Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cool change...

We got the big frost last night.
It got down to 27*.

I'm glad I didn't have to go to work this am,
as that would have required some ice scraping.

After work yesterday I harvested a five gallon
bucket of tomato's and a good sized basket of
peppers and squash.
Still had a lot out there, but decided that was
enough to bring in.
This is what is left of the garden today.

This habanero plant looks pretty with it's leaves
outlined in frost.

Caden looked out his window and thought it had snowed,
since it looked so white on the grass.

I am not ready for fall or winter yet.
With the balmy weather we've had this September,
I guess I thought (hoped) it would last at least through
October. Not to say we wont get some unseasonably
warm days in October, but those will be few and probably
far between.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feels like Autumn

All of the sudden it feels like fall.

We've had such nice warm, bordering on hot
weather this September and it looks like
that is over.

The trees are really beginning to get some color.

The farmers are getting busy with their harvest.
Can't wait till this soy bean field gets done,
as we like to ride horses there during hunting season.
And the wind is back!
Yesterday was very gusty and I could definitely
feel a little bite in the air.

This birds nest fell from the Elm tree.
Caden wants to take it for show and tell this week.

The turkeys are getting big.
My hubby says the one on the right is Thanksgiving
and the other is Christmas dinner.
We'll see...

So, on Saturday Caden had his second football game.
Before the game they did the punt, pass and kick
competition. Apparently he did really well on the pass,
but not so great with the punt and kick.
And he made his team's only touchdown!!
He was so thrilled!

I made another 19 quarts of salsa on Saturday too.
Tried a few different recipes just for variety, but
like my old standby recipe best.

While I was out gathering my tomato's,
Chyann picked about 30 tomato's from her
little garden and decided to try and sell hers.
She made up a nice sign and put it up at the top
of the drive way.
Had her little table set up and waited.
And waited and waited and waited.

She fell asleep waiting for a customer.
Unfortunately no one came.
Boy was she bummed.
Her daddy tried to buy them from her, but
she wouldn't let him.
She put up her sign again yesterday, but the wind
kept blowing it down, so she quit for the day.

We might get a good freeze on Tuesday night.
I'm not ready for my garden to be done yet.
Oh, well. There is always next year.

Also, the cows came home on Friday night.
All three ladies are pregnant.
Molly (the calf) is getting big.

Friday, September 25, 2009

North Dakota Sunset

Nothing like a ND sunset.

I pulled over and took these pictures on Tuesday evening.
I was just amazed at the vibrant colors
and how it encompassed all of the western sky.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Home again...

We made it home from North Dakota yesterday afternoon.
We had an uneventful road trip there and back.
One way was 620 miles, that we drove in about
nine hours.

I saw a poster once that had a picture of a ND highway
stretching out, as far as you could see, of flat land.
The caption said "Mountain removal project complete".
That about sums up this picture, I think.

Got a picture of the kids at a gas station out stretching
their legs.

Colton trying to sleep.

Yes, that's a barf bag on Caden's head.
We keep those pretty handy.
Thankfully he didn't need them at all on this trip.

Cal's Grandmother's funeral was very well attended.
I'd guess there was over 6o relatives there and
a lot of town's folk too.

Afterwords we took a bunch of family pictures.
This is Cal and his siblings.

(didn't know Cal could clean up so well did ya?)

This is the house we bought in ND about 10 or so years ago.
Never lived in it. Every year we'd say, next year
we'll have our shit together and be able to move there.
Never happened.
We ended up selling it to Cal's Uncle Tom.
Who turned it into Hunter Haven.
Tom and his wife Judy have really fixed the place up
nice, have quite a clientele and are doing well with it.

I sometimes wonder what our life would be like if we
had moved to ND.
Different than it is that's for sure.


I wish we could have stayed longer and spent more
time with all the family, but we had to get back.
And it sure is nice to sleep in my own bed again.
Not to mention my coffee pot!
I could not get a good cup out there!!
It was either liquid mud or weak dishwater.
Aaah, Starbucks house blend how I love you.

P.S. Thanks to Krissy for taking care of all our
animals while we were gone. She did a GREAT job!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Football game and other stuff

Yesterday was Caden's first football game.

The kids practiced for and hour and a half before the
game and the game lasted for an hour.

The 1st grade was split up into two teams.
Each playing a 2nd grade team.

Caden's team won their game, while the other
1st grade team lost.

Caden didn't make any touch downs, but
caught the ball a few times and ran with it
until he got his flag pulled.

The game getting ready to start.

Just before they scored the first TD.

Team picture with the coaches.

Caden sure was pooped after all that running around.

The rest of our day was spent getting ready for ND.

Got the house clean and laundry done,
yard stuff put away,
van vacuumed out and washed.

I think we'll probably leave around noonish today
and will be home mid-day on Wednesday.

I hate to leave my garden right now
because I have oodles of tomato's ripe!
I've got some new salsa recipes
I want to try and make applesauce too.

Hopefully I'll still have some product to work with
when we get home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

North Dakota bound

We received a phone call from Cal's mother informing us that
his 99 year old grandmother, Mildred had passed away.

Mildred had lived alone until this last spring when she fell and
broke her wrist. With the broken wrist she was unable to use
her walker to get around and had to go into the nursing home
until it healed enough for her to use the walker without aid.

Unfortunately, she had another fall last week that broke her
pelvis and back.

Mildred was a unique gal. Her folks immigrated from Germany
and settled in North Dakota to farm the land and raised 13 kids.
She was the last of her siblings.

She met and married Cal's Grandfather Dan.
They were farmers and raised four kids.

