For Our Troops......

For Our Troops......

Welcome!

Either you're searching for some information and stumbled across here, or already know me and are interested in what I/we do. :)

The dairy cow doesn’t ask for much, but she asks every day.
People who are creating wealth with a cow either are hardworking and reliable or get that way in a hurry. This is the way it has been for a very long time.
--Joann Grohman (Author of Keeping a Family Cow)


There are three kinds of people in this world:
Those who watch things happen,
Those who Make things happen,
or you can wonder what the hell happened.
--Captain Phil Harris (RIP)



A few of words of wisdom I have come across:


Choose not to just live within your means, but live within your needs.


If you don't want to be responsible for or defend yourself, please don't expect others to do it for you.

(My translation: Buck up and learn some skills!)


Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the AmericanGovernment take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian."--Henry Ford

**~*~**Spread the word!**~*~**

Small Family Farms need our help when ludicrous charges have come up against them. Maybe someday it could be one of us on this "make an example out of you" chopping block.

Pushing back (via donations, interviews, getting the word out, etc) and standing up for what we believe in will send a clear message that we refuse to just roll over and give up!

When we know what we're fighting for, we fight harder--Sgt . Gary Stein (USMC)

THANK YOU!!!



Click for Jansen, Nebraska Forecast



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Late Christmas Update

Happy Holidays from The Russell's! :)

Time is flying by, Jared only has a few days left before he has to go back to the Base. But we are having a great time and eating lots of his favorite foods! Tonight will be grilled (it's homegrown) T-Bones and Ribeyes with baked 'taters since the weather is decent! :) Last night was Lasagna, spaghetti was one night.....the days have been running together!

Kyle is at the school today, he and others on the Speech Team are cramming last-minute learning their speeches. (Procrastination is their middle names.....HA)

The "boys" went target practising yesterday while I was at work. They are passing lots of time playing Black Ops (some XBox Military game....I just watch!)

We had an excellent Christmas at Pat's sisters' house. Good to see lots of the family since I (and Jared) missed the Thanksgiving get-together!

The weather is supposed to be nice (40's/daytime) for the next few days. Might get snow on Friday, but the temps will go back to "normal"--highs in the upper 20's if we're lucky. Come on Spring!! ;-)

That's the "quick update/news" for now!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mid-week Update

Jared trying to fix Kyle's coat collar. Kyle is being goofy, as usual!

Having one truck for 4 people to use.....interesting to say the least! So Pat and Jared finally got the clutch fixed on my truck. So now there's two trucks for 4 people to use! Woo hoo! I'd say the "kids" are using them much more than the adults....imagine that!



Kyle's last day of school was Wednesday also, and he had to work at Pizza Hut that evening. Jared went there to eat, with a bunch (herd?? ha) of girls. I was teasing him about it, and he says: "Mom, I've been with guys for 7 months, give me a break!"




Every time we go somewhere (even the grocery store) someone he knows sees and talks to him and I go on about my business, then have to go back thru the store to find him when I'm done and ready to check out! Even the checkout lanes can get chatty, I think he knows more people than I do! (I'm a "get what I need and leave" type of person.....) :)

Kyle got his girlfriend a really nice present, told him she must be special! ;-)
Kyle is second from the left, and his girlfriend is on the far right, OK, well half of her! (The one with the long reddish hair!) :)




I was totally wowed, not once, but twice at work Wednesday. See, I'd made some sweet n' hot pepper relish one summer for a gal, and she brought me in a tray full of yummy homemade treats! SCORE! Then a Roberts Milk truck driver that stops a few times a week brought me a Trans Siberian Orchestra CD! I had forgot we'd even talked about "what we want for Christmas" last week! (In my defense, I see/talk to 300+ people in 6 hours each day......ah, maybe I'm just gettin' old!) I was honored and totally blown away by their acts of kindness....and felt special!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quick Update




Jared made it home--Yipeeee!! Here is he and Kyle outside the school after Kyle's Christmas Concert Sunday. And at Runza afterwards.....I think Kyle was bored! (He was texting on his phone!)

