Saturday, December 08, 2007

It is a rainy cold evening in December. Is this what is meant by 'a long winter evening'? Remember all the 'stuff' that we were saving to do on a 'long winter everning'? That we didn't have time for right at that moment? Well, now that it is here, I don't remember what I was going to do, with all this 'time' on my hands!! Oh well, there is a never ending list of things that need done. So much for those long talked about and anticipated 'long winter evenings'!! I'm ready for April and warm weather.

Here is a photo of my Orange Christmas cactus. Charlotte gave me 4 or 5 pieces of one of hers, last Christmas and this is what it has become. They are all planted in this one pot. It sat out on the porch until I was afraid it would get frost bitten, then I brought it inside. It is sitting in our unheated laundry room and it gets COLD in there! So far it hasn't seemed to bother it.
I made the Cushaw Pie recipe and it is surely a keeper! E loved it! It doesn't seem to be as intensly flavored as a pumpkin pie and it also has a tiny hint of lemon it. It is just so good that you can't stop eating it. Now, if I just knew where to get my hands on another Cushaw Squash! I had enough of this one to put some in the freezer for a couple of future pies. I also saved some seeds from it and we will plant them next summer and see what we get. Are Cushaws a hybrid? I don't know.

Gotta end all this suspence over the new kittens name! I had the most votes for Gypsy, but E will only call her Nuisance! He isn't particularly fond of cats and he especially doesn't care for a cat that likes to rub on you or be all over you. And Gypsy is just a puddle of love when you pick her up! She just melts, and purrs so loud. He thinks cats should be skittish and do their job of catching mice, but leave him alone. I like a cat that enjoys hugs and cuddling. And Gypsy is on little cute 'love bug'!

Here is the recipe for the Amish Sugar Cookies. If you make them let me know how you liked them. I think they are just the best sugar cookies I have ever eaten!

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Beat first four ingredients well, then add eggs. Mix well. Add
dry ingredients and vanilla. Drop small ball of dough on lightly
greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Flatten dough with
bottom of a glass. Bake 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes
about 5 dozen cookies.

Here is a photo of my little guys, wearing their Santa hats. It is very hard to get them to hold still or sit or stand together, long enough to get them both in the same picture! They are 28 months old now.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ok, Ruth, here they are. I think S must have taken this one. I didn't but it is a very nice picture of Grandpa and grandaughter. Some of the 'girls'.

Chief Cook! and a good one!
E and I had a busy day today. He dug up one of the water hydrants and tried to find out why it is freezing up. It is 3 feet in the ground so shouldn't freeze. But somehow it isn't draining the water back out of the faucet. It is the one nearest the barn, that we draw all the horses water from when they are in for the night. It is a real pain when it is frozen and doesn't work!! I'll let you know how it works out.
One day this week, I was in the local Burger King with the boys and their grandmother. A gentleman that was standing in line, asked if anyone knew where he could get a cushaw squash. Said he had purchased one before Thanksgiving Day at our local grocery store a few weeks back and wanted another one. But now they didn't have any. He tried their supplier also and couldn't get any there. He was from another town and couldn't find one anywhere. He said the local grocery store had some recipe sheets with the squashes that he had picked up also. He said it was just like the pies his mother used to make. (This man was about 60 years old). I asked him if he would share the recipe and he took my name and address. Yesterday, I was totally surprised to get the recipe in the mail from him! Today I cooked the cushaw squash that I had gotten from the same local grocery store, and tomorrow I will bake it into a pie. He said they make bettter pies than pumpkin! So...we will see if he is right! I looked online for cushaw and found that some else said the same thing about them!
I was too busy baking a 16 pound turkey, making mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans and corn, (combined in one dish), and rolls to bake pies today. Since we are always gone to my folks or his folks for the holidays, I never get to fix our own meal. So today, I just did it. I cut up the left over turkey into 2 cup portions and froze it in baggies. Now we can make a chicken pot pie any time we want to, or anything else with it.
I also finally got my tulip bulbs planted in my new flower bed. Late this summer I dug a new flower bed along the east side of the house. I have iris, phlox, hostas, salvias, (perrenials) in it. Also two butterfly bushes are at the corner of the house. It should be pretty next summer.
Can't wait to try this pie! I'll let you know what I think of it! I made a new cookie recipe the other night and froze most of the cookies. It was an Amish Sugar Cookie, but was unlike any sugar cookie I had ever eaten before. I don't like most of them. This one was so light and delicate and tender and just sooo good! Maybe I will publish that one too. Maybe. I'll have to think about this a bit!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Name the Kitty!!

