Almost the end of October

October 21, 2015|8:00 am

Doesn’t hardly seem possible. Here we are over midway through October. Where has this year gone? Seems like yesterday I was making new years resolutions to not make any resolutions! It has been a busy year with the children and grandchildren. I’m in the process now of reclaiming my house. ALL YEAR long we have gone from cluttered to worse. NOT my happy place at all. This week is the end of all that. There have been many times this year when the house was organized enough to look decent but I have always felt the lack of feeling that it’s good. That it might stay organized for longer than a day or two and that there are systems in place to keep it that way. Mostly due to all the changes in our lives over the last few years. Children moving out and going into the Army (Benjamin) and other children moving in and out with grandchildren and my father moving here from Texas last year. All welcome changes but changes none the less, that have impacted the fiber of our lives.

Yesterday was to be the beginning of the new order and in a way it as. We were going to take care of all the garden produce in our dining room. Some of the older children harvested  the last of the garden ahead of a freeze last week while I was in Utah for a beautiful wedding. Plans were underway to get a full day in and help was at hand as all available people were asked to help. Then we discovered the open freezer! Yes, I’ll just leave the rest to your imagination. We got by with a very small amount of food loss BUT the ensuing rescue required much cooking and de-boning etc. to save the thawed meats etc. The veggies that were lost made a wonderful fall treat for the chickens and the meat losses was truly much smaller than I had originally envisioned with the discovery.

Today I am going back to the original plan of working on pairing down the dining room by removing my tea cabinets, the desk that I have been using and if I am really ambitious sorting through a few cupboards. Much less help available today as many of the ones who had yesterday off must work today.

Something I’ve been pondering lately: Sustainability. Where are you on the scale of living a sustainable life? Do you do lots of things to live towards that kind of life? Or do you just not worry about it? Somewhere in between? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Fall evenings

September 20, 2015|7:00 am

I love the nice cool weather of the fall.

If it’s cool enough to don a sweatshirt and sit around a campfire it’s the best weather in the world as far as I am concerned. Add in some music and my evening is made. Bethany and Aimée have  really picked up their guitar playing. They practice a fair amount and learn more whenever they have a chance. I wish we had had the ability and finances to encourage more of our older children to pursue music.  I know I’ll keep pushing the younger  children to learn anything they can. Music speaks to the soul.

Last night was so beautiful and it was made more perfect by grandchildren  and our younger guys and their friends running around in the dark, some campfire food and apple cider around the campfire and then music. Our friend Andy has a God given talent for not only music but also for encouraging others to play and enjoy.


It’s easy to wake up Sunday morning praising and ready to worship God when you go to bed Sunday night with worship on your heart and in your mind.


A whole year..

September 6, 2015|8:50 pm

It’s been an entire year since I posted on this blog. ONE. FULL. YEAR.
It’s time to take back my blogging life or let it go for the foreseeable future. Something inside me rebels at just giving up. So I think I’ll try for the taking control option.

Today we worked on a myriad of projects in our little corner of the world. The 12 beautiful quart jars of homemade tomato soup residing on my counter are very smile inducing!
They are promising us some cool relief from the tremendous humidity and heat we have had this past week plus. Calling for high seventies and low humidity for tomorrow is making those of us MN State Fair bound look forward to the day.

It’s that time again..

September 2, 2014|6:34 am

Fall is quickly approaching and amidst the busy work of gardening and school planning, I think, “I should blog about that”. A great idea in theory, but once we’re done making a counter full of salsa and putting up 75 pounds of corn into the freezer I am way to tired. That was yesterdays achievement. Earlier this week we managed to actually can about 14 quarts of applesauce (and to eat a bunch) and to freeze about 26 bags of corn for a total of 60 pounds. Even setting some aside for my in-laws and for some of the adult children that live nearby I have enough to get through the winter. That is a good feeling!

Today needs to see progress on a lug and a half of peaches sitting here. Hmmmm and maybe, just maybe a little bit of school planning?…maybe.

Fair Time and Garden harvest!

August 25, 2013|6:27 pm

Started out to the State Fair on Friday… waited in line on the road for hours and no parking after spending over three hours trying to find parking we turned lemons into lemonade and went to chutes and ladders park. Had our picnic and came home. I was so proud of my older children for making a fun time out of what could have been a really rotten day! They made sure the younger boys had a great time and no one complained!


Garden vegetables everywhere! Made four quarts of pickled peppers and one broke!! So sad. We have tomatoes starting everywhere and every variety. A friend from work told Pat to have us come pick apples and so the children went with Dané and came home with about 4 and a half bushels.

