About Me

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Married twenty-three years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids, 1 hand-picked by God from Africa and 1 very hyper-active dog. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. And just recently we have bought ourselves a farm. Do we know what we are doing? Nope. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Anne of Green Gables….

My youngest daughter and I are going through the Anne of Green Gables movies again.  We have all three and I cannot say enough good things about it.  Love these movies.  My favorite quote is the one below….

"Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."

Anne says that a lot.  It's so true.  Kind of like starting out with a clean slate.  Nice to go through life with that thought.



I love the slow pace of life in the movies.  Where tea was served on real china, and walks around the lake were common.  Where ladies dressed up to go "visit" someone and where gentlemen were still plenty to be found.  Just slowing down and enjoying each and every moment.

If you've never seen Anne of Green Gables, I highly recommend it.  It's just a good wholesome kind of movie.  I hope you fall in love with all the characters as I have.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's planting time….

I have to for one minute brag about our soil here on our farm.  We have the blackest, most beautiful soil you've ever seen.  Our garden has been "resting" for many years now and the soil is an organic farmers dream.



My husband helped me till up the garden this week and in doing so, we got a really good look at the soil we have to work with.  It's black and rich.  We have worms, and worms and even more worms.  Hot diggity for me.  Crazy large spiders.  No, I'm not kidding about this one.  And I did not take a picture of that one.  It was the size of my fist. I actually called my husband over to see it….and then told him to pound it into the ground.  Me and spiders, not to good of friends.  There are also tons of micro-thingys in the soil.  It's all good my friends.  Best soil, ever!!



Now, for the bad news.  We have snakes.  Yes, I said the dreaded word.  And of course, they seem to be out near the garden area.  At least, we've seen one repeatedly.  Of course, my brain tells me it's a whole family of them, but I do have an overactive imagination.  My husband said not to kill the snakes though for they are catching the mice.  Mice?  Ugh….I can't win.  Can't we just put a bubble over the farm and then I won't have to coexist with snakes and mice and heaven knows what else this rookie farmer is learning.

Nope?

Fine.  I'll try to get along.  But….I'm not gonna like that one bit.




As far as the garden planting goes, our plot is massive.  We technically have two massive plots.  My husband is working the first plot and the second one is in the back.  You can see in the pictures that we have put 7 foot posts all the way around.  We'll put up a deer barrier fencing to fight off the deer and rabbit fencing will go along the bottom buried a few feet under.  For that I'm using chicken wire.  We are gearing up for battle folks.  In the end, we hope we've done enough to win.

My plants are going in the ground finally.  And I am so very glad to be outside working in the dirt again.  Love it!  The only problem for me is that there is not enough time in my day anymore to get everything done.  I need like a 48 hour day.  And that ain't happening.

So, I'll do what I can and keep plugging along.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Okay, look here….

I am not and I repeat not…dead.  Dying.  Not gonna pass out.  Look like I am in trouble.  Or in need of your assistance in any way, shape or form.

So get on out of here….shoo, little missy.



Seriously.

Move.  Don't even think about coming down here to me.  Or so help me, I'll….I'll….

Well, I'll think of something to club ya with.


Or better yet.  Go make your home down the road at the big white barn.  This is a no vacancy farm for vultures.

….a minute later.

I stopped to take a water break.  They called for reinforcements.  Four more showed up.

And I picked up a really big stick.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The orchard….

I have been worried about it.  First of all, I know nothing about having one.  I am most definitely learning that one as I go.  And secondly, we pruned the fire out of a boatload of them last fall and I was worried that we put too much stress on them.

But nope.

Here's what I drove up to the other day when I went out to the farm.



Beautiful, huh?

Apple blossoms are just the happiest of all flowers.  Okay, second only to daisies which are my favorite.  But these delicate intricate flowers are so pretty.  And there are like a bazillion of them all over every tree.



I was reading up on the growing process of apple trees and what it tells me is that now is the most important time for the tree.  The time when the blossoms come out.  Oh sure, it's beautiful.  But the blossoms are what will determine whether or not you will have apples that year and how much.

So here's how it goes…depending on the weather the tree will usually blossom in the spring when there is a trend toward warmer weather.  That around here is in April.  However, this is Iowa and all you need to do is to wait a day and the weather will change dramatically.  And April is the worst.  One day you could have 75 degrees….the next 45.  Ugh!  A late frost will do in the blossoms overnight.

But the frost isn't the only thing you need to worry about.  You need some pollinators.  A.K.A. bees.  Lots and lots of them.  They provide the necessary mixing up the batch of apples….so to speak.  Without the pollination you might just have the prettiest apple orchard ever, but never get an actual apple to eat.  Trust me….that is not ideal.