Her she is! Let hear your ideas for a name. She is very friendly and sweet and purrs loudly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Today, we went to the father in laws home for Thanksgiving Day. On the way we stopped at E's daughters home and visited with the family and grandsons. The boys, ages 7 and 4, had a blast wrestling with Papaw W. Especially the youngest. Here are some photo's I took today. I think they wore Papaw out! We don't see them a lot as they live 1 1/2 hours north of us.

We saw the first snow flakes of the winter, as we drove north too. I am so ready for spring and warm weather!

Received some nice compliments on the 'thinnner' me from some family members that hadn't seen me since early in the year.

We arrived home just at dark, in time to feed the beasties, and OH, I forgot to mention another beastie that we acquired today! Father-in-law gave us a new kitten. I did not want another one, as our little dog thinks they are her toys. And I don't want this kitten or any other injured, like Elliot was, with the dog chewing on them. This kitty is in a wire cage in the barn. She has a litter box, food and water and a nest box, inside her cage. She is safe for the night at least. Now to teach that -------- dog that cats are off limits! How to do that? Especially when we aren't home during the day?

So, how about a Name the Kitty contest? I will post a photo of her as soon as I can take a picture of her and will let my vast audience of readers name her!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

There is nothing that is happening here to write about. Just the daily 'stuff'! Yesterday the horse trimmer was here for 3 hours, (he is soooo slow), E went hunting in our woods, and he got a little 2 point buck. Good eatin' he says, being young and tender. Here are some random photos that I have taken recently. S took the one of my kitty and Katie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I had what I thought was a unique experience today. I was sitting on the couch at the home where I care for the twin boys. They were playing on the floor and I happened to see a bird outside on the patio. The patio had a 5 foot stone wall at one end of it. This bird was on the floor and would hop up onto a metal lounge chair and hop up onto the rungs under the chair, then up to the seat, then up on the arm of the chair, then up a bit more until it managed to sit onto the top of the back of the chair. The top of the stone wall was about 10 to 12 inches above the back of the chair. This bird tried repeatedly to get to the top of the wall, but would fall back to the floor, then start all over again. I watched it for an hour then I got up and walked over to the glass door and watched it awhile. It didn't look injured in any way. I opened the door, walked slowly over to the chair where it was sitting, expecting it to at least try to get away. But it sat there watching me, turning its head this way and that way, peering at me. I slowly reached out my hand with a finger extended like you would to a parakeet, and it sat there watching me. I touched it on the breast and had to finally touch its feet with my finger, then it stepped up on my finger and I lifted it up onto the wall. It hopped back and forth a bit then hopped off of the wall on to the ground on the other side. I went back into the house and left it to its own little world. Here is what it was, so pretty:

And here is the recipe for those wonderful beans that I mentioned in my last post! Made your mouth water, huh?

Cowboy Crockpot Beef, Beans and Bacon

1 pound ground beef

3/4 to 1 pound bacon (I used 3/4 pound)

1 cup onions, chopped

2 15-ounce cans pork and beans with liquid

2 16-ounce cans Ranch Style or pinto beans, drained (I used Ranch Style)

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon liquid smoke*

3 tablespoons white vinegar

Slice bacon into bite-size pieces. In a skillet, brown bacon, ground beef and onions. Place meat and onions in a slow-cooker with the beans. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, liquid smoke and vinegar. Add mixture to the beef, beans and bacon in the slow-cooker. Stir well and cook on low for four to nine hours.

*Liquid Smoke can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store, near the Worcestershire Sauces, etc.

And this is how I cooked this. I sliced the bacon up into 1 inch pieces and fryed it and dumped it into the crockpot, then chopped the onions and cooked them in about a tablespoon of the drippings and put them in the crockpot and then cooked the ground beef and added it to the pot. While all those were cooking I drained the beans, then added them and the rest of the ingredients and mixed it gently so as not to mush up the beans too much. I cooked mine for 5 hours. Oh, so good! ( I only tasted it, but wanted to eat a big bowl of it). It would have been worth any (dare I say?) gas attacks!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hello all, it is hard to imagine that it is the middle of November! It was so nice out today! We had hundred or maybe millions of ladybugs swarming today! This warm weather has brought them out. Had to keep flicking them off of me and out of my hair.

