Thursday, October 30, 2008

Farm tour

I thought I would post a few pictures of our new farm for everyone to see what we're so excited about. So, come along on a tour with me!

Pulling into the driveway you see this...

If you look to your right you see this....

....the orchard. There are 3 peach, 2 apple, 2 pear and a couple walnut trees there. We plan to add a cherry tree. Leah and I also want to add some kind of berries somewhere. Maybe blackberries....yummy! Those are pears in the bottom picture. I picked one up off the ground and I'm not kidding you, it was the size of a softball!

Wanna take a walk around? You'll see this....

Love this! I am a huge fan of old barns and this one definitely qualifies. It needs some repair but still usable.

The chicken house. It also needs some repair/paint but once it's fixed, it will be perfect for some chickens.

The grapevines are along the fence on the left side of picture. By the way, those tractor tires will be going. They were being used as planters, but we'll till up an area for a garden.

This will be our new home. It's small but will be cozy. I'd invite you in, but since we haven't officially moved in I'd better wait. My mind has been racing lately thinking of all the things we want to do with this place. Among other things, I have paint colors, flooring choices, furniture arrangements and storage space issues on my mind. It's probably a good thing we're moving here during the cold season because that way we can focus on getting the house in order and not get distracted with wanting to be outside.

We get possession next week and then the adventure begins!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Green Acres is the place to be!!!

Remember that farm we were hoping to buy? Well, we bought it this weekend! To say we are excited would be an understatement. I can't even begin to explain how relieved and happy we are to have gotten it bought. If you're new to reading this or have forgotten, it was sold on auction so we had no idea if it would be ours or not until the auctioneer said "SOLD!" and let me tell seemed like an eternity waiting for him to say it! But he did finally say "SOLD!" and we were the winning bidders.

I wasn't expecting the kindness that followed. The auctioneer asked for our names, introduced us to the crowd and asked them to "Give a hand to the new owners of this farm!" So, there we stood....a ball of nerves wondering if it was really real with all these people staring at us and applauding. The seller (an older man) and his family all immediately came up to us and introduced themselves. The rest of the afternoon, neighbors from surrounding farms would come up and introduce themselves and congratulate us as well. It really was such a great experience and a very nice welcome to our new life.

Several different people said how glad they were to see a young family buy the farm. One of the old man's sons said that he thought it would be easier for his dad to let go of his farm (he'd lived there for 62 years) knowing a young family was going to start their farm life there. I hope so. I hope he and his children know how happy we are to have their farm now. I hope they know that we will take good care of it and will treasure it for what it is. I hope they feel welcome to come back from time to time and revisit their homeplace. A place where so many of their memories were made....and so many of our memories await us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flu Shot

I told Leah yesterday that she would have to get a flu shot sometime soon. (We always tell her about her shots ahead of time so that she'll be better prepared and not so freaked out.) So, last night we're laying in bed and.....

Leah: "Daddy, I have to get a flea shot."

Daddy: "You mean a flu shot?"

Leah: "Yeah, a flu shot."

silence for about 30 seconds

Leah: "But, I don't want to get a flea shot!"


Since I just wrote a post about the chickens, I thought this would be a good time to tell you what we named our rooster and why. We wanted a tough name. Something easy to say (or yell) but really, tough. He is going to be the chicken guardian after all...he needs to have a tough name!

His name is Batista and he's named after the wrestler on WWE. Yeah, you read that right....WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Isn't that funny? Before you start thinking I'm the wacky person who watches that, let me just tell you it gets even wackier than that! It's my DAD that watches it! He LOVES it. In fact, Friday nights at 7pm are set in stone around their house....Smackdown! Jason and I give him a very hard time about it and try to tell him that it's not real (hence the name World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT) but I really think he believes it. He knows all of the actors, I mean wrestlers' names (his favorite is The Undertaker) and says things like "I bet that hurts!" when they bash each other with metal folding chairs. Yeah, right Dad.....I bet it hurts all right.

I have to admit that I know several of the actors, I mean wrestlers' names too.....but ONLY because we're at Mom & Dad's house every weekend and that's what's on the TV when we get there. I do feel a little weird about having a link to the WWE website on my blog, but guys needed to see the inspiration for the name!

We have a lot of fun with the Smackdown jokes and no matter how much we tease him about it, he still loves him some Smackdown!! I bet there aren't many 69 year old farmers watching Smackdown every Friday night! So, that's why we thought Batista was such an appropriate name for the Roo since Dad would be taking care of the chickens most of the time. He can have a little WWE around him every day!!! I do draw the line at one WWE name for the chickens though....we're not going to be naming the hens after the WWE Divas!! Don't get any ideas Dad!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chicken update

Can I just say that I LOVE my chickens!?! I don't know why we waited so long to get them. We are all enjoying them so much! Leah loves to give them treats and can't wait 'til the end of the day to give them their "scrat" (scratch). I think someone who is enjoying them a lot more than he thought is Dad. He likes to show us how they come running when he calls them and as much as he likes to pretend to be annoyed by them at times.....he's not fooling me! One evening, we were all out feeding the bottle calf and watching the chickens. Dad started to walk across the yard to get something from the shed and he had a steady line of 10 chickens following him!!! Why oh why didn't I have my camera?!?!?! We started laughing and he turned around to see his conga line. He tried to act indifferent and I think even grumbled something like "damn chickens", but he could not hide the smirk on his face. Yeah....he's enjoying them too....even if they are pooping on the concrete around his workbench. We'll just keep reminding him of the farm fresh eggs we'll be getting soon!

