For Our Troops......

For Our Troops......


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)


Click for Jansen, Nebraska Forecast

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The boys are home for Christmas!

Jared and Chandra left Fayetteville around 7 am last Sunday morning.  They rolled in the driveway here about 5:30 am Monday morning. (Didn't listen to the "Parental Advice" of not driving straight through!) 

Patrick, Jared and Kyle's girlfriend went and picked Kyle up in Missouri Wednesday and got home just as the snow storm was getting bad. 

I'm just happy all are safe, sound and home!  :)
So we have a week or so with a stuffed home, good foods and good company.
Presents are under the (little!) Christmas tree and more family visitin' is in order for all of us.

Have a Blessed Holiday everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jared's Birthday!

Another nice day--I'd say because it's Jared's 21st Birthday!  I sent him a text earlier, haven't heard from him, probably because he's at work.  I'll give him a call later and pester him!
Got a call from Kyle on the second, but not the 9th.  They must of gotten into trouble....if one messes up, everyone gets punished.  I know that much.  I'm sure he'll call before we are to pick him up next week.
It's a warmer day....but we have rain/cold/maybe snow coming.  We need to moisture something terrible, so will take it however we get it. 
I have people nervous about hay (already) and are asking me almost daily of where to get some.  I made some phone calls:  no one has extra now that they are letting go of. 
So I direct the hay seekers to the people online in the area that I've found that have some to sell.  Except, its high priced already, making the nervous even more nervous. 
 I'm not sweating it too much right now because 1) I have a **wonderfully awesome** hay supplier (an understatement!) and 2) I've been through this before when we lived in Texas.  It's no fun!
I'm not opposed to the higher hay prices, but freaking out and hoarding it only drives the prices up.  When you need hay, not alot one can do about the prices, or going to great lengths to find it.  I've been there.  I know there is only so much you can 'save back' until THAT runs out as well.  Cows/critters eat hay which means it goes in one end, and out the other.....(and onto the compost pile!)  :)
 I've warned plenty that what hay they've got they had better keep an eye on/locked up because it's "gold" sitting there for those who want it.  Unfortunetely, not everyone is honest and prefer to just take what they want rather than pay for it.  >:-(  (that is supposed to be an angry face!)  People are surprised when I mention this:  it is easy to become complacent and assume everyone is an honest fellow.  I wish it were that way!  Sigh
Another problem is, cattle prices could go drastically down, feed and hay are up, it makes it really hard to justify keeping too many critters around just for the sake of having them.
Cull, cull cull or eat them is my best advice.  It also helps lighten the workload in the winter, the feed/food bill and makes your existing supply last that much longer.  Having animals sometimes forces us to make extremely hard decisions that we don't want to....due to (a lack of) supply of food for them, and/or a lack of funds for the more scarce food/feed.
On another brighter note:  we are making slow progress on the shed addition.    The vet check/health certificate should be done for Daisy today, so we can get her when we get down there.  I'm totally excited to have milk again!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Turning colder

A NASA photo at night of all the lights of the USA.  Note it is the lights that are illuminating the coasts and Great Lakes--amazing!)
We've had a cold front come through--we didn't get any of the snow forecasted--just the c-o-l-d north wind.  It stayed north--I'd like some moisture, but really don't want to deal snow.  But I'll take whatever we get (like I have a choice!) HA
Kyle called for about 5 minutes last Sunday, and we got a letter from him this week.  (Is one paragraph *really* a letter?) HA  But he is doing good, and we get to see photos posted online of various stages of training posted by the Base. 
Jared and Chandra are doing fine.....haven't heard much from them.  (No news is good news!)
Talked to my mom the other day, guess they are planning on heading to Texas next week.  I imagine dad is chomping to go since it's gotten cold!  (Can't blame him!)
Patrick and I got a good start on the cow shed/chicken coop addition.  Work come to a stop when we needed more wood.   So more wood and a bit better weather is needed to get more work done.  (And a day off!) 
I have been working alot, so haven't been getting much done around here other than the 'normal' stuff.  I am looking forward to getting some time off to get some things done around here that need done or I've been putting off.   :-)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another month gone by.....

We had a wonderful thanksgiving--we went to Pats' sisters for a family gathering.  Good food, good times! Of course there is always a fest--and naturally everyone eats too much!  At least we are blessed to able to have plenty!