I brought my little boys home to our house today. E is home this week on vacation and it was so warm, I thought it would be good for them to get out. They loved it. The chickens intrigued them, but were afraid of them. The chickens would go into their house every time they came close to the chicken pen, but they eventually got so they would stay out side just to see what was 'out there'?

The horses ran from them when they first got here, but soon came back and J would reach out one finger and touch Solomon on the nose, then he would laugh and look so proud of himself! D wasn't afraid of the horses at all. Had to watch them awfully close, though. They had no fear after a bit, and those horses are awfully big!

Then J saw the TRACTOR! They couldn't get enough of sitting on them. One on each tractor, turning the steering wheel back and forth. E had gone to get fertilizer for the hay field and they helped him put the hitch plate on, screwing the nuts on the big bolts. They loved it!

E found a recipe for Cowboy Crockpot Beef, Beans and Bacon in the last issue of Western Horseman. He said I know what I want you to make for supper! So yesterday, I made them and wow! were they good! I just tasted them as beans aren't on my eating plan at the moment. I could have eaten the whole potful!! So good!

Other than the daily chores, going to work, cooking supper, and feeding the animals, nuttin is going on around here. Just our ordinary 'stuff'.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

In Remembrance, to a favorite Aunt

July 12, 1928-November 6,2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Since life is kind of humdrum at the moment, I have let this blog sit here and get stale. So I will try to freshen it up a bit, even though there is nothing going on around here. Maybe you all could let me know if any of it is interesting to you.

Yippee, we got the washing machine repaired! We called several appliance stores here in Bloomtown and Spencer to see if we could bring in into their shop (cheaper ?)and get it repaired and were told by all that they still charge a 70.00 to 80.00 dollar service charge just to look at it and " no, we only come to the customers home, we don't do our work here at the shop". E knew someone (the owner) of an appliance store in Martinsville from when he was still working in that town. He called him and was told to bring it on up! We did and they replaced the pump. The bearings had gone out. (this machine is only 3 years old, mind you!) We drove up and brought it home a few days later and did a couple of loads of laundry and it was still doing the same thing that we had been having trouble with for several months (a separate problem from the bad pump, which went out the weekend before we took it to Martinsville.) When running a load in it, it would do the wash cycle, then when it was ready to spin, the tub would spin very, very slowly, and if you weren't right there when it started to spin, it would smell like burning rubber and all the dirty water ended up on the floor. I would have to set the timer at the beginning of the wash cycle to 22 minutes, then be on hand when the timer went off and it was ready to spin. Raise the lid and set it back down, and wa-la! it would take off and spin like it was supposed to! Repeat with the rinse cycle. So were were a slave to the wash machine!

Since it was still behaving like a naughty child, E called them and they sent a repairman down here to the house, no charge! He wanted to see it in action. He tried several things, including checking the belt. But he said it was still tight. He was very puzzled and said in all the many years he has repaired these machines, he has never had one do this. (why did raising the lid and closing it again make it take off and spin?) Finally he said he would try one last thing! Replace the belt and see what happens! Well, it worked like a charm and has continued to do so. The old belt was tight, but it had a couple of shiny places on it, and it was slipping just enough to keep the pump from doing its job. Only cost me the price of the belt! Glad they got that figured out!

A couple of weeks ago, I was given a greenhouse. Well, a greenhouse frame. We had to disassemble it and haul it home. Here is a photo of it before we took it apart.

And this photo is of the frame laying on the ground in our yard. When we were taking it apart, we discovered that 10 boards (2x4's) have rotted ends and will need to be replaced. The only part of it that was built with treated lumber were the 5 2x4's that came in contact with the ground. The rest of it is not treated. If we choose to replace them, we will use treated lumber. But now that we have it home, we are trying to decide what to do. How do we heat it? It is a long way from the outdoor furnace which would heat it very nicely and cheaply. But...there is no place to put it near the stove that has enough light for a greenhouse! The trees in our yard are too big and would shade it too much. So now what? We are still thinking on that perplexing problem.

E has been out sitting in his tree stand the last couple of mornings. It was 29 degrees yesterday morning! EEEEK! Too cold for me!! He has seen several deer but so far nothing in the right place at the right time. I watched two bucks come up the back pasture yesterday evening with the binoculars, while he was still down in his treestand. One was a six point, and the other was larger but it was too dark to really see how big. He said "I hate you" when I told him what I had seen! (he wasn't serious). But this is the third time I've seen a big buck, when he was out hunting! He also said yesterday morning he saw something that was either a weasel or a mink!

