Thursday, April 30, 2015

Questions and answers...

Yesterday morning found us busily sorting off animals to sell at the Napoleon salesbarn. 
We sold all 10 of our bulls. 

Q. Can you guess what my dad said about these guys?
A. "That's a LOT of beef!"
Q. Think I'll miss the bulls??
A. Not a smidgen  
 Q. Where do you even start with deciding who to sell as cull cows?
A. Start with the ones you're sure about. 

We ended up hauling in 20. The rest we'll try to sell on BisManOnline soon.
 Q. Will we miss the babies every Spring?
 A. Yes, except for when they do dumb things like this one did.... 
 I had to rescue him when I got home this evening, as his head was very much stuck.

Q. Were we planning to have old friends from the North stop in this morning?
A. No, but it sure was a pleasant surprise! (It was really good to see you, Ward & Carol B.) 

Q. What were the guys doing in our fields today?
A. Putting down fertilizer.

 Q. When I brought the Littles over to the farm today, what did they want to try to do?
 A. Get the chickens to go outside.
(It didn't work the way they had hoped.)
Q. Who is that kitty that Johanna is playing with?
A. My Gingersnap kitten who showed up last year at an Appleseed.

 Q. Who just pulled in the yard with a car full of groceries and seed potatoes and onions and milk and...?
A. My mom.

Q. Where is Jacob sleeping tonight?
A. Down at Dave's cabin near Linton, where he's working for a couple days again.

Q. Did the bulls and cull cows sell well?
A. Yes!

Q. Is it time for me to just post this?
A. Most definitely.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


This morning, before I left for babysitting Zach & Paula's children, I sat in the combine and pulled the knob up and pushed the knob down to turn on and off the auger. :) The boys asked me to help them, and that was about the easiest way of helping them I could ever think of. We filled up 5 totes (4 small and 1 large) of non-gmo corn, as the G. family needs some corn for their chickens, and the rest I'll use for our own chickens probably. The chicks I ordered should be coming the middle of May, plus our laying hens like corn too.

My dad did another grain cleaning job today. Maybe they're done now?

 I babysat 3 not-so-littles yesterday (Amelia, James & Michael), and the other 3 littles (Johanna, Tracy Jo, and Vonn) today. We had fun:

Now I need to go take care of the calf who still isn't getting going (we're tube feeding him)... 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Back to gardening!

Well, yesterday, God sent us a reminder of why it will be nice to NOT have so many cows...

In the morning, we had to get 2 cows in the barn. The 1 had a calf who still isn't doing very well. The other, we pulled her baby, and they're doing fine now.  Then, in the afternoon, a neighbor called to inform us that most of our herd had broke out of the fence and was in our field, eating alfalfa. So much for a restful day. :)

 I took this picture of Jacob and his ol' pal, Phyllis. I imagine he'll miss her a bit when she's gone, as he raised her up from a little calf (bottle fed her) and has kept her gentle over the years. She's pretty old already.
 I tagged my bull calf (the one we pulled) before letting him out of the barn to be with his mama who was already out eating silage and hay.
 I went across the road to get a picture of the spot where the house will sit. You can see the stakes/string. It doesn't look like much, yet, but give it another month and a few days.... :)
 My mom and I were so happy that Dad and Jacob took time to spread some "Joy" (manure) on the garden...
 ...and they worked it up: Dad with some kind of a digger and then Andrew went over it again with his tiller that he put new blades on. It made the soil so fluffy!
 Doesn't it look nice?  It was hard to get myself to walk on it, as it looked so perfect.
 Andrew and a Lady...
 My mom and I planted herbs and beans and I planted zucchini and cucumbers, just so we could say we started. :) It felt so good to be out digging in the garden once again. Now it's time to pray earnestly for rain.
 While the guys were doing the garden work, I made more SOAP! Yes, I did. :) 
There is a craft-fair coming up on Sunday in Braddock that I have a table reserved at to try to sell some of my work, so hopefully that goes well.