The weather has been decent--makes it hard to believe it's the last day of November!  Patrick and I discussed building onto the east side of the shed (next to the chicken coop/stanchion addition we put in a year or two ago!) so I have  nice place for a birthing "stall" or foster calves or whatever needs doctored/housed alone.  I could even use it for storage for feed or small squares of hay.  Never hurts to have extra shed space for whatever comes up! 
Well, since we have the supplies already, and I have my Carpenter Guru on board--it's a go.  Ok, it goes more like this:  I'd build it myself; but it won't be near as good as if he dictates/does the most of it.  I'm a good go-fer and holder-upper and laborer, he knows that. 
Sometimes I give advice (imagine that) but usually it goes unheeded because I'm the "short-cut/get-it-done" type, and he is Mr. Picky.  I have to say, what he builds lasts, so I don't usually complain.  :-)

We moved stuff around in the garden yesterday, I mowed the (dead) asparagus and we burned off some dead grass.  I'd love to let the steers in there, but they are like little kids and will mess with things they shouldn't, or chew on my cherry tree! The chickens can go in there, but my 'grand plans' for them working it over aren't going like I envisioned.  I guess they didn't read my mind nor listen to me!

I am getting a whopping 1 egg a day, two of the girls look horrible, they are moulting.  I don't know how the egg-layer gets out, but she does and insists on laying her egg in my straw stockpile in the stanchion.  (Right next to where one of the cats sleep!)  Sigh.  So I put straw in 3 nesting boxes....and fresh hay in another 3, but I guess that wasn't good enough? 

We've gotten a couple of letters from Kyle, his GF has gotten several.  He called on Thanksgiving, talked to us for about 3 minutes, and his GF for like 25!  We did find a few photos online of him...but they want $20 or $30 for a few wallet sized photos.  Bah.  The photos aren't "that" good! ha

Jared and Chandra are doing fine.  He sent photos, of him making their kitchen table, it looks nice! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Deer meat and musings

Pat (right) and the neighbor (and kiddo) with their deer
Well, for the week-long hunting season, Patrick got a deer.  Problem is:  we don't have much room in the freezer!  So we are making Jerky and Smoked Sausage out of it.  The neighbor got three--but he went out more times than Pat.  It's okay....less work for me! :-)
Not much has been going on, I've been lazy at getting "inside" stuff done since it's been so nice outside!  I did find my chickens (rather, chicken--only 1 is laying right now!) likes to lay her eggs in the stockpiled straw in the stanchion area.  Two are moulting and look horrible!  I lost my older hen a few weeks ago, so now am down to 5 hens and Mr. Rooster.  Once egg production ramps up I'll see who is/isn't laying well and cull the slackers. 
 I'd like to entice the banty-cross to set, but not this time of year!  Plus I'm sure she'll be a troll once the chicks would hatch.  Her mama was, and her mama was friendly to people--this one isn't so much!  (Her mama is the one that would fly up onto our shoulder and  go for a 'ride'.  She used to sit on Dolly's back to keep warm.)  Ahhh the antics of critters! HA
I sold one of the steers, and am getting another milk cow.  I can't wait to meet her and get her home!  Her name is Daisy (a very popular cow name!) and is used to kids, etc.  I need another "Dolly-type" cow, and I'm pretty sure Daisy will fit the bill.  She is to calve in March, and she's still in milk--so I will have milk for a bit before I have to dry her off.  No biggie--I'm uber-excited to have milk again!
The weather has been decent--spoiling me.  Forecasts say an Arctic blast is coming next week.  Ugh.  I'm not ready for it--and it's hard on the animals when temperatures yo-yo high, low, high low.  Plus colder weather makes more work for me with watering, draining hoses etc.  I shouldn't be complaining, I know it could be alot worse, and much colder and snowier already! ;-)
I am hoping to get a letter from Kyle any day now....we'll know his mailing addy and get 'news' of when to come get him.  His girlfriend is probably more anxious than me to find out! ;-)  I just hope he's doing news is good news I say!
Chandra sent me a photo of Jared working on making a kitchen table for them.  We haven't heard much from them.....and the kitty they got from here is awful ornery.  (Good training for future kids!) HA

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kyle is off to Basics

Kyle just before we got to Ashland to drop him off

Kyle arrived at Basics training late last night.  We took him to Ashland on Monday; and in true Military fashion he and others had the 'hurry up, then wait, and wait and wait, then hurry again' treatment. ;)  He is "only" about 7 hours away, so going to pick him up is going to be easier (and cheaper!).
I didn't see too much of him the last few days, as he had Drills, and he spent lots of time with his girlfriend.  But hopefully all goes well for him--keep him in your prayers!

All is strangely quiet on the home front.....thus far! ha  Jared and Chandra are settling in (I heard her reprimanding the ornery kitten in the background as I talked to him yesterday) and I hope to see them at Christmas!

I had to get more hay yesterday, the previous bale had lots of straw in it.  I used the rickety small pickup box trailer to get it, I wonder how many people laughed at it (me) on the way home.  I made it here safely, and Patrick helped me unload it--with the help of the truck and a lariat.  :)  (True redneck style--but it works!) ha ha ha  The bovines are happy, happy, happy now!
Patrick also helped me put in my tank heater, oh yes it's that time of year again (bah humbug!).  I only filled it about 1/3 of the way to check for leaks.  So far, so good! 