My Thanksgiving Cactus sat out on the porch all summer and when the nights get below 45 degrees it starts to set buds. Here is a photo of it. The whole plant is about 18 -20 inches across and is covered with these pink flowers. It is so pretty.

S and I went on a field trip last Saturday with the Photo Club. We went to Cascade Falls and McCormicks Creek State Park. It was very overcast and chilly, but we took some nice pictures. S and I went with two other ladies and one of them mentioned that she wanted to sell one of her cameras. (she makes her living with them, doing weddings, custom work for people and other photography jobs) She needed to upgrade and she always has two cameras with her at all times so she always has a back up. I asked her what kind she had and she said I have it here, do you want to use it today? I told her sure, and she handed it over! After getting a bit of instructions on what does this button do, or this one, and what is this for, I was good to go. I spent our entire field trip using it and S used my own camera. At the end of the day, I bought it. She is letting me pay her in installments, as I don't have that much cash laying around. I'm so excited I can't hardly stand it! It is a Canon EOS 30D. It can do a lot more than my own camera. Maybe I can make some money with it? I would like to try!! The lady I bought it from is very talented and does excellant work. She told me that I had a very artistic eye. She looked at the photos I took that day and said she really liked a couple ot them, and asked me if she could take them and 'tweak' a couple of them in Photoshop. (I don't have that photo program). Hmmm. Maybe there are possibilities here? We shall have to see where this leads me. Until next time, Sharon

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Late last week our 3 year old wash machine died a painful and lingering death. It has had some puzzling health problems for some time. By actually being present when it was getting into the spin mode, you could stop the machine, restart it, and it would carry on for a while. missed that critical spot on the timer, it would pour its dirty water all over your floor! But it suddenly refused all treatment and with an awful groan, it gave up. So........we had to cart our dirty laundry to the Laundrymat in town. But it is clean, folded and hung up now. Now to find a surgery center for that hunk of #$%^&* over there in the corner!!!!

We hauled hay from Green County last week. Sunday we hauled 74 bales; Monday, 110; and Tuesday it was 122. I hope we have enough to last us until new hay is cut in late May or early June next year. I think so. Hay is very hard to get, as the drought in this part of the country was very hard on the hay crop. It normally sells for about 3.25 to 4.00 but now it is 6.50 to 8.00! Ed says we are going to eat the horses! Yeah, right!! Here is a photo I took of the farming country where we went and picked up the hay. It was so beautiful! Reminded me so much of Wisconsin, when we visited there a couple of years ago.

Here is what Miss Kitty does best. She spends hours on this box. Most of the time she is sleeping but occasionally she will chase her tail until she falls off! She has been known to run across the floor and make a flying leap onto the box, only to overshoot her landing and land in a heap behind it! Does she ever look embarrassed when she does that!!! Then she will usually take off into another room like that is what she meant to do along!!

Yesterday, I went to the Photo Clubs annual picnic, (otherwise known as the Spamfest!) It was at Strahl Lake in Brown County State Park. Usually this time of year there is lots of color in the leaves, but not this time. We had a lot of fun and we hiked around the lake and took pictures anyway. Last year it was so cold and windy that it was quite uncomfortable. What a difference a year makes! Of course we all ate too much. It was a pitch in kind of picnic. Yum!

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is something E has been talking about doing, for several years. Well the way the hay situation is, he decided to bite the bullet and actually do it. We went to the Soil and Water Conservation Office and rented their no-till drill and planted orchard grass in the existing fescue back pasture. It makes a 1 inch deep furrow and plants seeds in the furrows. Hopefully it will rain a bit and get it started and we will have some decent hay for next year. Pray that it works. He also wants to add some fertilizer too, soon.

Elliot is getting bigger. He must feel a lot better now, because he doesn't sit and cry at all and he plays non stop. He chases anything that will move and he climbs up on anything that will hold still long enough. Here, he is trying to 'kill' his stuffed mouse! He had so much fun with that mouse, but he has lost it or the dog has carried it off somewhere. We can't find it anywhere. I've seen him knock it off the porch and he would run out in the yard and pick it up with his teeth and it carry it back and play with it some more!! Another hummer photo. I liked this, because of the birds' little feet. I thought that was so neat! It was late evening, hence the silhouette look. They are still fighting over the the three feeders. How do people get several hummers to feed at the same time. I've seen photos of up to 16 hummers all sitting and drinking at the same time. This feeder has six ports but there is never more than one on it at a time. I wish I knew how they accomplished the 'dining room' effect.