And those were the highlights of the last 2 days.

Have a great week, everyone----doing whatever work God has for you to do.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


It is Spring and time to start planning for Appleseeds once again!!! :)

My brother, Andrew, (the North Dakota state coordinator for Project Appleseed events) has scheduled 2 Appleseeds at our farm this year and is pondering getting one set up in Jamestown again in July, if there is enough interest in that. 

Please visit the Project Appleseed website ( to learn much more about this great event (if you haven't attended one before) and/or contact me with questions that I'll try my best to answer. I've never heard yet that anyone has regretted attending an Appleseed shoot, and the usual comment is that they can hardly wait for the next one! :) In the evenings, we have a potluck meal up at the shop and then comes visiting and volleyball or other games. Come join in the learning and fun! 

Click here to register so as to reserve your spot. Last year, the Father's Day Appleseed almost filled the line up completely (there were just 2 spots left), so you may wish to make your reservation right away if you know you can come! Hope to see some of you here!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Big change...

Well, it is time for some big changes in our lives...

We had the chance to purchase the big pasture from the hunter guys (Gaylin and them), but when it came down to figuring out how many years it would take to pay it off, with not being able to expand our herd, but just maintaining it, well, it just didn't make any sense to go into huge debt for that (it sold for over $800,000). Yesterday was the auction, and a local rancher purchased the pasture and will be running his own cattle on the land. This means that, yes, we will be selling our herd!!!  If there weren't so many other things happening in our lives at the moment, this change would seem very sad. As it is, I think it's for the best and I'm confident that God knows what is best for us at this time (we've all been praying about this decision for quite a while already) and it's pretty obvious what we need to do. We'll probably always keep a couple cows around for beef/milk, but it won't be anything like it is now.  I'll miss some parts of having cattle.  

The pasture land around the farm will mostly be broke up for farming (lots more rocks to pick). The cattle-working and haying equipment can be sold now.... 

We're discussing now WHEN and how to sell the cattle. They're already starting to calve, and we have 2 babies. It would be easier to sell them before they calve, but we'll see.  


This morning, Dad had Magrum's from Hazelton come pump the sewer across the road, and here, and Andrew had him do his up at his place too, as long as the truck was here.  While they were doing that, I drove Mom up to the farm where we're buying milk now (until Sally calves) and she showed me how to get the milk from the bulk tank, in case I ever need to do it. We dropped off some eggs for the neighbors too.

This afternoon, Dad and Andrew did some measuring and staked off where the new house will sit. :)
That change is exciting!!


Tomorrow, I'll have another interesting thing to share, something about Appleseeds....

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm back...

 Well hello!!  It's been a while, again. I've just been having too much fun to write.... ;)

I do have a few pictures to share, so I wasn't completely forgetting every technological wonder that there is in the world.

Yesterday afternoon, I went over and babysat Amelia, James & Michael for 3 hours.  
Amelia is my kind of girl----as I love boys with tractors too!
 The twins, Amelia and I played outside a lot of the time, playing frisbee and exploring in their "woods".
My dad and Andrew are nearing the end of the grain-cleaning season and only have a few jobs left. This has been the busiest year yet for that business. Dad has been working on his air-seeder the past couple days actually, as it's time to be thinking of putting our own seeds in the ground. He's also had a couple farmers ask him to seed some of their land, so he'll be ever so busy again, but that's no surprise.
My mom went to her friend, Deb's funeral yesterday, and then picked up our beef (an old bull we had butchered) from the meat-locker and brought it home to fill the freezers with once more. YAY!
Jacob has been busy working for farmer Kyle; farmer Roger; and now he's down by Linton discing for farmer Dave for a couple days (he'll stay the night there). I guess my little brother isn't so little anymore!
There have been 2 heifer calves (both mine) born already, and the cows aren't due to start calving until May 1st.  More about the cows at a later date.
 The main reason my blog has been silent is that a tall, dark-haired, handsome distraction was in my life from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning. :)  Michael met up with my Mom, Andrew and I at a Booth Brothers' concert in Valley City on Sunday evening. Lauretta had told us about the concert and said that she and her folks and her special young man friend were going to be attending.  Remember when we went to the Booth Brother's concert in Bismarck last year (in June) and Lauretta rode along with my family? Well, little did we imagine then that the next year, Lauretta and I would be sitting side-by-side still, but this time with very special young men friends on the other sides of us! :)  What an answer to years worth of prayers!