The chickens are molting, and I get 1 or 2 eggs a day.  Not much, but better than nothing.  Someone gave us some pork ribs, and I realized the fridge was, well, a mess as I stuffed them in it.  So all the critters (dogs, cats, rabbit, chickens) got 'treats' as I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday. 

We haven't had much rain/moisture the past month--and temps have pretty much been decent.  But we'll take all the rain/snow we can get, we need it!  (I just don't want the cold and wind!)  ha  ;-)

That's about all the "news" here for now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gained a daughter-in-law!

Congratulations to Jared and Chandra!!  :)

 My boys are grown up!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crazy Times!

The past few weeks have been packed with busy-ness.  With the cold/chilly then hot/humid weather yo-yo'ing and toss in a freeze here and there; we got the last of the tomatoes canned.  I still have some 'cool weather' crops in the garden growing.  Soon I will let the chickens lose in there so they can eat weed/grass seeds and whatever goodies are left behind. I'll let them do some 'winter work' for me! ;)

It's a bittersweet thing when the freezes come; we get a reprieve from some work, but after a week or two I'm ready to start gardening/canning again!  Instead I shall make grand plans for the garden next I do every year!  (Never works out that way, but as they say:  It looks good on paper!!) HA

Our freezer is packed full now and the shelves are overflowing with canned foods grown here and the neighbors'.  Patrick and I have worked very, very hard this year and the results are plenty of food put up.  It's a labor of love I guess.....I like to eat so I labor away!   
Grow it, tend it, harvest it, put some work and imagination into it, then can/freeze it, and eat it! 

Now we are turning our attention to Kyle, he'll be leaving soon (November) for basic training; and Jared's upcoming wedding.  That is a work in progress with the planning! ha  Jared is home on leave now; but I haven't seen him much.  He and his fiancee are busy seeing friends and getting last-minute things done for their wedding as well.  Ah, young love!  :)

That's it in a nutshell--once things have settled down I will have more time to write/update my blog on a regular basis!  :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Where does the time go?!

A Combine harvesting beans.  It's been very dusty around here lately!!
I can't believe it's October already--time sure flies!  The weather is cooler--we have a couple of hard freezes coming in the next day or two.  The garden will be done--I'll see if the brussels sprouts and cabbage make it. 
It's always a tinge of sadness, but then again some relief of constant putting something "up" when it's ripe.  Even with the heat and drought this summer, the food that came from our little place is always a Blessing.
I planted what wheat I had left for the chickens in a 'winter plot' for them.  It's always a treat when they are penned up in the coldest time of the year.  (When its bitter cold and/or snowy I pen them so they are more protected from the elements and predators.)  I'm experimenting this winter and will let them into the garden area so they can 'clean up' and hopefully eat lots of grass/weed seeds. :)
Dolly isn't doing so well--her digestive system isn't what it used to be, and she's having a hard time getting up when laying down.  She is 18 after all, no spring chicken!  The steers and Nessa are just fine--ornery as ever!
We actually heard some thunder, but doubtful we get any rain here.  We are at least 10" below 'normal' rainfall this year so far.  This winter will be an interesting one--I don't mind the snow, it's the bitter cold that I disdain. I have heard so many wives' tales about what it's supposed to do this winter, and it seems they tend to contradict each other.  So who knows what it'll be like!  Time will tell....the good, bad or ugly!
Jared will be home on leave in a couple of weeks.  Kyle has Drills again soon.  Amazing how much in the past couple of years the "boys" have grown/matured.  I guess that means I'm getting old! ha
Patrick has been doing some projects around here--at his pace as he can get stuff done.  I did get the lawn mowed (finally). 
Now I'm off to harvest what is left in the garden so we can get it preserved in one way or another. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Busy Again!

One of the flowers out front of the house

Canning, canning, canning--it's been our life story the past month!  But we have been blessed with lots of stuff from our garden this year, so the results are either in glass jars, the freezer or our bellies! :)

Pat has been busy helping me and doing oddball things, but his back is bothering him again.  (Glad we don't have turkeys to process this year--since they are so heavy!)  I need to mow, but keep putting it off.

I've seen more of Kyle since he quit one job and went back to another--he usually works morning shift.  It's some spending money for now for him until he goes to Basics in November.  Two of his friends just graduated from Basics (one Marines and one National Guard) so between them and his brother he should get the "low down" of what to expect.