Here is a male Indigo Bunting that I spotted on my finch feeder this summer. He is so blue and bright and pretty. This feeder was right outside my kitchen window, so I would prop my camera on the window sill and snap photos. Then...the woodpeckers found the finch feeder and drilled it full of holes so that it wouldn't hold the finch seed anymore. We gave up and quit feeding the birds. We will do it again when it gets cold, but waaaaaaa, in the summer there are a lot of different birds that won't be here when it gets winter cold.
Today being E's birthday, I took him out to eat and he chose a Mexican Restaurant that we have eaten at one other time. It was yummy then, and it was yummy tonight. Yummo!! to get right back on my eating plan again. Oh it was so good too!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hay, Hummers, and Horsepower

E and I drove to Elnora Indiana today to the 23rd Antique Show. They had over 700 antique tractors. Antique cars and trucks, steam engines, gas engines and lots more. They were making cider, sorghum syrup, soap, homemade ice cream, (and was it ever tasty!) and lots of other things. There were rows and rows of booths of antiques of every description! We didn't get to see it all, because we didn't get there until late morning, I think about 10:30. If you go, get there EARLY! Sorry, you will have to plan to go next year, as Sept. 9 is the last day. It is so worth a whole day to see it. Seeing the antique machinery running was what I liked best, and of course the people watching. It is located in an area that has a lot of Amish and Mennonite people and there were many of them there, enjoying the day. It threatened rain all day, but didn't rain a drop, until we were about half way home to Spencer.
Here are some images from our day:

This is a steam powered sawmill. These men cut a huge log into boards,

and this is the steam engine that made it possible. Her name was Kitten and she burned coal.
This is a horsepowered threshing machine. It is a treadmill for horses! These three horses sure weren't getting anywhere fast on this piece of machinery.
Here is the rear view

and the front view. It looked like hard work for these horses. But they just walked and walked, as the straw was fed into the thresher.

And this was a mule powered straw baler. After it was threshed, it came over here to be baled as the mules walked around in a circle packing it into wire tied bales.

This is a corn shucker if I remember right. The stalks were fed into it, and the ears were seperated from the stalks. An Amish young man with his young son about 3 years old stopped as we were watching this work, and told E that he and his dad used one of these every year to shuck their corn crop.

This is what E and I did earlier this week. E bought a used sickle bar mower and after adjusting, repairing, oiling and carving down a board to make a new pitman arm, he cut our back pasture for hay. A couple of days later,

he baled it and used his bigger tractor for the first time in the fields. We got a grand total of 38 bales of hay!! Last year we got about 100 bales! But this has been the driest year since we have been here, and the hay just didn't grow. But it was not just us, everyone is having hay problems. They are selling for 5.00 a bale and up. In a normal year they sell for 2.50 in the field and 3.25 off of the wagon. And that is for cheap mixed grass! I'm afraid to ask what orchard grass/alfalfa sells for! Yikes! Lets hope we don't have a longggg, coldddd, winter!

