Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July, Family, Friends, and Fireworks!

After a lovely 1 inch rain last night, I get a reprieve from the garden. I've been working hard because I only have five more days and they are going to be interrupted with things to do. After lazy morning of lying in bed and then moving to the gazebo with my coffee, I decided to catch up on my blog. 

Our July 4 celebration stretched out into three days, Thursday Carol and Tom were home and wanted to introduce Tinkerbell to her country cousins. 

This was baby Tinkerbell sleeping in her Mommies lap. She looks all sweet and innocent but that was just a ruse. 

We invited everyone for burgers on the big Green Egg at noon, the white van pulled up, the doors opened and disgorged a crowd, Janet, Tom and Carol, along with Janet's three grandchildren, Jessie, Nikki and Levi, and Tinker. Foof arrived in his pickup and son, Brian made it here later from work but in time for a burger.

The dogs met up in the driveway and did what dogs do, stick their noses in Tinker's behind. She put up with it for about 5 seconds and then told them in no uncertain terms that if they did it again, they would draw back a bloody stub. 

Murphy decided the safest place to be was in Nikki's lap!

Clyde's evil sister, Bonnie, was feeling the love and spread big hugs all around, first to Jessie....

....then to Nikki.

All the animals were showered with love from the kids, this is Levi and Zoe in the gazebo.

The dogs never get in the gazebo but this was a special occasion with Murphy and Tinker squaring off.

Now Murphy thinks the safest place is in Bruce's lap!

"She's Tough!!"

Levi and Nikki moved back to the pond and soon attracted Simon and Murphy, who still thinks she is a lap dog.

Back in the gazebo, Tinker is relaxing in Jessie's arms while looking down at Murphy.

"Back OFF!!"
It was a lovely time with everyone but as soon as they left, we hopped in the car and drove to Battle Creek where they were celebrating their 150th birthday. We thought it would be fun to go to a celebration where we didn't have to work! It was the first day so there wasn't a lot going on all we had some good food and listened to good music and was home before dark. 

Friday night we were invited to Roger and Opal's annual 4th of July picnic by their pond and what a crowd this year! The weather was perfect, there was so much good food and the fireworks after were spectacular! I over heard one little girl say, "I wonder what they are going to do for the Grand Finale!"

After the late night Friday, we had to bounce out of bed Saturday morning to get ready for the big picnic at Leo's pond. I made another batch of deviled eggs, I had made some the night before and so did two other people. Bruce had the fire going when I arrived with my food and soon others started pouring in.

The pond was green with duckweed but that did not stop Brock William from fishing, here he is on the dock with Bruce, sister, Lily and his dad, Brock.

Does he look happy??

"I caught one!!"

The Creel family joined us, Jack, Angie, James, lower left and Andrew, beside his mom, and when they were leaving, and we were thanking them for coming, Andrew said, "Well, it's tradition!"

Yes it is!

Foof and Mark in deep discussion, fixing the world's problems.

From left, Joannie, Leah, Lily, Anna and Emily with the remains of Emily's strawberry/rhubarb pie, wish I had a piece right now!

Leah and Lily in a quiet moment, in a few months she will be a big sister.

The family who fishes together.....

.......lands another fish.....

.....and daddy, Brock, gets to remove yet another bluegill.

It was a beautiful day at Leo's Pond, things started breaking up late in the afternoon when Bruce had to go bale hay. In the mean time we had calls from our friends, the Nothem's and the Hofland's, wanting to meet somewhere to eat and go watch fireworks.

More food, YEAH!!!!

We ended up eating at the Panhead in Marcus and then moving to the fairgrounds for a great show, I had fun trying to photograph them.

Sunday morning I was rudely awakened at 6:30 by Bruce, he said there was rain out west, heading our way and would I come haul in hay bales? Yes I would and then the rain disappeared! We went out to eat after church, More Food!, with the regular gang and then back home to work in the garden. I spent most of the afternoon weeding and watering, mowing and weed eating, waiting for my battery run DeWalt trimmer to run out of power! Run down, Dang it! Finally it buzzed it's last and I could go in for a well deserved shower, then back to the gazebo with some supper and a book until it was time to put the chickies to bed and so could I.

So I've come full circle, as I sit here it's starting to rain again, I need the rest.

But best of all, it's Mexican Monday tonight in Remsen!!

Yeah, More Food!!! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Birds just want to have fun ...

Yesterday I was working outside and heard a lot of squabbling on the roof of the house. I looked up just in time to see two little birds, locked together, tumble down our metal roof. Just before they hit the ridge cap on the lower roof, they swooped off in flight! Before I recovered from that the squabbling started up again and once more two birds came tumbling down the metal roof to fly away. 