My mom and Andrew were sitting in the next row back, so Mom took this picture of Michael & I...

I rode home with Michael to keep him company, and on the way, Paula messaged me, wondering if I could possibly watch the girls in the morning, as something came up where they needed a babysitter for a few hours. So, after discussing it with Michael, I told Paula that I/we'd be there at 7:00am. The girls slept until almost 8:00, so that gave Michael and I some time to read in the book we're going through together before things got busy in the land of little girls. :)  Johanna and Tracy liked Michael and tried to talk his ears off. Johanna kept accidentally calling him "Jacob" for some reason? 

 Here, Michael is helping Johanna assemble some foam finger-puppets that had come in the mail recently... 

 When Paula's folks arrived to take over the care of the girls, Michael drove us up near Steele to where Andrew was cleaning, as he needed somebody to drive our pickup home. He's doing a very big job up there and had needed some fuel from the tank on the back of the pickup, but then needed the pickup moved back home. While there, Michael had an opportunity to see Andrew's cleaning rig running....
 Andrew explained how it all worked...

 The rest of Monday was spent doing different things... Jacob, Michael and I went gopher hunting and, yes, Michael got several of the little rodents.
Michael & I helped my mom take everything out of our largest freezer; we cleaned it; then organized everything in preparation for the beef we got yesterday.

Cleaning/cutting some potatoes and carrots for stew...

Want to know what a great guy Michael is??  He helped me pick rocks out of the pasture....that's how great.

I would get some large rocks in the loader bucket and then he'd fill it up most of the rest of the way with medium sized rocks, just leaving room for a bunch of small ones (we had to pick those up by hand) tucked in here and there.  Then he'd fill his bucket up too and go dump them on the pile. We worked on that for a few hours on Tuesday morning.

 Tuesday afternoon, I took Michael and my mom for a drive down memory-lane... We went and visited our old farm near Linton and our old, falling apart house in Temvik. That brought back lots of memories! 

That afternoon, we were going to go back to picking rocks, but then Andrew needed us to bring an auger over to the place he was cleaning and, once we got it there, he asked us to stay another hour until he was done to help with take-down, as the farmer wasn't able to help, so we stayed. It was suppertime when we got home. We watched a movie that evening.

Wednesday morning, Michael left after breakfast. It is not easy saying goodbye...  :(

I have some news of a really big change in our regarding the cattle, but since it's so big, it deserves a post of it's own. So, I'll wait with that.  Suffice it to say that God has closed a door on a big chapter in our lives. We will now wait for Him to open a window, or another, larger door maybe?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fun with friends...

Late yesterday afternoon, Lauretta and some of her siblings came over for a "fun night". We played volleyball; PIT; and watched a movie together....and visited, of course. :) 

This evening, some of us might be going to the Booth Brothers' concert in Valley City. Please pray that my mom is feeling well enough to go, as her back is giving her grief today and she'd really like to go to the concert, but not if she'll be in a lot of pain. Thanks~ 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Springtime busyness...

 The last 2 days were great working-outside kind of days. But, before I share about what got accomplished, I'll share a couple pictures from when I was babysitting on Wednesday.

Can you guess what had baby Vonn so interested? He just sat there for several minutes and stared at....

...Tracy Jo, licking off the spoon after we made cookies. :) Very fascinating, I assure you.

 My dad and Andrew spent Thursday and Friday cleaning more grain. They think the end is in sight, although people keep calling... 