I'll update more later in the week with more photos! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jared!!


Yay! The last time I have to wear the black beret n now I get 2 rock the maroon one :D
Maroon is my favorite new color! :D
The new one is shaved and formed, it just needs the patch put on it. And today he turns 19....time flies!!
Also from Jared: Yay! Actual bed and furniture! (First time in how many months?!)

He also got his orders--I woke up at 6:30 Friday morning to the phone ringing, Jared telling me they were all packed and waiting on the grass for "the buses" to arrive--my heart sank for him. Instead of early Christmas leave: Surprize! Sure, y'all are going on a bus trip--but on one nicely provided by the Army to Ft. Bragg!
So Friday they left Ft. Benning (Georgia) and arrived at Ft. Bragg (North Carolina).
He left his crutches behind because he didn't have room for them. Earlier in the week he had tests done and it showed fractures in both legs and knees. He admitted the crutches weren't helping, just hurting his armpits! I told him he needs some real (raw) milk to help heal his bones....so he is wanting me to help him find some nearby. :) (He can drink a gallon a day, he loves the stuff!)
So now we wait until they all have their paperwork done to see when he gets to come home. Can't be soon enough for this Mama! ;-)

Kyle finished up his community service needed for a school-to-career class this weekend, and also worked. He and a friend squeezed in studying for Spanish in there somewhere....I think in between video games!! HA
He almost hit a deer last week, and is looking forward to Christmas break. It'll be interesting to see him and Jared together--Kyle's used to having his TV, etc to himself! HA

Patrick has been running around taking care of stuff, and cleaning (my hero!). He has helped the neighbors unthaw their pipes and do odds and ends for them as well.
Me? I've been battling the bitter cold and working extra, filling in as needed. I haven't had time to even think about shopping or getting anything Christmas-y ready! (Don't even ask about shopping or cards.....!!) HA

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November and December Days

A coal train rumbles by on this frosty Sunday morning while the girls eat their hay breakfast.

(Sometimes the dates at the top correspond with the day[s] I start working on my blog. I tend to forget that this probably says Saturday, yet I posted it on Sunday. I started working on my Thanksgiving week one early in the week, but finished and posted it it late in the week. That's why the dates don't always correspond with what I write!) FYI :)


Another week has gone by already! I have been working more, so the time is flying it seems!
Cold, then a bit warmer, and then cold and the wind came along (again). That's what gets me--the wind! Argh! (I know, I know, winter is just getting started......HA)

It seems Kyle has been running late every morning this week. (OK, worse than normal!) ;-) Between school, his activities, and work, I think he's doing too much.....but what do I know--I'm just a mom! HA

I have to revise what I'd previously wrote......instead of Alaska, it looks like Jared will be headed to Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. He doesn't have his "official" paper(s) yet......time will tell when they make up their mind! (They check online for orders, and online orders keep changing.)

Patrick is coming down with "the crud". I had to stop and get him some more Gypsy Cold Care tea, and some juice after work Saturday....I'm not sure how the peanut clusters ended up in my basket.....HA. But they were good! :) :) :)

I get 3-4 eggs a day on average. Here I thought my Buff Orphington hen was laying the BIG dark brown egg, but I guess not. I'm still getting one, even tho she is gone. Not sure which hen is laying it! I did notice the eggs seem to be getting larger. I'd say they are extra large....amazing and awesome!!

Dolly was in heat Friday/Saturday. Saturday morning I watched her and Anna butting heats and being squirrely from the (nice warm) :) kitchen for awhile. Needless to say, I watched my back when doing chores. I don't need a 900+ pound cow mounting me.....yikes!
Normally Dolly isn't like that, but she did try once last year. I've been wary ever since then when she's in heat. Better safe than sorry! Amazing what hormones can do to an otherwise normally tame cow!