We are trying State Fair take 2 tomorrow so Tuesday we will be making spaghetti sauce and apple butter.

Tonight’s menu is fresh corn on the cob, baked potatoes, sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese and Grandma Ruth is bringing a zucchini casserole and Apple Cobbler for desert.

Nothing is quite as satisfying in the

June 27, 2013|4:17 pm

early months of Summer as rows of tomato plants freshly weeded. Standing in the sunshine with blossoms just peaking out they are the epitome of  beautiful garden. Never mind that the beans to the right can’t quite be seen in their patch of weeds and that rhubarb to the left has started to turn to seed. I can narrow my vision and be happy with gorgeously growing, just weeded tomato plants!

Only in my house

March 17, 2013|9:05 pm

Do you stand up to walk to the computer and trip over a dog. Move the cat or two even off the chair and (here is the part that makes it my house) Hear a child say “Jay your chickens are out!”
new chickens came to stay yesterday and with the blizzard forecasted for tomorrow they had to stay inside right?

The Simple things in life..

March 30, 2012|8:56 am


Really, I love the farm and the animals and I am even looking forward to managing the garden this year. That’s a task I’ve delegated in the interest of maintaining my sanity for the last several years.

We are doing lots of reading and working towards a more sustainable way of life. Our desire is to have meat in the freezer and vegies and fruit on the shelves. To know where that food originated. We have been making yogurt by the gallon and buying less and less processed foods and more and more “doing it ourselves”. We put a couple of pigs in the freezer this year. We are raising a cute jersey bull calf, who is very appropriately, named Dinner . All the “SIMPLE” things in life that are supposed to enrich us and make for a better lifestyle for our family. HAH!

I have to say that whomever coined the term simple lifestyle ought to be hung out in the barn for awhile!

Let him or her watch as a shepherdess struggles to deal with the decision to continue to try and save a mama ewe and her lambs which we were pretty sure were gone. Watch as brother and sisters young enough that they aren’t even able to drive lend a hand in trying to pull a dead lamb from a mama ewe struggling to give birth after a tendon rupture that leaves her unable to force babies out. Watch as younger children come outside at hours past there bedtime to see if Maggie has birthed her lambs so they can check them out. Watch as the 20 year old who is not an animal lover, but, is a kind hearted young man who wants to be of service to his sister leaves to babysit an older brother’s children so he can come and  give a hand OR put down mama if that is the decision that is made. Hear that brother tell his sister , who never walks away from an animal she is raising, to leave because it may not be pretty even if he gets the lamb out as we know for sure it is dead by this  point. Watch as the fatal decision is made and executed.


And through all this.. I do watch my children. Try to comfort. Run phone conversations with a local vet who offers to make the 45 minute drive to put down the ewe. Take and make phone calls to the daddy man who is working a far away construction job and is sad he can’t be there for us.

And then I watch some more as I see siblings care for the shepherdess after the decision is made and carried out. How she is comforted with words and hugs from siblings. I think of a conversation with another mama. who blithely says “Oh you know boys that age can’t touch there moms in public” of her own son. And I am grateful that mine can not only hug me and their dad but willingly walk up and throw arms around a shepherdess who is grieving.

I watch and think SIMPLE LIFE??? HAH! BUT as the song goes I Saw God Today. And I did. I saw Him in the life and death of a well loved ewe and in the way my family reacts to each other. I saw Him not answer our prayers and supplications in the way we wanted BUT in the way He found best. I have gotten away from counting my blessings on the grattituesday posts but last night was a much needed reminder to go back to that and to count them everyday I have life left.

Simple life.. no not at all. But LIFE! yes it is and what a life he has blessed me with.

Peaches revisited.

July 27, 2011|11:11 pm

Well I decided to get a head start on tomorrow so I have about eight quarts of peaches simmering on the stove. I will simmer them for another half hour or so then I will add a bit more lemon juice and throw them in the fridge over night. Tomorrow I will zap them in the blender and add the pectin and sugar so we have more preserves.

Going to read for a bit while it simmers and then get myself off to bed.

Summer time Summer time Summer time!

July 23, 2011|12:27 pm

and the smell of fresh peaches. So Nummy!

Take 60 pounds of peaches minus the amount the children can eat in the day and a half that they sat here. Add in one mama and three girls. Results= 21 bags of frozen peaches in the freezer and 3 and a half jars of peach preserves. Like I said NUMMY! Didn’t take too long either  I’ll try and post a picture or two later.