I spent Thursday morning getting the greenhouse ready for planting: raking, adding peat moss, and tilling it up (after Jacob got the tiller started for me)...
 Mom and I planted our tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower seeds. They grow really fast in the greenhouse, so hopefully we timed it correctly so as to be able to plant good-sized plants into the garden come the middle of May.  We also started some peas, lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini in there to see how they do.
 Later that afternoon, Jacob and I went out to dig/pick up rocks. Jacob used the backhoe attachment on the tractor for a while, and then I picked up the very large rocks (with the tractor, not by hand ;) ) and hauled them to the pile. We're making very slow, but steady progress.
 My mom and I also talked over what kinds of chickens and turkeys we'd like to have this year, and I placed our order with the Cackle Hatchery out of Missouri. The chicks will come in May and the turkeys aren't hatching until June, the lady said, so that gives us some time to get ready for the little cheepers.

Everyone was home around suppertime on Thursday, so we had the evening to talk about important decisions and interesting things, which hasn't happened in a very long time.

Yesterday, I spent some time transplanting some golden raspberries out of a pathway into a place where I want them to be and also went across the road and dug out the tulips that will be in the way of the new house and planted them in the garden here, spreading them out so they filled 2 rows.

 Speaking of the new house, Dad called home yesterday to say that he heard when it is to be delivered!!  June 9th is the day they're shooting for!!! :)  He also learned about what we need to do to get the location ready for it. I'm so excited for my parents to be getting their first brand new home. I hope they'll enjoy it for years to come! Here is a link to a youtube video that shows some pictures of the home they are buying:

Ummmm, ok, I didn't realize the link would be that long? You might need to click on another page from there to take you to the video of the "Watson" model.

My mom went up near Steele to get milk yesterday morning. It will be nice when Sally freshens again, although the break from milking is nice too at this busy time of the year.

After cleaning most of the house (Mom was feeling poorly again), I went outside to help Jacob with filling 2 totes of wheat screenings for our friends, the G. family. We trade them grain for meat-chickens (frozen chickens). 
 After that was done, Jacob and I filled up the Quonset again. The guys had unpacked it as they needed the combine and the sprayer out, but there's a chance of rain this weekend, so we needed to get the trucks (with grain on) and a small grain cleaner and the combine (with corn in it) back inside, which took a while. Jacob is an excellent driver/backer already!! I was quite impressed. Oh, I didn't tell you about the combining yet! Jacob finished last year's harvest yesterday. :) We had just a few acres of non-GMO field corn to harvest, but it was too wet last Fall and we didn't have a place to store it on air, so it just stayed in the field, until yesterday. Some of that will go to the G. family for their chickens too.

Unhooking the header: (see Jacob?)

When I'm home, I help Jacob feed the cows. He feeds the silage and I feed them oats hay. He's more popular than I am, by far!  The cows will walk right by me to follow him.

My mom had supper ready when we got in at 8:00. Dad and Andrew got home close to 10:00 and had their supper then. And after family prayer-time, we talked some more... There are so many big decisions needing to be made right now. It's definitely a year of big changes! We have a lot to pray about, that's for sure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Minnesota memories~

Babysitting is done for the week; unpacking is finished; some sleep was caught up on; and I can now turn my attention to blogging once more! :)

Josephine and I had a wonderfully uneventful road-trip to MN and pulled in the Dalquist's yard a little before dark Thursday evening. The next few hours were spent in visiting with Michael and his parents.

Friday, Michael had some work to do, so we tagged along and kept him company. 

Did you know that chickens like cow-feed? 

 Michael put some more ground feed in the barn...
 Josephine and Lily...

 Shortly before noon, Michael's sister, Rachael and her husband, Nicholas arrived. It was great meeting them finally after hearing so much about them.  They brought some games along, so we played one of them for several hours that afternoon, as it was a lot of fun. Kathy (Michael's mom) had to say goodbye and leave Friday after supper, as she had prior obligations for the weekend. While she was gone, Rachael did most of the cooking for the rest of us, and yes, she's a very good cook!