Oh, and a 450+ pound freaked out 8-month old heifer isn't going to care if you're in the way and they are scared. I moved a piece of tin from the (future) stanchion area when Anna was eating--big mistake. (I admit I'm far too complacent--I'm used to bomb-proof Dolly!)
Anna did make sure she didn't plow me over, but maybe that's just because I still had the "scary-monster-piece-of-tin", too. HA I don't think she appreciated me laughing at her, either......Dolly didn't bat an eye the whole time, she just kept eating her chow.
Knowing Dolly she was thinking: "Good, now I can eat HER food, too!!" Of course, she tried.....that cow has a one-track mind.....and no, I'm not sharing my peanut clusters with her!! ;-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving--Highs and Lows

Farmer: "Hey! Drop that poison ivy!"
Cityite: "Tut, Tut! Calm yourself my good man--this wasn't picked on your land!"

As we try to save them from themselves.... :)
____________________________________________________________________


Cold has come--bitter cold and frozen waterers already! (Except for the stock tank, it has a heater!) I have seen lots and lots of geese flying, too. Patrick and I saw a mess of them in a field on Monday. Part of the field was white and hundreds more were circling low to land. A neat sight, wish I would of had my camera!!



It has been a long week already. I got Jared a room reserved for Thanksgiving weekend (can't stay on the base) and am bummed he can't come home. I did send him the video game device he requested (I forgot what its called, Game Boy?? Its an older one......I can't keep 'em straight!!) along with a bunch of games, AND the charger. ;-) I had to send it to the motel because he still does not have an address!! Here is his "dressed up look" to go mingle and shop at a mall on Friday (he loves his bowties!!):



We also got news Tuesday (as we were trying to make some kind of travel arrangements for Jared to get home for Christmas) that he might get "orders" before Christmas and get shipped elsewhere. :( Oh joy, I don't want to buy plane/bus/whatever tickets and not have him even remotely near the starting point!! ACK! Plus he might not get his time off if he does go elsewhere. So now we play "the waiting game". (where's my grumpy-rolling-eyes smiley again??) I have requested time off work to drive and get him if needed. Might be a little hard if he ends up overseas!! :(

Things are interesting with having one vehicle for 3 people. Kyle has been riding the bus in the mornings, but usually has work or something after school so comes to my work and rides home with me.

I think the Chicken Hawk got my Buff Orphington hen. :( I had let them out Monday, and had to go to town. When I came back, she was laying in the trees, feathers all about. GRRRRR
So much for hatching some out come this spring! :( I will have to order some, or find someone who has some they are willing to part with.



Thanksgiving I worked and got to eat a (late but yummy!!) plate from the In-Laws. Patrick was busy Wednesday making his Pumpkin Pies, and Thursday morning made 40 (that meant 80 total!) Deviled Eggs to take. I can't believe he actually brought some back home, usually they are all gone. I asked him why, and he said: "That's because Casey (one of his nephews) wasn't there!!" HA
We will have our Thanksgiving on Monday when I have a day off and Kyle doesn't have to work.

I guess many got to talk to Casey and Jared via phone. I am hoping they both can make it for Christmas to the family gathering. That would be awesome!


Friday morning Kyle got Pat up early to go shopping. He knows better than to ask me, I ain't a-goin' out with the hoards: nope, no way!! Shopping isn't my forte' anyhow! (Unless its at the feedstore!) HA Pat likes to shop, so for years I've just given him a list of what I need. (It started out of necessity, he had the time, I didn't! And its just stuck!)



On Tuesday, a dear friend of many (milk cow folks) passed away. JerseyMike will be missed, and things like this make one reflect on them, and ones' self. It took a full day for it to sink in he was gone.....I was on autopilot helping others and answering questions and when things settled down, "it" started sinking in. Sigh. My heart goes out to Edith and family!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nov 14 week news

The "girls" out in the back corner of their little pasture earlier this month.