And yes, Jared will be getting married in late October when he is home on leave.  Nothing big and fancy, details are in the works!  :) 

Harvest is going like gangbusters around here--at work we have been extra busy. Soon we will hear the giant dryers hooked up to the grain bins going nonstop. When they finally shut them off, it's oddly quiet!
 I can hear combines and tractors and the train going all hours when I'm home.  The 'grain train' comes and goes with loaded cars of grain destined for somewhere.    

 Parts of our area got a frost and freeze the other day--thankfully we didn't.   The weather has been cooler, and chilly some mornings and evenings.  Many trees are turning golden--so pretty!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Just arrived Stateside photos

Happy to be home with his sweetie! :)



Amen to the Welcome Home!

This says it all!
Eating Breakfast

New Toy

Friday, August 31, 2012

Jared is Back!

The top photo is Jared wearing his 'sweat band' and the second one is him over "there".  (I have more photos, will get them posted in the coming week).

It's been slow blogging for the last couple of weeks because we went to North Carolina to meet Jared as he came back Stateside.  A whirlwind trip that was a GREAT one! 
Hat's off to Danielle who let us bunk at her house (again)....she's such a sweet lady and a great cook! :)  Her husband is home now, too; making everyone happy!  Wooo-hooooo!!

Kyle is now officially in the National Guard, he will go to Ft. Leonardwood in early November....let the fun begin! (ha)

We have lots of peppers to pick and 'maters as well.  Apples are almost the canning/freezing/drying marathon will begin again soon!!

We got 3/4 of an inch of rain while we were gone....when we got home 3 days later we couldn't even tell it had rained.  Still dry here, but not as bad as other parts of the country we saw on our trip.  Corn is just getting harvested now.....the soybeans are starting to turn color.

All in all it's been a busy month, but we can all say a "Thank You" Prayer for keeping our families safe: in war, travels and just daily life. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blessed Cool Down and getting Stateside!

The horrid heatwave has broken (at least for now!).  The temps have been 90 or lower , with lows in the 60's and even upper 50's.  I've noticed Dolly is starting to get her winter hair (coat) growing, early this year.  The younger bovines have been ornery with the cooler weather as well.

The garden is still going strong.  We've gotten lots more food canned, days off from work translates into getting more work done here!

We've canned so much from our plentiful bounty that we are raiding the garage for canning jars stored in boxes.  But we are discovering we are low on pints, and we have lots of the big Blue jars that take the old zinc lids. 
A good surprise is I ran across a bunch of my half-gallon jars (been wondering where they 'went') that I use for milk.  I acquired these when we lived in Texas; a lady at a local fleamarket found them for me-they were like new. 

Most of my jars have been given to me over the years, I always ask "Are you sure?" hoping they'll use them for themselves.  Many people don't can anymore, they say it is too much work.  :(  That's OK, they know how to do it (skills!!) if the need arises! :)

Jared is slowly working his way home!  I'm not sure exactly when he'll be Stateside, but at least he's kind of-sort of working on it along with all the fellows in his Platoon.  We are excited that he is in less danger now and hopefully in a week or so will be able to get to see him. Woo-hooo!! :-)   

Kyle is still working alot, he gets to help move his girlfriend into college later this week.

This is some of the peaches we canned from our tree--the branches were hanging so low I had to move my electric fence out further.  It's a July Elberta (I had to look on the tag!) and they are very sweet and tasty!  They have a white flesh; all of our other peaches are more of a traditional peach color.

Our young pear tree has 10 pears on it this year, it's first year for producing fruit.  Next year it will be interesting to see how many we get!  Our apple trees didn't produce this year (all younger trees) but we are hoping next year we'll get some fruit.  Our newest Apple tree additions are doing great.....with some TLC! ;-)

Patrick and I have been canning, watering, mowing and keeping up with day-to-day 'stuff'.  We have plenty of projects to keep us busy....One of these days we'll (finally) get to work on the garage roof.  It's a long overdue project! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some rain and busy times!

We finally got almost an inch of rain last week (Thursday night I think).  You can see the dust/dirt in the rain gauge mixed with the water.  The "green" that is on the right side in the rain gauge photo is of the pasture, where water has overflowed or gotten watered by a hose--I lay it on the ground and walk back to turn the water off.  It's the greenest part of the pasture!  Today we got a Blessed 1/2 an inch more of rain as well. 
As you can see in the second Rainbow photo (Double Rainbow) that is a pasture on the other side of 'town' in the foreground.  It is brown, not green!  The fellow has some steers on it, they have ate it down (overgrazed).  I noticed no hay there at all.  Yes, the steers look poorly! 

