in!

This was one of THOSE days--the kind that I think God designs so as to develop character in a person......

It was decided a few days ago that we'd sell most of our milk cows tomorrow, along with the rest of the calves from last spring (the price is up nicely now....) So, todays work was cut out for us.

First, we (everyone except for Mother, who had appointments in Bismarck all day) sorted out the milk cows and hauled them in to the sales-barn. (It was sad to milk only one cow tonight and not have the others waiting outside the door to try to get in. I'm not sure if it's really registered yet that our friends of 5-6 years will be sold tomorrow....)

Once the milk cows were off the farm, we tagged and retagged a few animals that needed identification. At this point, it started to drizzle and it eventually began raining a cold rain, which lasted the rest of the day. We sorted calves in the deep mud and loaded about a dozen at a time into the stock trailer, at which point, either Dad or Andrew would haul them into town and come back for the next load. There was a total of 6 loads to make, so it took most of the day. My brothers and I did evening chores inbetween loads...

When dealing with cattle, there seems to always be times of frustration, as they have a mind of their own! Thankfully, everyone was kept safe though...

When the last calf was on the trailer, my dad asked Andrew if he'd checked on "That" calf yet--to which the answer was, "No, not yet." I asked which calf he was talking about, and Andrew filled me in that there's one they've been feeding electrolytes to for a couple days. My brother then went out to check on "That" calf, but came back saying he hadn't found it, but found another one that needed attention, as it was very cold and wet and couldn't get up very well. I went out with him then to help give the calf some medicine and then to help look for "That" calf. Well, in the process of looking for the missing calf, we found another calf that was in dire need of help! The poor thing had climbed up on the pile of very wet manure (my dad had cleaned out the pole barn about a week ago and made a pile until there's time to deal with it further) and the little calf had somehow managed to fall into the wettest part, which was more like a lake of mud. All that we could see of him was his head! YUCK! Sooooo, as Andrew and I were in the loader tractor already, Andrew just took the bucket and started pulling manure away from the middle of the pile--where the calf was stuck. He finally got it away enough, but the calf wasn't able to get out on his own, so I got in the loader bucket and Andrew drove forward so I was right by the calf. After several tugs on the calves' ears and head, I got his front legs out and then, as I was all dirty already anyway, I grabbed around his middle and pulled him into the loader bucket with me. Talk about a bad smell! We hurried the baby to the clean straw in the calving pen and got Jacob to bring some blankets to dry him off with (it was Jacobs' calf). Then, Andrew went out to look for "That" calf again and found him at last, hardly able to stand. Andrew came back to the farmyard for Jacob and I and we rode in the bucket (in the rain and mud and ....) to pick up "That" calf, and we decided to take the other one (the one that Andrew found first) into the barn to warm up too.

About this time, Mother got home.

As I was heading for the house, looking and smelling terrible, Mom asked me to help her get my dad's fragile birthday present in the house (more on that another time), as it had fallen out of the van when she opened the back hatch and was lying (in a box, thankfully) in the mud. Mom gave it to Dad early, as she said she couldn't bear to wait another two days to find out if it had broke or not--which, thankfully, it hadn't!

A nice long, soapy shower later, I am sitting here writing about this day, listening to the rain fall on the roof of our cozy home, and praying for the all the little calves who are trying to stay alive and well in all this schmuck. (Yes, that is a word, in German I think.) Your prayers would be appreciated too, for us and for all the farmers who are going through much the same experiences we are at this wet time of the year.

How was your day? :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Onions anyone?

After chores this morning, I tilled up a little more room in the garden and planted another bed, consisting of 2 rows of red onions and 2 rows of beets. Then it was time to get to work on the noon meal and then get ready for work in town. (I just got home a few minutes ago...) Hopefully it will be a little warmer out tomorrow so I/we can spend a lot of time in the garden. :)
While I was outside, I took a few pictures:
The garlic we missed last fall, that was growing quite well now...
The onions we missed... (They must have been hiding under squash vines!)
What the garden looks like currently...