Since we've been living on our own little farm, Cal talks about
how his Grandma would do canning, had a whole basement full of
taters, even how she peeled taters so that they had almost
transparent skins (less waste), how she froze chickens and got
that number 5 wash tub out for him to bathe in, the huge Sunday
dinners after church. She never had a drivers license and
boasted that she'd never driven a vehicle before that wasn't
hitched to a horse.

Mildred will be missed by all that knew her.

She lived 99 years. Can you imagine the things she saw in her life time?

The funeral is on Tuesday in northern North Dakota, about a nine
hour drive from here. I'm not sure when we are leaving, but wont
be gone long I'm sure.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poor Casey

Tonight Chyann and I were going to ride horses.

As we were rounding up the hay burners
Chyann's dog Casey ran out in the path
of Gypsy and got trampled
right in front of our eyes.
Her howls and thrashing on the
ground were terrible.
Chyann thought she had broken her spine.

I ran over and scooped Casey up to
hustled her into the house and practically ran into Colton.

(Chyann had screamed so loud Colton
bolted from the house to see what was up)

Casey was bleeding from a gouge next to her eye
and had blood running from both nostrils.
The kids thought she had a broken snout,
but I am pretty sure she hasn't.
Casey also has a good sized swelling on her right
shoulder area.

I think she'll be alright, probably pretty sore
for the next few days though.

Good thing Casey is a tough old dog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Salsa day

Today was another beautiful day.

I spent the day making salsa.
We have 4 quarts of Cal's hot shit habanero,
5 quarts of mildly hot stuff,
and 4 quarts of medium.

Every year Cal requests hotter salsa than
what I've made. So, this year in his hot
stuff I put 3 habanero with seeds,
4 poblano peppers in place of
regular green peppers,
8 jalapenos with seeds,
6 banana peppers with seeds,
and 6 salsa peppers with seeds.
Plus all the rest of your usual salsa ingredients.

AND he says it's good,
but still not hot enough!

What in the world?
I tried it and promptly spit it out!
Only to have my tongue burn for about
a half hour.

I just don't get it.
How can you enjoy the flavors of salsa
when you can't taste it because it's
so hot and your lips are
burning off?

Next time I'm going to triple
the habanero's.
See how he likes that..

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fireman's Parade

Today was the Fireman's Parade.

Up and down main street folks start putting their chairs
out as early as 7am to get good seats.
As you can see main street sidewalks are packed
with folks out to see the parade.

It was a beautiful day.

Here is Colton.

The band is excellent!

Had to get at least one picture of horses.

After the parade we went to the fair grounds
for the penny hunt.

Caden was patiently waiting with his buddies.

That doesn't look like much fun to me, but
what do I know.

He ended up getting $3.47.
Man was he hot and sweaty when he got done.

When we got home I picked over 100 tomato's.
I finally have some hobaneroos ready, so tomorrow
is HOT salsa making day.

Before the parade we hit all the town thrift sales.
Chyann found a desk chair.
Got Colton five new pairs of new 501 Levis'
for olny 50 cents each.
I got a huge bag of clothes for 1.85, how exciting!
Caden got some clothes and this new construction toy.
Cal got himself a 5 dollar golf club set.
Many other assorted treasures too.

Heading out to hit some golf balls,
this should be interesting because we've
never golfed before.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hay day

It's time to do hay.

In the past we'd get about 500 small bales, but they are
such a pain to load into the barn, not
to mention a lot of work, so we switched to big bales.

We go through approximately 15 big bales that
weigh between 850lbs and 1000lbs each
every year. Not too bad considering we have five
horses and four cows now.

While Cal and Colton were getting the bales
I got some pictures of Jenny out mowing the yard.

Doesn't she look pretty walking through the willow branches.

You'd never guess that she use to be pretty spooky
the way she is letting the branches rub and
touch her all over.

Caden riding his bike,


Evel Knievel,

He says, don't worry I'm tough.

Meanwhile, Chyann is goofing with Casper.
That guy is more like a big dog than a horse.

Yes, this is our haying operation.

Big green truck we got in AK
(it is BP green)
loaded with hay.
Note the ramps the truck is backed up on
to even up the bed of the truck with the door.
The pleasures of living on a hill.

They then wrap a chain around the bottom bale,
run the chain through the barn and hook it up to the tractor.
Then using the tractor, pull the bales off the truck into
the barn.

And presto!
Big bales in the barn without a lot of work.

As you can see we've only begun putting the bales in.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day weekend

Wow, have we had a busy weekend.

The front yard got roped off and we let the horses out to
mow the grass. They are pretty good at it, if you
don't mind the occasional pile of crap.

Then it was on to corn again.
We decided to pull out the stocks and put
them in shocks to dry and we will feed
them to the animals.
Moved one pig out to the now dry pig pen.
The pig we moved out is kinda skinny and not aggressive,
needed to get some extra food to fatten up on

Chyann decided to help with Casper.
She rigged up ropes and tied them on
to drag off the stocks off with.

(ingenious kid)

This is what half the garden looks like now.
I grew pumpkins in with the corn to save space
and they are looking pretty good, need some
water though. Then tomato's, peppers, carrots
and onions.

Colton was a huge help with the corn.
I had a hell of a time pulling out the stocks,
but he made it look so easy. Must be nice to be so strong.
Most of Saturday afternoon was corn shucking,
boiling, cutting and storing.
Sure is a lot of work.

Chyann moving on to riding Gypsy.
Gypsy is our only horse that we use an indirect rein with,
as all the rest are direct rein, so she had to keep reminding herself
how to steer Gypsy.
That kid can sure ride.

While the horses were out eating the yard,
Caden took advantage of the empty pastures and
rode go-cart for a few hours.
He drives really well and only makes me nervous
when he gets too close to the fence.