 My pasture for the second time this summer goes "crunch-crunch-crunch" when I walk across it. :(  The cows have been making a mess of the hay, but it is also very dry.  Extra dry hay is better than NO hay, so I'm not complaining (much)! ha  Hay prices are all over the place, as the rains that do come are spotty.  The non-irrigated field crops look withered and dry.  I've seen corn and beans turning yellow/brown already.  The rains may have come a little too late for some. :'(

Patrick and I have been busy canning with produce from the garden.  Tomatoes, salsa, mustard zucchini relish, spaghetti sauce, dill pickles....I think that's all we've gotten done so far!  I've lost count of how many jars we've done.  We have our work cut out for us, that's for sure! ;) 

I will hate to see the water bill when it comes this month, but it's worth it to keep the garden going and the livestock watered.  (I'm guessing they are drinking 50 gallons a day in the hot weather!)  I'm NOT watering my lawn, that seems like a waste of water to me.  I can't eat it, (nor the cows) so I just let it be.  I did have to water the comfrey, blackberries and raspberries, they were getting droopy.  All of the fruit trees have gotten watered as well. 
We have no apples or cherries this year, but lots of peaches on two trees.  They are turning already, and we have ate some.  They are smaller than usual this year!  The pear tree has less than a dozen pears on it, but it's the first year to produce fruit.  So we aren't complaining!

Haven't heard from Jared for a few days, but he said it's getting colder at night there.  I got an email of where they will come in (at Ft. Bragg), but NO date!  Argh!!  Kind of hard to make plans when I have a place to be but not a time-frame!!
  Kyle has been busy working (again) and having fun.  He is working on getting into the National Guard now. 

 I was given some more sweet corn, so think I will dehydrate it.  I don't want to pressure can it and am trying not to put too much in the freezer for long-term.  I may vacuum-seal a few as a treat for Jared when he gets back.  Other than keeping up with the watering and canning etc., things are pretty much the same-o same-o around here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slow Blogging, Busy Times!

I'm enjoying the flowers that have been blooming here--and what produce we've been getting (slowly) out of the garden/beds.  The garden may be weedy, but it's producing!

Ummmm strawberries (thanks Stacy for the plants!) and zucchini, cucumbers and some okra and cherry/yellow/Roma tomatoes and even a peach already!

We also scored a deal a couple of weeks ago on a hog from a local farmer--I was apprehensive about the taste.  Amazingly it's awesome!  BLT's with fresh tomatoes.....good stuff!!

We've heard from Jared via FB--hopefully he'll get one of the two "care packages" soon with items he's requested.  (And a few extra goodies as well!)  Keep him in your prayers please!
Kyle got another drum set--I haven't heard it....yet! HA  He's been working quite a bit lately, I don't see him much. 

For our Anniversary, Patrick and I went to Red Lobster Saturday and then later went to Dairy Queen for dessert.  We delivered a DQ treat to his Dad as well (I think that became his "supper" since Mom was gone.) giggle

Finally the heatwave has broke for now, and we got .20 of rain yesterday.  Not much, but better than nothing!

I also turned the electric fence back on, seems the youngsters have gotten lax about it.  I was having to fix posts.....this morning doubtful I have to do that! ;)  And Nessa has a date with the bull later this week--she just doesn't know it yet!

I got Walter's cage/pen cleaned out (the rabbit that's a she!), and put it in the compost pile.  I have horse manure (free) lined up, just have to go get it!

The news keeps harping about "higher prices coming in the grocery stores" soon.  The more a person can grow/preserve the better.  A little labor goes a long way at (some) food security.  I like to walk by the meat counter and get sticker shock at what some of the prices are.....

I just had a lady ask me last night about buying tomatoes....she gasped when she heard I had a milk cow too, and called me a 'mother earth' type.  (Ha, that's not what *I* call it!)  She stated that her idea of milk products is the dairy section at the local store.

What are people going to do if/when it's not there??  People hear this all the time, but are very complacent to the point of spoiled. 
I know I can "preach to the choir" all day long.  We work very hard here at putting much of our food by.....I'm grateful and thankful that Patrick helps in that task!!

I know all too well that what happened recently back east with the storms and power outages could very well happen here--winter or summer.  The short version is: I'm not a food bank nor food stamps.
And this leads me into my next paragraph.....

Now onto a rant......  :)
I ran across this today and thought hmmmmm; sums things up pretty good!
"It's amazing how some people are "victims" of their own bad choices (over and over) and manage to convince themselves that it isn't their fault."
Weekly I run into people "looking" for jobs and/or trying to create their own--that's all and good.  But at what sacrifice to the rest of the family? 
It seems many have no desire to get a "normal" job (even if it's temporary) and support themselves and their family. (Is it too much work?  A serious question I don't have the answer to!)  It's easier to have the public assistance as their safety cushion.
I can not understand WHY anyone invites this into their mind as a way of life.  I don't mind the helping hand up and out of a bad situation (been there, done that), but as a lifestyle?!!  Bah humbug.  I shall shush up for now.......

Monday, June 25, 2012

Time is Flyin By!