Hopefully we can keep all the animals out of the garden this year. I already have had to shoo Lady and a couple of chickens away. I think Lady will learn her limits, but am not sure about the chickens!

On the home-front, I'm not exactly sure what all went on, as my family was in bed by the time I got home, so I haven't gotten caught up yet. I do know my dad got hay home this morning; Andrew smoothed over where the rock piles used to be with the vibra-shank; Mother has the kitchen nice and clean; Jacob fed my fish; oh yes, and my dad said our non-GMO corn seed should arrive tomorrow... :)

Well, I'm winding down, now that I've sat down, so I should probably get to bed and get some sleep.

I hope you all felt God's love and protection today. I know I sure did and feel so blessed for the way I was raised as I hear more and more about what others lives were/are like.....

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's spring and time to plant seeds!

At last.... Andrew had time to help get the garden ready today!

Jacob and I dug out all the onions and garlic that we had somehow missed last fall (and that were nicely growing now) and put them in safe keeping to be replanted when the garden's ready.

Then, Mother came out and helped us clean off the old plants and burn them, and raked up some pine needles and added them to the fire, and then pruned the apple trees too while she was at it.

After lunch, Andrew and Jacob went outside and hooked up the big spreader, filled it up, and Andrew spread 2/3 of a load of composted manure on our garden spot...

"Don't get too close!"

Then, Andrew worked "It" in and loosened the soil with a vibra-shank (is that what it's called, brother?)

This is what most of our garden looks like now: (...and that's Andrew, giving me a funny look for some unknown reason...)
Andrew got the little tiller going too and worked up an area about 10 feet wide so I could start planting. I got a couple rows of onions, a couple rows of lettuce, and a bed of cucumbers planted before it got too cold and windy and wet to do anymore. What a good feeling it is to at least have a few seeds in the ground. :)

Another of my projects today was to set up the flower aquarium I got from my B. grandma when my grandparents were moving. I put cold water; 1 Tbsp. of white vinegar; and my carnation (all the staff got one yesterday at the nursing home) in the aquarium and then Mom helped me slip the rubber seal on (which is definitely a two person job I found out!) It will be interesting to see how long my flower will keep this way!

Below is a picture of my new dresser ornament (my "Other" aquarium), along with: my daily flip-calendar that I like to post quotes from; the music-dolls my grandparents gave me many years ago; a pretty tea-cup and saucer from a dear friend; a small oil-lamp (which is hiding); a plant I'm growing in water alone; a jar containing the flower potpourri my mom made with petals from the flowers from Grandma's funeral last April); the little houses my other grandparents gave me many years ago (replicas of Sarah--Plain and Tall's prairie home and her Maine home); and my collection of Dr. S. M. Davis cassette tapes. :)

Oh yes, one more thing I did this evening was to grind up some more grain for the chicks... We have a recipe for chick-feed in one of our animal-raising books, but were lacking the soybeans it called for, so tonight I substituted with field peas so they could get more protein in their diet.
My dad said one of the chicks looked weak tonight, so I also poured a little keifer in an empty tuna can and set that in for them to drink. At first, they only wanted to peck at the shiny can, but then one jumped in the keifer and hopped back out, dripping keifer behind him. The other chicks gathered around and cleaned up the drops of liquid that came of the guilty birds feet, and then another hopped in and out, and another.... Hopefully they'll figure out the correct way of drinking soon, as we don't currently have another small dish for liquids (like the one we have for their water.......)
Anyway, here's a picture of our little ones in the larger house that I made for them a few days ago: We've now had to set a wire-rack on top of the boxes to keep them in, as they can use their little wings quite well already!
Well, I'm sure I could think of more things to write about, but it's getting late (again) and I should get some sleep... So, I'll say good night and be off.
~Good night~