Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gum paste lilies...

I was home today and had fun working on several projects.  First off, I got the yogurt going as Andrew saved a gallon of milk (poor calves) and later I strained it to make it Greek yogurt.  Then, I quartered a kettle-full of sour green apples that have fallen off the tree to turn them into apple pectin tomorrow.  My next project was experimenting with making gum-paste lilies.  I watched a video on YouTube and cut a couple of lilies from the garden to look at and this is what I came up with....
(My flowers are in the background of this picture.)

 I still want to try some other techniques, but was fairly pleased with how they turned out.
 :)

The guys worked on the combine again and my dad hauled some rims up to Steele to be repaired.  The men who bought the 3 combines came to take a header and one of the combines to their farm.  It will be nice to have more room in the yard without those big red combines just sitting there! 
 
My mom did phone sessions and we cleaned the house as we thought company was coming, and then that didn't end up happening.
 
Oh, Andrew bid on a backhoe attachment for a tractor on an online auction and won the bid, then Jacob bid on a snowmobile trailer and also won that auction, so they'll be heading for Fargo tomorrow or the next day to see what they bought, to pay for it, and then haul it all home.  ;)
 
Andrew replaced the light-switch in the bathroom tonight while Mom was milking Sally, as the switch was getting "Spasmodic" as to when it worked and when it didn't.   I love country life and it's many different changes and challenges that come day by day!   Sometimes we watch "How it's made" on the computer and imagine what it would be like to have a job where you sit and, for example, polish handles for dressers ALL DAY LONG, every day.  Talk about boring! 
 
I'm thankful for an un-boring life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Exercising with little girls...

Johanna had me laughing today!  She wanted to exercise with me (I guess she's watched me before-- doing crunches and the like).   SO, she put down a small blanket on the floor for her and a larger one beside it for me.  We did jumping jacks and stretches, touching our toes and things like that.  When I did something that was too hard for her, she just attempted somersaults.  :)  Then, Tracy Jo got in on the fun and soon we were all laughing and the girls started dancing in circles.  They're so fun, almost all of the time.  They're getting to the age where sharing is a challenge and patience truly is a virtue.    We blew bubbles too and went for a wagon-ride walk.  We worked on letters and numbers, then played with foam shapes.  Tracy is talking more and more each day, so that's fun.  Shortly before I left, we helped Zach (Tracy is his real name, but it's less confusing to call him by his nickname) husk a few tiny corncobs for pickled corn and Tracy Jo ate for sure 1 and maybe 2 corncobs freshly husked.  Yummy!

My dad was happy today!  A man came to look at one of the MF combines Dad had advertised on BisManOnline and he ended up buying all 3 of our old red combines.  Now we're down to just 1 combine.  That's a strange feeling!

Andrew's happy too, as he found a good deal on tires for his pickup and went to Bismarck to get them. 

My mom was happy, as she was home all day and made a roast for lunch with fresh potatoes and carrots. 

I'm not sure if Jacob was happy about anything specific today or not, but he seemed content this evening.  :)

~Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
" A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
"

Monday, July 29, 2013

I can see clearly now...

The cable came for my laptop today while I was gone babysitting and, this evening, Andrew put it in, so I am now able to see things on here again!  Before, my screen was going all haywire, with streaks and fuzzy things all over the place at all times.   I'm so thankful for (and spoiled by having) people in my family who can fix anything.  :)  It is another blessing indeed.

The guys worked on the combine today and Andrew worked on a car too I guess.  My mom was in Bismarck all day again.   SO, the kitchen is a bit of a disaster zone tonight, but that's alright.  It will all be set right in the morning. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Growing things (pictures!)

 
I love growing flowers!  Even though most of them you can't or don't want to eat, their bright colors are so cheerful and flowers make the world a more beautiful place to live.  I wonder how many varieties of flowers are in heaven? 
 
 This is a Dahlia (it's the first time I've ever grown them)...
 Can you tell I was having fun with camera settings?  ;)
 Yesterday, Sarena came over and decided on which spice cake/frosting she liked best.  We talked lots of other wedding related things too, so it was a fun visit!!
  Rachel, here's a link to the recipe for the best-tasting spice cake----according to Sarena:  :)  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?recipeID=76964&origin=detail&servings=16&metric=false
 Andrew and I went out target shooting after Sarena left.  We shot at 100 yards most of the time and did fairly well.  :)