What the heck was going on? 
Later in the day our seed salesman Ernie, stopped by to pick up a pallet and I was telling him about the goofy birds. Just then the squabbling started again and birds came tumbling down the roof! We stood there and watch them do it several times and I was thinking, "Is this their Adventure land fun ride?" I wondered if I should put a hose up there so they could have a water ride. 

Then I remembered Kim's husband, Jeff, telling me about watching some young Crows with a parent hopping around under Kim's bird feeder. Even though the young birds were nearly as big as the adult bird, they sat around with their mouth open for the parent to feed them. I also watched a young robin following its parent around outside my window after a rain this week. The mother bird was pulling up worms and even though this baby could fly, she continued to feed it. 

I know parents like this! 

I think the bird fun ride was in reality a young bird insisting it still be fed by the old bird. I think the old bird was telling the young bird, "Get out of my basement and get a job!" 

There should be more parents like that. 

I moved out back to the garden in the shade to do battle with weeds, I do have the garden tour coming up and have lots to do. I was working right underneath the wren house and I could tell whenever the parent came with a bug because much excited chattering erupted from that small house. 

"Feed me! Feed me!"

He was kept busy all afternoon, delivering  tasty morsels to the children and fly off in search of more. 

I think he was checking to see if he had the right address in this photo, " I don't remember this many kids!" 

Then I noticed that not only does he deliver the food, but he removes the poop! 

In with the food, out with a poo. 

It's a crappy job but someone has to do it. 

Aren't you mother's glad that you had diapers for your baby's? 

Speaking of babies, one of the four cows left to calve had a sweet little baby girl the day Bruce left to go fishing. Luckily he saw the calf as he was heading down the road and called to ask if I wanted  help moving her to the maternity pen. She has always been a gentle cow so my first instinct was to say I could do it myself and to head on up the road to Minnesota. But I found myself saying,"Sure, I'll be right over." That was a smart move because number 33 was quite cranky and did not appreciate our 'help'. It took the two of us and a big gate to move the pair to the luxurious maternity suite. 

She still did not appreciate the comfy accommodations and 'all you can eat' silage buffet. Cows are funny like that.

I dropped in yesterday to get a picture of the new baby and she was not any more ready to forgive and forget, standing in the front of the pen and daring me to cross the line she drew in the bedding. Luckily the baby is a curious little thing and came out to see me.

Who couldn't love a face like this??

Meanwhile in Minnesota the fish are biting, John took this picture of Bruce and his largemouth bass. 

This is Bruce and Dennis in the boat, oh the stories they will tell of this trip.

The boys are already planning their next trip in July, instead of grubbing around in the garden, I will be able to lay in the gazebo and eat bon bons. I think we will both be happy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


...It is an adventure! 

I have been rather lax in my calf tales but I have a very good excuse. I've had carpal tunnel for years, in 1997 Dr. Deffer operated on my right hand which was the worst from years of carrying and sorting mail. I tried everything before the surgery because I kept hearing horror stories about it, what a mistake, it was the best thing I ever did. At that time my left hand tested bad enough that I could've had surgery on it also but Dr. Deffer said that a lot of times when you have the dominant hand fixed, the other hand will get better and that's what happened with me. I retired from the post office and what about my daily life with few problems, at times when I was driving it would flare up from the gripping the steering wheel. Fast forward to this last year, after six months of chemo the carpal tunnel came back with a vengeance.

  I've been doing a lot of gardening and rebuilding my pond has really taken a toll on it, keeping me awake at night. I finally decided to do something about it and discovered that Dr. Deffer still came to Cherokee, I made an appointment and saw him yesterday. He's a really nice guy. a little grayer but aren't we all? I explained about my hand, he ask a few questions, and said, " Well we better fix it." The words I wanted to hear, he said there was no need to redo the tests which are rather painful, they involve sticking needles in your arm to test your response. 


Surgery is scheduled for July 14 and that works perfectly for me. The garden tour is the 11th so I won't be hindered getting ready for it. I'm looking forward to it and getting my hand back to normal. 

Back to my blogging excuse, some of my fingers are numb which made it very difficult and irritating to type. Having any of you seen the commercial for Dragon? It is a voice activated software you can purchase for your computer so instead of typing, you simply speak. I was seriously considering purchasing it when Bruce's sister said that my computer probably already has this voice activated software on it. 

And it does! 

I purchased a headset microphone from Radio Shack and I was all set. It takes some getting used to and sometimes the words it picks up are very different than what I spoke but I'm getting onto it and the more I use it, the better it is. 

I thought I would end this blog with a few stats from my two years of blogging, can you believe it's been two years? 