Sunday-Worked on cleaning in the messy kitchen (a never ending job!). Later Pat and I drove over to Ann's and picked up her trailer. (Ours has a shredded tire and two more are flat. Hasn't been used in a year!) Dropped off a milk jar, too. Went to the annual Patch n' Powder Gang (Blackpowder shooting) meeting. Not too many folks showed up. :( So they postponed elections until the February meeting.

Monday-was crazy busy at work, I didn't feel good, which didn't help matters any. Kyle stayed home from school, he didn't feel well either. Made Beef Stew from the last package of stew meat in the freezer. Jared calls most every evening, but I didn't get to talk to him, I was bushed and went to bed.


Tuesday-felt drained and my stomach wasn't doing too good either. Didn't go to work (third time I've missed work in over 2 years). Ate dry toast to help my stomach and then leftover stew for brunch and supper. Today is Porter's day to go to the locker. He loaded really well (he loves alfalfa!), and walked right into the trailer, made me feel guilty. It seems every critter I want loaded (except Dolly, she'll go anywhere!) fights and ticks me off, oh, but not this time! GRRRR I detached myself from the situation and went back inside to veg. The weather was nice, I let the chickens out to roam the pasture area since I was home and could watch out the window. ;-) There is a Chicken (or Red-tailed??) Hawk that flew over and "screamed" at them when I went to put them in for the night. Sigh. At least the Rooster and Hens noticed him before I did and took cover in the wooded area.


Wednesday-its raining and cold. I still don't feel 100% but will muddle through work today. I put a roast in the crockpot so it'd be done for supper. Didn't do much else than chores and the regular routine. Talked to Dad, he is home from the hospital and talked to Jared as well.


Thursday-Earthquake in NE Nebraska this morning. It was only a 3.3 but earthquakes aren't "normal" around here! I was in and out of the house all day doing odds and in things. The puppies are getting big and its fun to watch them play. My bantie put a cat in its place--I warned the cat beforehand! HA Patrick is working on putting a window in the chicken coop. His idea(s) and mine aren't meshing.....as long as there is more light in the coop is all I really want! ;-)


Jared said there is only like 27 guys left in training, out of about 80 to begin with, and everyone that has come back has been Airborne. :( (Red-tape BS--grumble-grumble-gripe!!) He was going to go to Florida for Thanksgiving with a buddy, but decided not to so he can save money. But, he's been informed he has to find a motel room for the 4 days off. Wish I could go down there and surprize him! (Its nice and warm down there too!) HA


Friday--took Kyle to school early, as he had a Speech Team meeting. Last year the skits were pretty good. The kids can really make you crack up! I look forward to seeing them again this year!


It has been getting cold at night--in the 20's or low 30's. Finally plugged in the tank heater the other day. They are talking teens for a low soon, argh, I'm not ready for winter! We've been spoiled with the weather this year.....I'll keep it! ;)

The weekend: worked and spent time on the phone with Jared and getting him a room reserved for Thanksgiving. He is looking forward to coming home for Christmas. Not so sure he's going to like the weather when he gets here, though! ;-)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snow!





Yep, we officially got our first snow last night. I took pictures while doing chores in the dark. Anna is eating her goodies (a bit of Alfalfa hay) in the new chicken coop area--this will be my milking area eventually. (No more milking in the garage in bad weather!) The black cord (on the right) is for a solar light we put up and haven't gotten around to getting that part 'finished'. And then Porter and Dolly eating their goodies in the old water tank while it was snowing. (The chicken tractor is in the background). They like to boss Anna around, so she gets her treats by herself. It also helps me to work with her, and knows I'm not really a scary monster! ;-)

The locker called the other day, Porter leaves Tuesday for a 'moved up' appointment. He is over 800#, not quite as big as the last steer we took in, but he will do. He had a rough start in life and is short, but meaty. :) Here is a photo from about a month ago:


Dolly was in heat this week, and Anna tried mounting Porter. I marked the calendar, as I'm not sure if she was really in heat, or re-acting to Dolly's heat. Time will tell.