The hummingbirds are thick around my feeders. I have three feeders up, and there are sometimes 5 or 6 hummers, all fighting each other, over the right to defend that feeder from any or all others! They squeak and zoom past my head when I am standing on the porch. They aren't after me, but just the other hummers that take every opportunity to rush in and get a drink! They are fun to watch, but it looks exhausting, all that constant chasing of each other. It is both males and females that do it. This one paused on a branch by my kitchen window long enough for me to take her photo.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The other day, I stopped to fill my little pickup truck with some 'go-juice' and this is what pulled in to the air pump. Those black cows were packed in the trailer, but they were wanting to see what was going on out there! There were a couple of cowboys or farmers or whatever you want to call them in the truck. They put air in all the trailer tires, then headed to wherever it was that they were going with their 'mooies'.
This little kitty is a new addition to our pet family. E went outside to feed one morning a couple of weeks ago about 5:00 AM. When he and the dog stepped outside on the porch the dog discovered this kitten hiding in the shrubs along side the house. E called off the dog, but the kitten was too skittish to get his hands on it. He went on and fed the horses and chickens, and we had breakfast and E went to off to work. We kept the dog inside, and I went out and sat down on the porch as close as I could get to the kitten, about 3 feet away. I talked to it and edged closer until I could touch it. I picked it up and it was so skinny and its eyes were all goopy and it cried almost non stop. It was scared, lost, sick, and hungry. I fed it, decided to call it Ella. We had a large cage on the porch that we had hauled some chickens in. I put her in there, with food and water and went to work. She wasn't afraid of dog at all, so a few days later, I had let her out of the cage and gone into the house and forgot about her. Well, when I came back out about an hour later, the dog was chewing on her pretty badly. She acted injured, wouldn't put any weight on her left front at all. I took her to the vet because I thought something was broken. When I picked her up, they told me that my kittens name was Elliot! and that the dog had just bruised him pretty badly. He is fine now, (but has been an expensive kitten!) We still have to watch them all the time if the dog and Elliot are out together. The dog isn't being mean, just playing but the kitten is just too young and fragile. Here he is relaxing in the dog house, on the front porch.
We were getting a load of fire wood and the loggers had left for the day when we went up there. Some of their logs were there waiting for them to load them, and E stepped off this one. It was 72 feet long!! There were several more that were almost that long. Wow! They cut them into much shorter lengths to truck them out. The farm owners told us that they hauled 29 loads of logs out of their woods. They have lived there 47 years. He is 83 and she is a tad younger. He has never lived more than 1/8 mile from where he was born! Wow! I just thought that was amazing, to have lived in one place so long!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Spaghetti Squash Anyone??

We have harvested our crop of spaghetti squash. It is sitting on the front porch. Just help yourself! I cut it in half, lengthwise and microwave it until the skin is fork tender. It takes about 10 or 12 minutes. Then after removing the seeds, just drag a fork through itand pile it on your plate and it looks just like spaghetti. I make our usual meat sauce and with garlic bread, we have a tasty supper. It is a lot like spaghetti taste wise too. We have plenty so help yourself!

We got our first pullet egg this week. It was small, but they get larger as the hen matures. We have eleven pullets, (young hens, just starting to lay) so should start to see more eggs any day now. they are all Golden Comets and lay a large brown egg.

E informed me last evening that the second crop of sweet corn is ready to pick, so we will be freezing sweet corn tonight, I guess. Good eating in the wintertime! We have frozen 24 pints already. The tomatoes have just started ripening. We have had enough to eat but not to can or freeze yet.

This week has been rather ho-hum. Nothing new under the sun around here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's Been A Long Time !

First time meeting, beginning of a fun day, with a new friend. Doesn't she look good? She also has lost some pounds, as we cheered each other on, in our efforts to lose weight.

Touring the lake, E and his sister, chatting. The dog enjoys the boat too!

Fishing from the paddle boat, but they didn't even get a bite!

The Bloomington Speedway Races!

Trimming up a log, cut from downed tree tops.

I'm snaking logs up the hill, to unload them on to the pile at the top, in the photo.

E is helping E (grandson) to put on the horses' fly masks. He helped with the horses each morning, putting hay out in piles, for their breakfast too.

Feeding the chickens. The first thing he wanted to do as soon as he got up in the mornings, he asked "is it time to feed the chickens yet"?

Walking back to the truck, after seeing the pickup truck mud contest, and eating an elephant ear pastry. (they are the reason for going to the fair, right? Oh, I love those things) No, they aren't on my eating plan! But I had one anyway!

Cutting the hay with the haybine. The hay was very thin this year. The weather was not cooperative for a good hay yield.

The new tractor before we unloaded it, when we got it home. Found out it didn't have any brakes too! E and grandson E fixed that little problem though.

Where to begin this update! Summer is just so busy!

This is the first time that we have had to deal with Daylight Saving Time! I hate it!! Our state just this spring joined the rest of the country in this insanity! We always let our chickens out for about an hour just before dark. They love to get out and eat bugs, and young grass, etc. It makes for happy chickens! But by the time we get our feeding done in the evenings now, it is often 9:30 or 10:00 before we get back into the house!! And that doesn't leave time for the much else, including my computer time. It is Sunday morning, and I will try to catch up a little, though nothing much has been going on around here. And by the way, I want to see some more updating going on. How about it L and R ?? Get busy on yours too!!