The 5 of us young people went for a walk. Thanks to Josephine, we have this picture... 
L to R: Michael, myself, Rachael, and Nicholas 
 Oh, and we can't forget about Sam...
It's really pretty there, with all of the trees and water!
Mr. Tall and I...
I feel so blessed to be in a courtship with this young man!!! It's truly a dream come true. 
Praise be to God for how HE works in mysterious ways, His purpose to accomplish.
Prayers would be appreciated as we seek out God's will from here.
That evening, Michael's brother, James and his fiance, Jenny came for a couple hours to visit (lots of talk about wedding plans) and we played 1 game of Settlers of Catan. :)   
 I so very much appreciate what a hard worker Michael is...and that he truly believes in and implements the principles of organics and that he desires healthy land, healthy animals, and healthy people.

 Michael & his sister... It was really neat observing how they relate to each other.

Saturday afternoon, while Rachael went to a baby shower and Nicholas got some reading done (and Michael's dad, Dale went fishing), Michael, Josephine and I went on a little adventure.

My lovely traveling companion and friend, Josephine...

 Michael took us to his friend, Randy's place. There, he showed us Randy's workshop and showroom, both of which contained some amazing taxidermy works-of-art....
 Michael took a class from Randy a few years back and some of his animals were there still. I think he said the fish at the top right in this picture was one that he did.
 Michael and his coyote...

Want a rhino anybody??

Michael had Randy's permission to go explore the trails in his woods, so the 3 of us squished into this handy machine and bounced around for a while.  We saw the small field-plots that Michael has planted for Randy in the past. We even got temporarily stuck, but Michael pushed us out. :)

 Definitely a different kind of view than we see here in my part of North Dakota!
 We decided not to attempt going over the part of the trail where the culvert collapsed, 
leaving no trail for several yards.

 M&M (Michael & Me)...and yes, it was windy.

I really enjoyed helping Michael with the barn chores every morning. Since his mom wasn't there, I was able to do some of her work, like feeding the chickens and horses, and Michael & I both took care of the 3 ducklings and the little chicks. Oh, Saturday morning, we went up in the huge hayloft of the barn in search of kittens, which Michael found. :) Spring is an exciting time on a farm!

Sunday morning, Rachael made us Swedish pancakes. Mmmm Mmmm good! Then, after getting cleaned up/changed, we went to church in Cushing. Josephine & I reluctantly left after Sunday school, as we had 6+ hours of driving to do to make it to her niece's first birthday party in time. It was hard saying goodbye, but I guess that's a good thing. 
Mikaylee's birthday party was very much worth the hours of driving it took to get there. She was so fun to watch as she helped her dad and mom open her presents. :)

After a very delicious and filling meal (and present opening, of course), we played 1 game of volleyball before it was too dark to see anymore.

Sometimes I think what my/our life would have been like if Sarena hadn't come over that one time (about 3 years ago) to buy a computer that Andrew had listed on BisManOnline, and then come again for a computer related problem. After the 2nd time she was here, she decided to bring Lauretta to meet us, and the rest is a happy history! We've done so much together over the last few years. What a blessing from God these friendships have proven to be! They are like the sisters I never had.

~ Josephine, Sarena, Lauretta, & I ~

I got home close to midnight Sunday night. My bed felt so cozy!
On Monday, I brought the girls (and the boy) over here for a visit, as they'd been asking to come for some time already...
 This was Vonn's first visit to our house. Think he'll remember it?

 Zach built the girls a really neat tire-swing at their place...
 I took this picture of some of our babies last night, as I was helping Jacob feed the cows...
And that brings my blog up to date again! Mostly. I mean, I'm sure I missed some things while I was gone. Mostly, Dad and Andrew have been doing a lot of grain cleaning (even in the very strong wind). Jacob has been working for farmer Roger/farmer Aaron, and yesterday for farmer Kyle. My mom has been miserable, but has kept things going in the house. There have been several fires in our state in the last 2 days, and yes, we're in a drought. Please join us in praying for rain.