Kyle has is helping with the play at school, and is a stage-hand. Sometimes he gets too many "irons in the fire" and runs himself ragged! School, work (2 jobs) and his extracurricular school activities.....I keep telling him he needs to slow down!

The other morning my clutch went out on my truck, so we are down to one truck to drive until it gets fixed. (Yes, we are an oddity, we don't have a "car"!) So that means more trips to town and running around with the big Dodge diesel. It's made for haulin' and pullin', not run-around-all-over like one does with a car. And of course, diesel jumped from $3.05 to $3.17 a gallon this week--Murphy's law I guess. :(

Jared isn't in training anymore, he can't "really" tell us why he and some other Infantry fellows (like half of them) were dismissed. "Its' classified" he says and I sigh and roll my eyes. But I can put two and two together.......they need other professions right now, so I think they're nit-picking everyone else. They did give them a 4-day weekend for Veterans' Day. He and 3 friends went to Peachtree mall and played video games on Thursday and got free burgers at Hooters. ;-) Not really where I'd like him to be, but that's a mom thing. He's a big boy.....ha

Patrick and I finished up the chicken coop (for the most part) the other day. It's "chicken safe" now, so they are in it. But its dark in there, they need a window. We did pick up a neato solar light that was on sale for there. And it has re-chargeable batteries (back up). We have lots of those here! :)
All in all its been a very good week for getting things done around here. Of course there is always more to do, but isn't that normal? HA

The puppies continue to do well and like exploring the yard. Other than that, they sleep, play, eat, all like normal! ;-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What a (long!) week!




It's been a week of ups and downs for my 'ol brain this week!



Monday, dad had his surgery. He was kind of grumpy when we went back up to see him on Thursday. But he looks great, no pasty-color! :)


I was elated on Tuesday when Jared graduated, then came reality again. The next training is an intensive 8-week course. Less than half graduated in the last class. Time will tell if Jared's body can take it, he's still sore from Airborne. But he did get a three-day weekend since Veterans' day is coming up. So that gave him a few extra days of healing time. (Plus he got to go to the movie theater and watch a couple of movies, a luxury!)


Kyle went to Crete to preform with the Honor Band again Saturday. It wasn't a contest this time, just a concert. He's off to work tomorrow at his 'old' job--but works mostly at his new one, Pizza Hut. (Hope he doesn't eat all the pizza!) HA


Saturday we lost Lily, our Minn Pinn. She got out and was by the highway, and a poor fellow accidentally hit her. He went into the bar to see whose little dog he'd hit. I felt bad for him! At least she didn't suffer. But, she leaves behind 5-week old puppies, I'd forgot to mention she had a litter back on Oct. 3rd. Two boys, two girls, one of each color. (Red/tan and black/tan.) It is their photos at the top of this post in the doghouse a week or so ago.



Patrick is slowly but surely making progress on my chicken coop. It has a roof and sides now. It just needs some chicken wire on a part of it and a door, then the henny pennys (and Mr. Rooster) can move in! ;-) I get sometimes 7 eggs a day, and sometimes 4. All are laying now but the bantie.


We had a hard freeze two nights in a row, the only thing it didn't really affect is the carrots, what few I have. We are having unusual weather for November, its to be in the 70's for a few days, then back to chilly reality! At least the weather is agreeable to get outside work done!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Airborne-Queen of the Battle + News

Jared with his "new" (he says: bad ass) haircut! :)



Jared graduates from Airborne today. They've been delayed several times in getting their jumps in mostly due to the weather, and one (major!) plane issue. Graduation was supposed to be Friday (10/29), and then changed to Monday, but on Monday they got their last two jumps in. The last one was so family that was there for (the delayed) graduation could see them parachute onto the field. Wish we could of made it, it would of been a sight to see!!

So the whole Charlie Company (like 400 of them!) graduates today!