After supper, my dad had to haul yet one more load of water up to the cows, so I said I'd like to go with him.  While he filled the big water tank, I took some pictures outside...  These are similar pictures to the ones I posted a few days ago, except this is how our yard looks now.
 The Morning Glories are taking over!
 The lawn is all drying up.  We've run the big sprinkler on some of it, but we usually need the water in the garden (or for laundry) more than on the grass, so the lawn gets crunchy.
 The side view of the garden...
 The cabbage and broccoli...  We're praying for a late frost this year!
 Does anybody know what this bushy plant is?  My mom grew "it" many years ago and we didn't enjoy "it", but I thought I'd give "it" another try.  
 My golden raspberries....
 This is my favorite place in the garden!
 The zinnia bed I planted...
 This variety is called "Peppermint stick zinnias".  :)
 They're just so lovely!!
 The hollyhocks on the edge of the greenhouse....
We have 3 different varieties of raspberries growing now, actually, we have 4 but one variety isn't producing yet.  The red raspberries are slightly tart; the dark blackish raspberries are very tart; and the golden raspberries are very sweet...

 
 Our hay-yard is filling up!  That is a blessing indeed!  We're praying for rain though as it's getting very dry and we may not get a second cutting if we don't get moisture pretty soon.  The axle on the 9030 in this picture just broke, so the guys are working on fixing that now.  Andrew also has new car projects he's working on...
 I headed over to the water-filling station and shared some raspberries with my dad.  The tank was finally full here and he's going to shut the pump off.  That green tank can hold 1,600 gallons of water and it was the 3rd time my dad hauled it up to the cows yesterday.
 There is a windmill up in the pasture, but a calf had got in the tank and knocked the pipe off, and then it wasn't very windy, so my dad and Andrew cleaned the tank out and then hauled water.
 Blue sky!
 There is water in the little lakes all around the cows, but it's getting pretty stale and stinky now and the cows do not like the water (and it's really not the best thing for them to drink)...
 The big tank here at the "Hub" holds something like 10,000 gallons of water!


 

 
Splash!
 When we got home, we walked into the corn field to see how it's growing.  There are 2 cobs forming on most of the plants and 3 on some...

 I wanted to know if the corn was as high as an elephant's eye, and my dad thinks it is.  :)

The guys spent today in the hay-field once again and picked some rocks too.  Mom and I worked on things at home and did the chores.  Our neighbors to the north came over to look at one of Andrew's vehicles and then stayed and visited for a while.   Mrs. S even helped my mom milk Sally.  :) 

Well, good night all.~

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spice cake...

I tried 3 different spice cake recipes today.  I'm trying to find a really good tasting one for a wedding cake I'll be making in September.  :)   I also made 3 different types of Buttercream icing.    Hmmmm, who wants to be the official taste-testers?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dancin' cutie-pies...

I had a fairly quiet day of babysitting.  The girls wanted to dress up and dance again today, so that was very cute---seeing them swing around, giggling.  We painted a bird house and later went for a walk.  While on our walk, I noticed that there were some cows in one of Zach's fields.  The girls and I went up the hill to the shop and told Zach and his nephew who is here for a visit.  Zach and Austin helped the owners get the cows back in their pasture, after figuring out who owned the cows...  Cows can be so frustrating at times!

Andrew did chores by himself tonight as my mom is just leaving Bismarck now and I was still babysitting, while the other 2 were working on hay.  Dad and Jacob just got home, so I need to go "Man" the pancake griddle.  :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pictures from a while back...

I found several old pictures on my camera that I thought I'd post this evening.
 
This was the cake I made for my Grandpa's birthday party (and the other friends/family who had birthdays around that time of the year). 
 

One day when I went over to babysit, Johanna asked to "Go to your house", and as I didn't have definite plans for the day, we went to my house to see the animals and play with the tiny box of toys we keep on hand. 
These sisters get along pretty well and Johanna is protective of her "baby Tracy".
These are the flowers my mom bought about a month ago and we planted in the front flower bed.
The granite patch...
The brake-drum flowers...
This is what the garden looked like when we first planted it.  I need to get some current pictures!
Oh, and this is the blend of grains we ground up for the chicks when they were little.  Now we just grind up the beans as they can eat the rest whole.
 
Today was a quiet day mostly.  The guys were gone working on hay all day and just got home for their supper.  I went up to Steele at noon to meet Moses G. who had some chickens for us.  We trade their family grain for chickens.  :) 

Later this afternoon, my friend and former coworker, April came out to visit and to give us her goldfish,"Blubber".   She's had him for 11 years, so she was a bit sad to give him up, but it needed to be done as she'll be gone at school a lot here soon and even will be going to Rome for a few months.  We put the fish in the stock tank with our other goldfish.  Hopefully he will do well there.