We picked some more cucumbers and zucchini and tomatoes from the garden late last week!  I told Patrick to be in "canning mode" in a week or two, because the bounty cometh! ;)  He arranged the produce and sent this photo to the neighbor with the caption:  "Our garden is happy!" ha

Been visiting with my oldest sister--she is back for a visit.  Seen my other siblings at my folks' 65th Wedding Anniversary saturday, as well as other family members.  Was a good time--my niece made and brought the cake from Texas--and it survived the trip (with two kids!) unscathed. ;)
Saturday Pat and I also made it to his brother John and Pam's was a long day, but a good one seeing happy family!

We got a couple of nice rains, now the heat is here (and humidity). It's summertime for sure!!
I had transplated my HorseCrippler Cactus (don't know it's real name!) and it's happy and blooming. We found it in the pasture when we lived in Texas, and I dug it up and brought it with us here. It takes welding gloves and a steady hand when messing with it...the spikes are hard and tough and its heavy. Since it grows low to the ground, and is not easily seen, hence the Horse Crippler name (hoof injury when stepped on).

You can see the lattice panel (new!) on the porch.  Pat got the 'roof' on it as well--it's totally awesome (I think!)   Yes, I planted the cactus in an old oblong cast iron pot.  I think it was used for rendering lard.  It has a crack down one side, so I re-purposed it! ;) 

Kyle has been working late closing....he thinks its funny to wake me up when he gets home. Ahhh it's nice of him to let me know he's home, but not good if I can't get back to sleep! :(

Finally heard from Jared (a week later!!) and he's made some requests for the care package.  I don't think he knows mail gets "cut off" July 1......we can't send anything after that or he won't get it.  (Yes, mail is *that* slow!!)  By the time he gets it he'll probably forget what he requested!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lazy Weekend!

We got 2" of rain this past week--a Blessing for sure!  The cracks in the ground are gone out front, but are not completely filled in out by my clothesline.  Am hoping to get some more rain this week!

Heard from Jared via FB.  Doin' good thus far.  He hasn't got our letters yet, the mail is s-l-o-w there.  I'm going to work on a "care package" to send him this week.  To include things he likes:  Shotgun News, Swedish Fish....repeat! HA  If friends and family would like his mailing addy; email, text or drop me a note in the comment section.

Kyle is back to work for now at Pizza Hut.....not totally sure of his "plans" for now.  I think he needs a gentle push in the right direction.  If he drags his feet too long, it'll be a not-so-gentle push! :)  ha

Saturday and Sunday Patrick and I didn't do too much.  Took some time off and just relaxed.  We grilled steaks for Fathers' Day and at his request I made creamed cabbage for him (one of his favorites).  We also had green beans with bacon, some cake and watermelon later.  Neither of us ate all of the steaks...and we were rightfully stuffed!  It'll all make for a good 'repeat' meal with the leftovers. :)

The creamed cabbage recipe is from an old (long gone) diner from my hometown--Ulbricks.  They served everything Family Style.....they had the best fried chicken and creamed veggies.  When the cow is in milk, I "use up" lots of milk making creamed veggies--Ulbricks' style. :) 

And that's the 'short version' of happenings around here this past week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jared called....twice! :)

We got a call around 7 am this morning from Jared, he was leaving for his FOB and wasn't sure when he'd be able to talk to us on a phone again. :(
Yesterday morning he called at 3:30 am! :)  But it was really good to hear from him.....and I reminded him he *can* write to us folks back home! :) ha

Now we start a countdown clock to when he gets home; and we're not sure exactly of when that is.  This fall or winter.....maybe sooner?  One never knows for sure, the Military likes changing their minds!

We just pray and hope all goes well and he returns home soon safely to us all. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kyle is home!

Patrick got a call around noon yesterday (I was already at work) to come pick Kyle up in Lincoln.  It seems when they were doing the Physical Testing part at MEPS, there was a popping noise when Kyle did a pull up and the instructor made him stop.
They basically told him to come back in three weeks and try again. 
His arms are sore (inside of the elbows) but otherwise he is fine.

I'm not minding him being home longer, but I don't think he is! ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kyle headed West!

One of the Sergeants took this for us-Patrick, Kyle and me ;)
I'm not short--they're just extra tall (ha ha ha)

Saturday we took Kyle and his GF out for Chinese at our little restaurant in Fairbury.  He did a good job of running around and sayin' 'Bye to folks!  
Sunday afternoon we took him up to the Marine Recruiters' Station in Lincoln to drop him off--with a stop at Dairy Queen for treats on the way.  From there he went to the MEPS station (with the other two fellows who also enlisted) in Omaha.  Today they leave for San Diego for Boot Camp.  It'll be a loooong 3 months for them all.