CONGRATULATIONS JARED!!! :)


Airborne is called Queen of the Battle, also known as: Death From Above (grim reminder of what their purpose is!) He took the above photo with his phone while they were cleaning and getting ready. I didn't realize until I downloaded it onto my computer that he was in the latrine! HA

Jared after his first jump running off the field. And his wings!







My dad had heart surgery Monday (they replaced his Aorta Valve--with all things, cow tissue!) :)
He is in ICU but is doing well, holding his own. Pat and I went up to see him Monday before surgery, and will go see him when he's out of ICU--that should be tomorrow, or even later today if they feel he's up to it. Hopefully now he'll feel better and not get so out of breath so easily. (His old aorta valve was working at 6%--no wonder he was having issues!!)

**And keep this kid in your thoughts and prayers (Pat's nephew), he's pretty messed up right now, but he is getting some help now (long story). I don't think he realizes his family still loves him, even if he has done some stupid things.



We are human, and make mistakes. The key is to LEARN from them, kiddo! ;-)
This is he and Jared the day Jared left for Basics:


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Food Freedom


Plant A Victory Garden
Our Food is Fighting
A Garden Will Make Your Rations Go Further

Seems like this would be unreal here in America. I took this photo at the National Infantry Museum in Ft. Benning (Georgia) this summer. It's a common "Victory Garden" poster, popular during WWII around the country.

Now I fear the motto should be:
WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR FOOD

Think I'm going to start a Raw Milk Revolution (Revelation??) or Real Milk Revolt. Or both. Something along those lines. We need something 'catchy'. :)
More really cool WWII Food posters at this link: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=victory%20garden%20poster



Another one of my favorites:


Friday, October 29, 2010

Freeze, Cows and Trailer Photos

Porter and Anna out in the (waning!) pasture.



Patrick working hard under the trailer bolting down the floor.

Almost done!



I left the sprinkler on the tomatoes since it was to freeze. It froze alright, but the plants under the sprinkler (with ice on them) fared the best! Yes, that's icicles on the 'fence' part on the left side of the photo.









Frosty Mints and Catnip in the last photo!






Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Airplanes, Awards and Another Small Dairy Raid

A bunch of Comfrey in the garage gathered and hung to dry.





The weather has turned colder and windy. Still no freeze/frost here yet--but it might get close tonight. I have been letting the chickens out in the back lot when I'm home and off work, they have discovered my Comfrey patch! (Yikes!) I will have to put panels up to keep them out! I did lose a 'speckled' girl to an unknown predator while I was making supper the other day. :(

I forgot to post, Patrick won over-all high score at his Black Powder shoot earlier this month. He not only brought home a bag full of [food] goodies, he got the top prize, a Turkey! So we thawed it out and made dressing that week and had several meals of turkey. I told him he needs to get me a "real" (wild) turkey for us this year for the Holidays! (He likes that idea!)

Jared did his first airplane jump yesterday--from 1200 feet. They have 4 more jumps (getting progressively higher) to do in 2 days. He was the second one off the plane, and was hesitant, but knew it had to be done. He told us it wasn't that bad and he's looking forward to the next one! (Kids!!)
He said there's about 400 individuals in Airborne right now, so it takes them a long time to "get ready". It was raining Monday morning, so they all sat around for about 6 hours (after getting up at 4 a.m.) with their gear on until the weather cleared and they were able to get on the plane.

Patrick (and his buddy Bob) worked on his flatbed trailer all weekend, but got the floor done, and a tire changed, so it's ready to get used! It needs some paint, but it is "road ready". Now I can go get a big load of hay!! (Yippee!) Not exactly what HE had in mind--but what else would *I* use it for? :)

Kyle is busy with school, and work. Sunday he and friends played 'Air-soft' war at Cub Creek Recreation area. Oh and I'm sure anyone scouting or hunting in the area loved a bunch of goofy teenagers running around 'shooting' each other with paintball guns! HA

And I received news of another raid on a small dairy in WA state, similar 'charges' as Morningland in MO. Read about it, pass it on and support these folks! If this keeps up, there will be no "Farmers' Market" to go to and get local, fresh food! http://wholefoodusa.wordpress.com/

If WE don't help--who will?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anna


This is Anna--she is part Jersey and part Braunvieh and is 6 months old. She is Dolly's successor. :) I should call her Ms. Independent, but she is curious and likes to pretend "scary, scary" sometimes. I know she's pretending, because if I have alfalfa to offer, she's quite happy with dropping her act!! (Just like a little kid and candy-ha!)