Here are some recent pictures of the chickens.

Dad and I fixed a nice little door for them.

Here is the rooster. Isn't he beautiful? He has started to crow....he doesn't have it down perfect yet but he's getting pretty good. Dad said he counted one day and the rooster crowed 14 times in a row! Guess he knows that practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Making the quilt

If you read my last post, you'll know about the quilt I am working on for my sister's 40th birthday. I knew I wanted to make her a quilt months ago, but since I was still working on another gift project (which, by the way, is still unfinished), I didn't get started on the birthday quilt quite soon enough. I realized about a week before her birthday that I wasn't going to get it done so I resigned myself to the fact that I would just give her an unfinished quilt. If I had planned it right, I probably could have paid to have it quilted and had it completed in time...BUT, it was important to me that every stitch in this quilt come from my hands. OK, OK I'll admit that my Mom helped me baste the quilt sandwich but I assure you that's the only help I got!

The first step of picking fabric was pretty easy since I knew what colors I wanted to use. I chose the green paisley as my focal fabric and then picked the others to coordinate with it. I love these fabrics together, but I will say that the green paisley kinda lost its impact once the quilt was pieced. It probably would have been better in a quilt with bigger pieces so you could really see the pattern. Oh well!

The cutting took me about a week.....lots and lots of little squares! I'm also at a bit of a disadvantage because of our living situation. I laid my cutting mat on the coffee table....that was the best option available but really not a good option. I did a lot of the cutting there (aching back!) until my father-in-law came home with a big round folding table that he found at a garage sale. So, he and Jason set it up and made that into my temporary sewing room.
Side Note: I spent the past month hauling my sewing machine and all my quilting supplies back and forth between my father-in-law's house during the week and my parent's house on the weekends. I was a quilting maniac!!

Once the quilt top was together,
I took it to the fabric store to buy the backing fabric which I love! Then, Mom and I basted the quilt sandwich together (aching backs and sore fingers!) so I could start quilting. My original thought was that I would hand quilt it, but then I changed my mind and decided to machine quilt it. That's where I'm at now. I still have quite a bit left to quilt and then will have to put the binding on.

I can't wait for it to be finished!! Not that I'm not enjoying the making of it but it will be so satisfying to see it done and know I did it all myself. I think a quilt is a piece of art and also a piece of family history. I hope to make many more quilts in my lifetime....I LOVE this hobby!!

I already know what the name of this quilt is, but I'm not sharing that yet - not until the last stitch is in place. And the first person to know will be my sister. I hope she knows how much of my heart is in this quilt.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Times

We spent this past weekend at my sister's house for her 40th birthday. We drove all day Friday and arrived just in time for the surprise...about 5 minutes before my sister arrived! It was a very nice party and she was completely surprised. We had a great time together especially since we don't get many opportunities to "party" together anymore.

My gift to her was a handmade quilt. I am a beginner but I still wanted to do the entire quilt myself which is why it didn't get completed before her birthday. I wrapped it up and gave it to her anyway but had to bring it home with me to finish it. I'll post later about the making of the quilt.

Here we are after several glasses of wine and WAY past our normal bedtimes! Good Times!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Missing my kitchen

Frozen pizza, frozen burritos, chicken nuggets, cereal, hard boiled eggs....anything simple with little prep involved. That's what we've been eating lately. Like I said before, we are living with my father-in-law for a couple of months until we move to the country. So, pantry/freezer/refridgerator space is very limited and I don't have any of my tools. And really....a cook's tools are as important to the meal as a carpenter's tools are to the furniture he makes. What I'm trying to say is it's really hard for me to "do my thing" in the kitchen right now. I am really struggling to come up with meals and most of our meals for the past several weeks have been lame to say the least. I normally cook nice, healthy meals from scratch, but I can't remember the last meal I actually cooked ('cause I don't consider frozen prepared food "cooking"). I love to cook. I love trying new recipes. I love feeding my family a homecooked meal. Simply put.....I LOVE GOOD FOOD!

It's only temporary. I should have a kitchen of my own by Thanksgiving and then my family won't have to wonder if I've lost my mind for serving them plain, browned, ground beef (don't laugh....I actually did that one night! At least it had salt & pepper in it. Hey, what can I say...we needed some protein!).

In the meantime, I'll nuke some frozen burritoes or for a special occasion I'll turn on the oven and make a frozen pizza. Oh, I just heard the front door open. It's Jason home from work.......

"What's for dinner honey?"

"You're in luck...we're having gourmet ramen noodles tonight!"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Retail therapy

I had some much needed retail therapy today. I didn't buy much...just a couple of shirts, but it helped. You see, I've been in a funk lately. One of those phases where I don't like my clothes, don't like my hair and don't like my makeup. Actually, I wore makeup today for the first time in maybe 2 weeks. I have never been a high maintenance person, but I have always tried to keep myself up. I have never gone overboard on any of these but enough to keep myself feeling confident. I have not been feeling confident fact, I've been feeling pretty rotten. Yucky, blah, plain.

I decided to get out of the house today and go shopping (for something other than groceries). I put on makeup, fixed my hair (who is that lady in the mirror??) put on some cute shoes (not my broken down flip-flops) and headed out. I found a couple really cute I just need to wear them instead of always grabbing the same old thing.

So, that's a start in the clothing the hair and makeup. I made an appointment to get my hair trimmed/highlighted next week and I'm researching mineral makeup (my dermatologist recommended it). Do any of you use mineral makeup that you love? I'm trying to decide which brand to try.

Hopefully, I can pamper myself a little and send this funk down the road.