Jared called Friday night, it was 5 am where he was--it was really good to hear from him.  Not sure when we'll hear from him next, he'll be out in the boondocks for awhile! :(

I took the empty the hay trailer over Saturday to get loaded, we picked it up on our way back from Lincoln Sunday.  I bought some Chocolate Mint and Orange I have to figure out where I'm going to plant them!

Thursday night when I came home from work there was a dog in my back pasture (not mine!) and had killed two older hens and one younger one and had mauled my rooster (he was alive--lost LOTS of feathers).  There went 1/3 of my laying flock......anyhow I was p.o.'d (understatement) and the owner got lucky it wasn't a dead dog.  It will be if it happens again--the owner was warned.    It wasn't totally the dogs' fault, it was the owners' fault for not keeping it where it belonged, and not knowing where it was/what it was doing. 
The cows actually went after the dog--the owner had better thank their lucky stars it left them alone.

That's the news for the past few days.....I'm sure Kyle's kitty will be a rebel soon enough from missing him.  (She's a Naughty Cat in the first place!) ;)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quarter Inch of rain!

The raspberries are turning!

We got a quarter inch of rain yesterday, not much but we'll take it!  The weather has cooled off, it was a chilly 50* when I got up this morning.  The humidity is way down as well!

Tuesday I drove to KC to pick Patrick and Jared's GF up, they were road weary!  They had a great visit with Jared, I'm glad they were able to go.  Another Giant THANK YOU once again to Danielle and Family for letting them stay at their place.  She's a special gal with a big, giving heart.  Wish there were more folks' like her in the world!!

At this time; Jared is somewhere over Europe....we haven't heard from him since Tuesday Night.  He'll call when he can and 'touch base'.  Keep him in your Prayers, please! 

Kyle cleaned his room (well, most of it!) and now I have a mountain of laundry to do.  I swear he has more clothes than Pat and I put together!  But it looks to get him to work on Thank You notes from Graduation!  (It's like pulling Hen's Teeth with him!)  They'll get done--eventually! (OK, by Sunday, because that's when he leaves for Basics!) ;)

Patrick and I mowed the back yard just before it rained.  I had been watering some of it where I planted grass seed and it was growing good. 
I fertilized certain stuff in the garden, planted the last of my onions, watered the Rhubarb and Asparagus and trimmed wild overhanging branches.  I am slowly getting the older Asparagus bed weeded--it's a big chore but the progress encourages me to keep up with it. ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sobering Weekend

I'm not sure how to put into words what I want to say.....except please keep our Military Folks (and families) in your thoughts and Prayers.

For this sober "Holiday" weekend, I refer y'all back to my post last year:

Be safe everyone! (hugs!!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Still no rain

Last week I was busy attacking thistles, weeds in the garden and hand watering everything.  We had rain north of us last night, but once again we only got a few sprinkles this morning.  With the heat and wind, things are drying out fast--reminds me of when we lived in Texas.

Yesterday I was on the road.....Patrick and Jared's GF are on their way to Fayetteville to see him for the holiday weekend before he leaves.  Kyle and I are stuck behind...we have to work, do chores and hold the fort down. :)

It was extremely windy (that's putting it mildly!!) for the drive; as the wind was from the south.  I had to laugh, there was a herd of cows on a hill, one cow with her butt pointed south.  She proceeded to pee and managed to splatter herself really good in the process with all that wind.  Where's a video camera when I need one?!! ha ha ha

I took the Diller road and saw Casey on his tractor headed out to to where his cows are.  I waved, but since I was in Jared's truck, he probably didn't know who I was.....(HI Casey!!) :) :) :)

Also on my way home, I got to stop and pick up some milk--fresh from the cow.  Ummm ummm good!  The cows' name is Apple, and the lady's one granddaughter calls it "Apple Juice".  Smart kid!  I got to see babies and more babies and discuss AI'ing for Nessa which will be coming up.  By the way, with all that's been going on around here, I forgot to mention she's a year old now. ;) 

I am still working on getting photos of Jared on here from our trip to see him, stay tuned....I only have so many hours in a day to get things done. ;)

Kyle got a haircut yesterday (Pat says "You ain't seen short yet!") and has been enjoying time off.  I think I've seen him more in the last week than the past few months combined!  He's been riding a bike trying to get into some shape before boot camp.  Time will tell if it's paid off. ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kyle's Graduation

It's been a busy weekend....Saturday was Kyle (and his girlfriends') Graduation party, then Sunday was graduation. Here's a photo tour!

Both of the cakes--Kyle's and Sammi's (her Grandmother made hers).  I thought that was sweet!  (Pun intended!)
The afghan Grandma Russell made for him.
All graduated with their Diplomas (and awards)! Congratulations kiddos! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

The Rose Patrick got me for my birthday is blooming and I thought it fitting to share with everyone this fine day. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What a week!