I discovered by accident there is a section that tells all of the stats from your blog. For instance, how people find it in the first place. Google is the most popular but to my shock and horror I discovered it was also on! YIKES!! 

I also found where my audience is... 

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

To my surprise I have received comments on my blog from Australia, Canada and Ukraine! After mentioning my Amish country gazebo, I heard from the company wanting pictures of my gazebo. I sent the pictures and asked how they found my blog. She replied that she scours the Internet for any mention of their company. 

I had a comment on my post about the chickens on the strollers in Florida from a man who said that the white chicken died in a tragic accident. I do not know if he is the owner of the chickens but he said that a nasty woman knocked her off the stroller and she died of a head injury. I think that she was a Silky and they are prone to head injuries because of the way they are built. The topknot on their head, which makes them so cute, is soft tissue, and that makes them vulnerable.

This was my first blog post using the voice activated and it took me much longer. I have to do it when Bruce's not here because if he hears me talking he keeps saying "What? What?" Besides, I feel a little silly talking to myself in here! 

Thanks for sticking with me, my faithful readers, and stay tuned for more stories from the farm. 


Thursday, June 18, 2015


Last weekend was Cleghorn's 125th celebration, and mother nature was kind to us. We were threatened with 3 inches of rain earlier in the week, thank heavens it did not come to fruition!

Friday was a busy day putting the last touches on things that had to be done before the 5:00 opening ceremonies. Bruce hauled our gator and a golf cart uptown so we would have transportation and did they ever coming in handy. Rosanne and Kaiza arrived with cameras, batteries and camera cards ready to capture the celebration for posterity. Our house was finally clean and ready for company who would arrive later in the day. 

This is Bruce deep in discussion with Jim Thompson and Rick Nelson. All the people helping with QQI had bright orange tee shirts with 'Staff' on the back. I loved it, it was easy to find a Bruce in a crowd. 

A family picture with the sisters who made it home, Janet and Gerald on the right, Carol peeking over Jean's shoulder, John on her left and Bruce and I in our bright orange tee shirts. We missed you Shirley! 

Opening ceremonies with Bob Blair at the pulpit, one of our favorite people, Jim Thompson in the back and Bruce running the sound system. That was his big chore for the entire three days, and he did such a good job. 

Charlie Brown and Tony Ehrig raising the flag in front of the community building. 

We even had an ultralight airplane fly over to check things out, ET phone home! 

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to partake of the free breakfast by the Cleghorn firemen before we had to get to work. As you can see here, we are sitting with some other workers planning our day. 

The first thing on the agenda was the five K fun run or walk. "And their off!" 

Even the dogs got in on it with their owner are carrying their poop bag. Dogs really must think they rule the world with people walking around picking up after them. 

Carol and Janet met up with some young Cousins enjoying the day. Abby on the left, Anna next to her, Carol, Janet and Emily. 

Sue Briese riding in the White Horse Patrol carriage, she has worked tirelessly for the last five years to make this day a success, and she succeeded! 

The famous White Horse Patrol from Sioux City, it was quite a coup to get them here to our small town parade. 

Bernice Mcintosh and Emmitt Wolf were King and Queen of the parade.

 Bill and Mary Mcintosh were Prince and Princess. 

Bruce's sister, Jean, was front and center on this float, The Class of 1965.

Our good friends, Roger and Opal Rupp, with their immaculate GTO in the car show and then Bruce stepped in to photo bomb. 

The White Horse Patrol performed at the football field, four of the riders were dressed as women and they did a square dance routine.

One of the lovely women!

More than 540 alumni signed up for the all school reunion, the gym was bulging at the seams and more tables had to be set up. 

Bob Blair rounding out the weekend at the pulpit of the church services in the big tent. Sunday was a pretty quiet day but we did have a successful chicken dinner and ice cream social afterwards. 

Bruce and I were late in joining the committee that had been meeting for the last five years planning this. We have so much respect for all their hard work, we both received so many compliments from alumni and visitors to our small town. It was very heartwarming and we quickly passed all the congratulations along to the committee members who then shrugged it off as though it was nothing! 

The hard work was yet to come, removing all the tables and chairs from the gym, returning all the picnic tables, taking down the two big tents and returning the generator lights.A lot of the small stuff was done by Sunday night even though we were all tired we wanted to get a start on it. To reward us, the committee fed us the leftover food from the reunion and ice cream for dessert. We didn't go up to help take down the tents but Bruce spent Tuesday afternoon hauling picnic tables. A good time was had by all and that made the work and the planning very worthwhile, people had such compliments and they knew how much work it was. 

But we're glad the 150th is 25 years away, we think we will be too old to help!