We have decided to cut and bale our own hay this year. Our horses are not out on the pasture, but in a dry lot, so we have about 7 or 8 acres we can cut for hay. We have tried to depend on others to cut it for us in the last several years. The result has not been very successful. They either cut it several weeks past its prime, bale it wet, do a very sloppy job of baling (big round bales that fall apart). It just hasn't worked well for us. So we decided to do it our self. E has been wanting to upsize our tractor for a long time. He and his dad spent many months looking for a bigger tractor, that was in good working order, and reasonably priced. He searched the internet (it had to be within driving distance to pick it up) farming newspapers, and word of mouth. His dad found the one up near where he lives. He checked it out, told E, he went to check it out, they drove it, poked it and prodded it, run it again, then drove it some more, talked to the owner, then examined it even more! Finally they were satisfied that with some fairly minor repairs, a bit of grease here and there, a new tractor seat, a couple of new gaugesn and a pair of used fenders, that it was what we needed and bought it. So now our small tractor is for sale.

We didn't get it ready in time to use for the first cutting of hay, but will use it later this year, when the hay is ready to cut again.

We had our grandson for the weekend for the first time about 3 weeks ago. He will be 7 years old in a couple of months. We took him to the County Fair, to see pickup trucks participate in a mud contest. He liked that. But he especially liked helping do things around the farm. He helped E work on the new tractor. He loved going out and gathering the eggs each day. He would hear one of the hens cackling and would ask to go and see if she laid an egg yet! He helped to feed the horses, and put on their mesh fly masks. He brought his bicycle, and was a busy little boy all weekend. He rode one of the horses and said he had fun and wanted to come and do it again! He lives and hour and a half north of us, in the city. I'm sure we will do it again. It was neat having a kid around here. We had to put ourselves in a childs frame of mind, to think of ways to do the things we do around the farm that are interesting and safe for a child to help with. Something that we just do automatically. Hmmm.

One of our local farmers, 80 years young, has had his 40 acres of woods, logged this summer. The company that is cutting the logs, has left the tree tops all over the place in the woods. E stopped and asked if he could cut the tops up for fire wood and was told go ahead, that the farmer would be glad to get them out of the way! So...E and I have been going on Saturdays, when it is dry enough, (it is up a steep hill, and down into the gullies, and revines) to snake out the logs that are left in the tree tops that the loggers left. We took the small tractor and we leave it at the farmers place, when we are not cutting fire wood. E cuts all the branches off and hooks the logs to the tractor with a chain, and I snake them up the hill to an open area, where we can cut them into firewood to fit the stove. It is a hot and sweaty job, but when it is 24 degrees outside, we will be so glad that we did this! Right now, it is a job I don't enjoy!

All the employees (at E's job) were given tickes to the Bloomington Speedway Races a few weeks ago. One of the fellow employees was driving a car in one of the races. Even though he didn't win any of the races, (I think he was fourth in one of them) we had a lot of fun. I didn't know watching a bunch of cars racing around a dirt track could be so much fun! I really enjoyed that evening!

I have been digging up an area next to the house that was full of grass, and and a previous owner had layered with large gravel. I got it all cleaned up, dug the yellow clay up and used a rototiller on it and then mixed in a few loads of old rotted horse manure that had composted into black lovely rich earth. I planted several perennials and a couple of hostas, and few summer annuals. I don't expect much this summer as the summer is half over, but next year, they should be really nice, if they manage to live through the winter. I am thinking they will have a better chance if they are mulched this winter, so will probably cover the bed with leaves once it freezes, probably in December. It gets sunshine only about 5 or 6 hours, but that is the best that I can do, with all the trees around the house and yard.

Last weekend, on my birthday, we were invited to E's sister and BIL's home. They have a home in a community that is on a small private lake. E and his sister took the paddle boat out and fished a while (unsuccessfully, it was too hot and muggy). Later in the afternoon they took us all (E's dad and wife were there also) out on the bigger boat. We toured the lake and just enjoyed the wind in our faces. I loved it.
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a blog friend. She and her family were on vacation and visited Nashville, Brown Co. Indiana. I took the day off from work and we spent a few hours, shopping, visiting and getting to know each other. I enjoyed our visit and getting to meet her and her family. I hope son and husband weren't too bored while we shopped!
There is nothing out of the ordinary going on around here. I am doing the usual summer stuff. I canned 40 quarts of green beans. We will have some good eatin' this winter!