What Jared gets to do today--another jump!
We flew to North Carolina last Thursday to see Jared.

Hats off and a HUGE kudos and a major thanks to Danielle (and family) who let Patrick and I stay at their house. It was *much* appreciated!

Fayetteville is a nice city, the people were friendly and we had an awesome time! Pat changed the batteries in the digital camera just before we left, then we couldn't find it! :( So I just bought two disposable ones to no photos yet!

We left Monday morning and drove home with Jared's truck and lots of his "stuff". Our drive home was un-eventful (thank goodness!) and the truck was a trooper. More details when I have time to write.

We made it home about 6:30 Tuesday evening, grabbed the suitcases, changed clothes and made it to Kyles' concert at 7:30. Grandma Russell came, too. :)

On the home front: the garden needs weeded (imagine that!), and the critters are fine......and the lawn needs mowed (again). We work on things as time allows. We are also getting things ready for Graduation on Sunday.....Kyles' party is Saturday.

Maybe, just maybe, next week things will be back to "normal". ha!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kyle's shoes and his girlfriends' shoes
We've been uber-busy once again. Planting more plants/seeds and mowing!
  Of course the work never ends, there is always something to do!
The garden is looking good thus far, we even have a couple of small green Roma tomatoes. :)

We are also busy dealing with Jared's (Army) schedule(s) and preparing for Kyle's upcoming graduation.
Kyle had another Trombone audition for the Marines Tuesday....and he is ever-busy with end-of-the-year school stuff (and work).

The blog is short and sweet this week, the weather is good right now so the outdoors (and work) beckons! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Busy Again!

Wish I was a house cat some days...sleep, play, eat. Sleep, play, eat!! HA

We have been busy around here! Got lots of plants/seeds going in the garden and I've lost count on how many times we've mowed the lawn already!
We planted another row of Asparagus, I got cucumber seeds in as well. We've got quite a few tomatoes planted, as well as a variety of peppers. And burssel sprouts, and some cabbage. More to come as we have time to plant!

Last Monday I got some strawberry plants in the mail for a trade (thanks Stacy!) for comfrey. They have their own little bed now, but aren't liking our cooler weather. I added some amended soil (with Microbes) to help them have an easier time to adapt. Time will tell..... Pat made a chicken wire cover over them to keep the outdoor cats out (a giant litterbox to them!). So I can't blame any cats or dogs!

We re-located the Blueberries to the front yard, and keep a close eye on the PH, and amend as needed. The cats use it for a short-cut and I see they are tramping down the soil. Grrrr. So I'm sure a fence is needed around those as well. :(
All in all, our "yard" in the front is slowly turning edible! The raspberries are already there.....I do have flowers (and mints) up close to the house, which will stay.

As I mentioned, we've been putting lots of "labor(s) of love" into everything around here, keeping us busy. The Lily of the Valleys are blooming and my wild roses....smells good!

We had a doozy of a storm a week ago Saturday, giving us 2 1/4 inches of rain in about an hour. Hail came, too, but didn't damage much. There was some flooding and lots of field run-off. It's also been quite windy on and off for a couple of weeks, drying things out.

Yesterday Nessa managed to get a nice cut above her one eye....she was fine at 'breakfast' and 10 minutes later I see blood and a cut. Geez, just like little kids, always into something they shouldn't be! It doesn't seem to bother her, but I'm keeping a close eye on it.

Now I'm off to do chores and work (my day'd I get roped into that?!!) Don't ask!! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lilacs are blooming (early!!)

Everything is blooming early, the Lilacs don't usually bloom until Mothers' Day in May. Not this year!

Their scent was a nice reward this week as we mowed and tilled and did work outside. (And boy did we work--but a little hard work never hurt anyone!)
Pat got some cherry tomatoes and I got them planted. We got more grapes, and gooseberry and a nice apricot tree. Now the hard part is figuring where we want it all to go!

This past week was a busy blur, I worked 6 days in a row, we had an open-house at work, boy I don't want to do that again anytime soon! What a ZOO! The world lost a total of 4 young people this week....and two I was close to--they came into the store quite a bit. A sad week, adding to the blur.

Sunday we had Pat's side of the family's Easter Dinner. Sure was good to see everyone, and the little ones always grow soooo fast--too fast!!

Kyle again is Mr. Busy, school, work, golf, band,'s hard to keep up with him.
Jared had a jump this week (all went well) and bought a small kayak, he's been doing alot of fishing!

I am looking forward to getting things in the ground in the garden, and for things to slow down a bit. We got more rain and some hail...I could hear it 'zinging' before it hit the ground. Amazing how fast one can close a gate and get to shelter when you hear what is coming! ;)