Jared is jumping off of towers in Airborne with his company and learning to land correctly. Today he is doing the 200 ft jump. Next step, the actual airplane drop! He is in good spirits, but hesitant, which is good. At least he still has caution and a conscious!
He is also sending home a duffle bag of his "stuff" for me to store for him, and in it will be 2 kids ACU's (digital cammo clothes) for two great nephews so they can be "Army Man" (what they call it) for Halloween. (That's what you get when you call relatives and their kids think you're really, really cool!) ;)

He'll get a couple of weeks off for Christmas or Thanksgiving so he can come back and visit. They'll let them, but no one is sure which holiday/time-frame it will be yet!

Kyle is picking up a few more hours at work, and went to the movies the other night. He was parked at a friends' house last week, and some lady backed into my truck. (Come to find out, the lady let her insurance lapse---argh!)
Patrick is thinking of putting a flatbed on it for me now! ;) At least its just cosmetic, and its still drive-able.



Work continues on the chicken coop, and since I have been working more, Patrick's "helper" isn't around to boss him, oh, I mean help him with the project! :) HA HA

The temperatures continue to be weird, 80 one day, and 65 the next....with lows anywhere from 35 to 50. No scraping windows yet!! (yay!) I canned some tomatoes last week, not many, but better than nothing!
The neighbor gave us some deer jerky (Pat helped her grind a bunch of deer meat into burger last week) and some yummy roasted pumpkin seeds. They also made pumpkin pies (4) out of the pumpkin pulp from making Jack-O-Lanterns.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Harvest in Full Swing

Around these parts the past couple of weeks have been all about grain harvesting. The weather has been holding (no rain or frost/freezes) so it seems everyone is happy!



Harvesting Beans--it's dusty work!!







On the left--a combine on a blacktop road--a school bus follows behind taking kids home.





Stockpile of grain, there's another one (milo) started that is hard to see in the back of this one. And train cars waiting to be filled with grain.

Monday, October 11, 2010

(Aggrivating!) News Flash!

An acquaintance of mine in Missouri, has had 8 months worth of hard work (cheese) confiscated and their dairy has been shut down since August 26th. They have been ordered to dump milk since that day!
Imagine working for free, and destroying what you're making because the 'testing' done was not done correctly/properly, and you get blamed for it! ARGH!!!

Please read the history and story, and PLEASE donate!

Story: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/fda-shuts-down-morningland-dairy-despite-clean-tests/

Donation link: http://uncheese-party.webs.com/

Morning Land's main website: http://www.morninglanddairy.com/

Their recall information page: http://morninglanddairy.webs.com/recallinformation.htm

This hits close to home......never know when the USDA, FDA or another agency will come and say you can't grow, nor make or cook your own foods.

Its just un-American! :(

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10th News



The bottom photo is of a neighbor's pasture.






Fall is here!
Most of the trees turning color early are Ash trees. Cooler nights and warm days have come to stay! Friday it was bloomin' hot with a high of 90*, breaking and tying records from the early 1930's. Nebraska weather can be odd--one year ago we had our first snow! (Oct 10th--also one of my good friends' birthday!) We haven't had rain for two weeks, so I've been watering what is in the garden. (And no, I am not ready to see any snow yet!!) Hopefully our temps will hold out at night and we'll have a late frost this year.