So I'm praying for the best of both worlds…..warm weather to come and stay a while.  Oh and some bees….lots and lots of those little boogers.  Go little pollinators go!


Monday, April 20, 2015

A wee little bit overboard….

I might, just might, have gone a little bit overboard.  Just a tad.

Maybe….

Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Just sayin'.

This week I am moving our garden outside to begin to get the plants hardened off to being outdoors.  It's not like I can continue to grow pumpkins in my storage room/closet.  So it's got to be done.  And yes….I do start pumpkins early (we are a short summer season when it comes to those bad boys and I try and give them a shot at least at getting big).

Flat after flat, came up the stairs and out onto our tiniest of all decks at our rental when I began to notice a pattern.  Okay, I'm just gonna say it….

I have a tendency to plant WAY to many plants.

But I am trying to be practical here and try and grow all of our food for the year.  So that means we have to think about what we will need to go through the winter.  Or at least that's the plan in my head.  Of course, being that it's our first year on our farm, much of this is trial and error.

Alright, I admit…all of it is one big farm experiment.  But you will never learn anything if you don't try something.  So you gotta start somewhere.  Just maybe not this much.

For example, I have 6 different types of tomato plants and with each type I grew 36 plants.  And that's just one plant.  There's also the 260 onions started, the 75 lbs. of seed potatoes and that doesn't even make a dent in what else I've got planned for the garden.  I know, I know.

I need to be reigned in.

I guess it's better to be a bit overboard than not planting enough, though.  Or at least it sounds better to say it like that.  I'm just gonna have to remind my husband of that though.  Especially when we are planting on Saturday, on top of everything else, the 300 strawberry plants I just bought.

A wee little bit overboard.  Just sayin'.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

A moment….

Coming in August I will get….for the first time in seventeen years...a moment.  All. To. Myself.

Say what???

Oh yes.  Alone.  To be without.  To not have to answer a bazillion questions in one hour.  To finally get to breathe let alone think clearly for more than five minutes.  To get to accomplish something you put your mind to….without interruptions….quite possibly in one day.  I know, it's shocking.  Do you know what I'm talking about?

My children, the last two….the smallest ones, are going back to public school.  My oldest has been going to public high school now for three years and my oldest daughter does her high school online so I am not needed in that aspect.  But the last two, we made the tough choice to stop homeschooling and send them back to school this August.  

Why?

Most people go the other way.  They leave public school and then homeschool.  Not the other way around.  It was a tough choice for us.  But the truth of the matter is that it's time.  Time for them to go back.  With being on a farm now and out in the country, they need to get to know some children their own age.  What better way to do this, than to go to a small farm school.  The kids there are all coming from the surrounding areas and probably most have some type of farm, albeit big or small.  

I have never taught high school, thus the reason the older children went back to school.  I have felt like there are certainly more qualified teachers in this world in those areas than I am.  I believe I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't give them a chance to succeed in high school.  Heaven help them if I had to teach them Trigonometry.  

So, this last week we turned in the last of the paperwork to send them to school.  It's official.  Next year, I'm handing over the baton of teaching.  I. Am. Done.  

Am I happy about it?  Well….in some ways, yes.  Others…it's an ending to a very long chapter (I've been homeschooling for 12 years).  So it's bittersweet.  I am no longer needed.  And that makes me sad.

But then I remember, I get a moment….all to myself.  Alone.  Consistently.

I could actually have a job that I finally get paid for.  Oh and doesn't have a name tag that says Mom covered in peanut butter and jelly.  Something on the farm, maybe.  Maybe I'll raise something to sell.  Maybe I'll market the orchard.  Oooo, the possibilities are endless.  Hmmm….finally getting paid for working.

Now that, my friends, is a brilliant idea.


Friday, April 10, 2015

This one's for you Dad….

Nine years ago today, I lost my father.  No matter what people say…it doesn't get any easier.  Different.  But never easier.

I miss you Dad.

Save a seat for me at the table….I want to sit next to you.  I've got so much to tell you.  Until then, this one's for you.  I love you today, tomorrow and until I can see you again….

….oh, and don't forget the daisies.  I really want to grow some daisies.




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter from our family to yours….

 

 




It was a glorious Easter day here.  Wonderful church services in the morning, lots of gardening in the afternoon and beautiful weather to wrap it all up in a nice pretty package.  We hope you enjoyed your day as well.

Enjoy the pics….it takes great effort to get us all clean, tucked in and together all in one spot lately.  Would have loved to have one picture with us all together but our tripod is buried deep in the mountain of boxes.  Oh the joys of living out of boxes in a rental…