My mom and I spent some time in the kitchen cooking up a few different concoctions.  We fried a kohlrabi that Paula's folks had given me and that was pretty tasty.  Then, we did chores and got cleaned up.  Now I'm going to go visit with my dad and brothers for a bit before it's time to head for bed.....  Good night and God bless you all!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Steele Bull-Fest videos and pictures...not for the faint of heart!

This was a busy day of babysitting for me and farm work for the others.  This afternoon, while the girls were down for their naps, Zach let me shoot their 17 HMR bolt-action rifle.  My target was a pop-bottle filled with water, set down the driveway approx. 50 yards.  I even hit it once out of the 5 shots.  :) 
 
The girls had lots of fun splashing in their swimming pool this afternoon!   They're so much fun and Johanna is very good at pretending things now!
 
Andrew bought another fix-up car this morning.  It's black.
 
My mom made my grandma's recipe for crumb cake.
 
It was a good day.  We're praying that it will rain tomorrow...
 
Now, onto the bull riding videos (and photos)!  (You may remember that my mom, Andrew and I went to Steele to watch this event for the first time several days ago.)
 
 The bull chasers...
 A cute little cowboy!
 The fence was in the way where we were sitting, but this picture shows how many cowboys (bull-riding type) were there...
 It was fun watching the young cowboys and cowgirls ride sheep!
 
Dizzy cowboy? 
video
Glad the cowboy stayed down! 
video
 How does he stay on? 
video
Whoa, bull!
video
This was a very ornery bull.  He later chased the horses and bopped one in the hind-quarters!
video

 That's all for now...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Project Appleseed #5 (at our farm)...

Well, I promised you pictures of our outhouse, so here they are:  :) 

Andrew screwed in a large spring to help the door close, and attached a latch to the top of the door on the outside so we can lock it closed when it's not in use.

 Like the camo? 
 I think the shoot went very well.   I think I told you all that Andrew received permission on Friday from the head of Project Appleseed so he could be the acting Shoot Boss at this shoot because Alex was not able to make it.  Jacob was his assistant both days and they made a good team 99% of the time.  ;)
 Andrew, carding John's sights...



 


May, getting ready to shoot?


 Jacob, carding the sights for Paul H...  
 Paul used to do competition shooting and is a concealed carry class instructor, so it was great to have him come and share stories.  He said he really enjoyed the Appleseed and wants to come again.



The proper sitting position...
 It was great having my dad shoot with us this time!!!!   He's a good shot.  :)
 My mom shot on Sunday as well.  She's a good shot too.  In fact, they're both Sharp-shooters!  Next step:  Rifleman!



It got to be very hot on Sunday especially.



 Checking our targets...
 Still checking...

The green targets here were used to practice getting our NPOA (Natural Point Of Aim) and then having to shift our NPOA over to the other target...
 Dad and Paul H., talking obviously...
 Our line on Saturday...


My dad bought 2 sizes of pipes and made us several flag poles  to hang our Appleseed flags on.  The flags gave the range a very festive atmosphere...


 Lauretta joined us on Sunday---hooray!    It was just like old times--shooting beside her.  :)
 She's made Rifleman already, but it's always good to keep practicing...

Here is my mom, May, and another Paul, Paul F...
 Lauretta and I in "Prep"...


Pretty clouds...

My dad...



We're ready!




Standing is the least stable position to shoot in!
 Good chicken-wing, Mom!
 Our back-stop...

Jacob B...

Checking for progress...



Prone is my favorite position to shoot in...


 "FIRE"...

Jacob, adding up the points on somebody's target...


Late Sunday afternoon, the guys pulled the tarp back to the 100 yard line so we could practice shooting from back there.  Talk about a challenge!

 Our range, flags and all...
 100 yards is a long distance.  400 yards would be a very long distance!!
 Sunday evening, we shared a potluck meal and then some people helped with chores/cow checking and others just visited.  It sprinkled a bit, so we relaxed indoors. 

We thank the Lord for once again keeping everyone safe (outside of the scuffed elbows and sunburns, but that tends to come along with spending 2 days in the sun, shooting).   Project Appleseed teaches and enforces strict safety rules, but accidents can always happen, so we're grateful for His protection.

We may be hosting yet one more shoot sometime this Fall, so if you're interested and would like a say as to what dates would work well for you (also, should it be a Friday/Saturday shoot or a Saturday/Sunday shoot?), please let me/us know!  We've had several people say they'd like to come already, but need to know how serious everyone is.  ;)