Patrick and I have s-l-o-w-l-y been working on the winter chicken coop, but slow progress is better than no progress! He had to redo a brake calliper and rotor on his truck...he knew when he replaced the one side this summer it would probably be a matter of time before the other one "went". But pulling loads of hay and other stuff takes its toll faster than say if it were a passenger car.

I got the lawn mowed the other day (finally!) and have been doing odds and ends around here, like watering the garden! I have been eyeing my comfrey, I need to get more harvested before: 1) the cow gets in that area and eats it (I have them fenced out right now) or 2) we have a frost. I don't mind her eating it, but not when I'm on a "growing" time limit! I need to get more salve made! :)

Kyles' work days have been reduced, but he keeps getting called in to work. Umm, wouldn't make sense to schedule a person who DOES routinely show up for work in the first place?!? (where's my rolling eyes smiley??!!) School and band activities have been keeping him busy as well. (And Frolfing and Air-soft shooting!) ;-)

Jared went to Airborne last Thursday, and they all have a 4-day pass for the weekend since its a holiday weekend. (Columbus Day is Monday) And I finally got his new address so I can send him a 'backlog' of mail, newspaper clippings (local news) and letters from home! He is on the Main Post now and closer to activities; like a movie theater, bowling alley and the main PX (store for them). He sent us some German Chocolate last week--he discovered the "Foreign Foods" section of the PX. ;-)
I asked him one day what he had for supper: "Chocolate--but I'm drinking Aloe Juice, too!" (It can have prune juice effects......) ;-) HA HA Kids!! :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Long week!



Oh we had a frost threat last night (ugh, already?) so I decided I needed a cheery photo of some of my flowers from this summer!! :)

This past week has been hectic--working extra days, double-checking fences and fixing 'issue' spots, and looking at the green tomatoes in the garden and telling them to 'hurry up and get ripe'!! :) (It's not really working, but at least I get to vent my frustration! HA!)

Patrick is working on the winter chicken coop, changed the oil in his truck, and found a couple of issues with the drive shaft that he fixed. (Just glad he noticed them now before anything major happened!)

Kyle and the whole school band went to 'Harvest of Harmony' parade in Grand Island Saturday. They go every year and I forgot what they placed, 8th? 10th? in the competition.

Jared is back on Airborne hold....he should start Airborne training later this week. His lungs are clear and he's feeling much better. It's nice to be able to talk to him more often now! I'll be glad when I get a 'new' address from him so I can send him his mail!!

The temps have been cool at nights (40's) and sometimes the daytime temps vary from mid-60's up to the 90's! Indian summer for sure. I'm not complaining, just hope these temps hold out for awhile.
I'm not ready for c-o-l-d weather yet!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More rain and cooler temps

We got more rain Saturday, another 1/2". Of course, it rained the day after I mowed, so now it doesn't look like I mowed at all! But the new grass that has been planted in bare spots is doing well.

I'm getting average of 5 eggs a day, not everyone is laying yet. Saturday the rain came early enough it didn't mess with Kyle's Frolfing Tournament. (In a nutshell: Frolfing is a style of Golfing, using Frisbee Discs and special 'catchers' for the discs--hence the odd name.) He's done Frolfing for a couple of years now, sometimes he wins and sometimes he doesn't. He makes it look easy, that I DO know! ;)

Patrick canned apple butter and some apple pie filling (I got it off Tammy's blog) Thursday. I still have peach juice to deal with and make something out of it! I drove over in the pouring rain Thursday morning to get milk from another gal that has family milkers. I have been hankering for Potato Soup, and having real milk is what "makes it" have body. Even using half-n-half from the store just isn't the same, I've tried to duplicate, but simply, there IS no substitute for the "real thing"!! Besides, now I will actually drink milk.....the store stuff doesn't do it for me.

OK, as promised, here's some Jared "fun" pictures from our visit last month. Again, hard to choose just a few!! Enjoy!!


Being Goofy!






No fishies were harmed....it got to swim another day! OK! Stop taking my picture! I'm not a movie star!! :) --->>