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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Delaware, North Dakota and Rhode Island

A dear friend of mine recently wrote that there were no bloggers in Iowa.  I don't know about blog writers, but I know Iowa has blog readers.  I've been visited by Adair, Cedar Rapids,Sioux City, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Redfield, and Bradgate, Iowa.

In a past post I wrote about my addiction to my tracking widget.  I really love seeing the cities around the world that visit my blog.  I started keeping track of which states have visited.  It didn't take long to add around forty states to my list...   Slowly the final states have been showing up one-at-a-time... except for three:  Delaware, North Dakota and Rhode Island.

It seems strange to me that my blog has been visited by Malaysia, Iran, Nigeria, and Bahrain, but not by Delaware.  I know there are lots of computers in Delaware.  They have to have them to keep track of all the credit card accounts.  Maybe Rhode Island is too small to have its own internet hub.  Is that possible?  That would explain it not showing up on my widget.  North Dakota?  I've never been there, but I want to visit it someday.  I imagine if I lived in a place like North Dakota, perhaps I wouldn't be spending my spare time reading blogs either.  I'd be out riding the range on Nekoda or Maggie.  Or maybe huddled by the campfire watching the sunset with Sadie.  (If you don't know Nekoda, Maggie and Sadie, click HERE)

If you are reading this, and know anyone in Delaware or Rhode Island, have them stop by my blog so I can feel some sense of achievement.  North Dakota has an excuse...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Record Breaker

Yep, you're reading it right... 
Eight and one-eighth inches around this bad boy!
We can't sell these because they don't fit in the cartons.

Adding a Boy to the Mix...

My grandgirls: Melody, Grace, Dani, Lexi

And introducing Brady.
The girls have decided that he's a keeper.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow Day with Horses

This picture makes me happy...

That's Buddy's rump with the white tail, and Nekoda is the spotted one in the background.  But see, there in the middle, sharing Buddy's hay?  Yep, Maggie Mae.  Normally, we have to give Maggie her hay far away from the other two or they run her off.  It's just horse hierarchy.  Besides, she gets her alfalfa in pelleted form now, so any hay she eats is a bonus.  It still makes me happy to see my herd bonding tighter.

This is Mr J leading Maggie to the side pasture...

I've already thrown out their hay or they'd be following me to the gate.  The red building is their run-in shelter.  Buddy and Nekoda stay in it when the weather dictates.  Maggie is stalled at night and in inclement weather.

This is me...

...under the wool hat with ear-flaps and the insulated pants.  Gotta pass those hugs around!


I just love showing how safe my horses are.  When the hay isn't there, I can back Nekoda around the field by the tail!

Organic accessories?

Staying warm in my horse-hair scarf!

Maggie Mae

I have to tip-toe to peek over her!

The horses love running in the snow...

Nekoda loves running anytime, but seeing the snow fly up is extra fun!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life Away from the Farm

Yeah, I've been MIA.  Of course, the holidays were an obstacle, but I've had a lot on my mind.  Click HERE to find out what's been getting my attention.

End of Another Long Road

I know... I've been MIA for a while.  I've got a good reason.  Let me start from the beginning...

On Friday, May 29th, I blogged about our good news...  I titled it Miracles Do Happen!  My step-son and DIL, who were battling infertility, announced that they were pregnant!  That was the end of the first long road.  Her first positive home test was on Mother's Day.  Isn't that special!  It had been such a trying time for them that she didn't want to tell anyone she was pregnant until they heard the baby's heartbeat.  I guess that made it more real.  It was a time of great celebration, but the long haul was just beginning.

Things can go wrong with any pregnancy.  DIL was very aware of that fact.  But, as time went on, we worried less about miscarriage or some other complication.  DIL never stopped worrying.  She had an aunt that was due any day when, at a routine check-up, the heartbeat was no longer there.  As DIL's due date approached, and Brady became less active, she poked at him if he was still for too long.

Friday morning I got the call.  Let me back up a bit...

Wednesday night insomnia struck.  I get bouts of it regularly.  I stayed up all night.  Thursday I was quite worn out, but not the least bit sleepy.  By Thursday night I felt like I could fall over, but still wasn't drowsy.  I decided to help sleep come... 

It worked!  By 2am I was out cold!  At around 6am my cell phone rang... and rang...  "What the heck is that NOISE?"  I finally realized it was my phone.  Instead of reaching to the bedside table for it, I began feeling around the bed... under the pillows...  I was in a drug-induced coma, but I finally found my phone.  Step-son says, "We're at the hospital."   Yeah, OK...  zzzzzz

Relax.  I didn't sleep through the whole thing.  After jumping in the shower (OK, I didn't jump.  That's dangerous.), taking care of all the animals, and packing a bag of my knitting stuff, a book and of course, Frappucinos, we were headed to Dayton.

It was a long day.  Things weren't going the least bit fast.  We were sure it would be several hours more, so around dinner time, Papaw and I ran home to take some dinner to MIL and FIL, and take care of the animals.  A short time later, we were back on the highway headed to Dayton.  That's when my cell phone rang again...

Step-son's mom says, "They're prepping her for an emergency C-section."  OMG!  What happened?  Luckily, she was very quick to calm my fears.  They thought the baby's head was too large for her to deliver.  Things weren't moving along... But we were!

Shortly after we arrived back at the hospital, they took her to surgery, and we waited some more...

I won't hold you in suspense.  All are doing very well. 

Here is Brady's beautiful Mommy the next morning...

Here's a picture of the happy father...

And here's the guest of honor, Brady Matthew...

Yes, it's the end of another very long road, but the beginning of an even longer one.  Is there anything better than a newborn baby?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Record Breaker!

Remember the giant egg? 
We get some really big ones on a regular basis,
but every now and then...

FIL and I say it's the biggest we've ever had.
Mr J says the other one was bigger.
We may never know...
but we will know if we ever get a bigger one in the future.

FIL held the measuring tape on it so I could document the size.  
7 7/8" around that bad boy!  Or should I say boys...

Now, that's a meal!

Christmas on the Farm

Better late than never...  Thought I'd share some of my Christmas preparations and sights with you.

While digging through some boxes in the basement, I found these old poinsettia and holly sprigs.  Since this grapevine tree gets so much weather, I figured they'd be durable enough to dress it up for Christmas.


This love-seat rocker faces the drive, so I decided hanging the wreath on it would brighten this corner of the porch.

We have decided that this tree we planted last year will be our official outdoor Christmas tree.  It's a bit bigger than the one I had lights on before, so new lights are on the list for next year.
Of course, Sadie always has to supervise Mr J's projects, but she's not alone today.

Even the shrubs are dressed up for the holidays!
I love my fiber-optic tree... no ornaments.  I just plug it in and enjoy the colors.  And I can see the outdoor tree through the window.

Mr J's lodge has an annual Christmas party with Santa.  Grands #1 and #2 are too old for this kind of stuff, but #3 and #4 love it!
And they still love camping out in the living room!

The older girls love exploring the woods.  I think they made the mistake of letting Sadie lead the way and came out in a big mess of hedge apple trees... OUCH!

...and no gate!  Luckily Mr J keeps a wide path cut all along the fences.

Even though we didn't have a white Christmas, the days following were spotted with snow showers.  Here's one we drove into taking the grands home.  I took this because it drives Mr J crazy when I pull out the camera in the car!

I agree with Dorothy... There's no place like home.  I love our driveway at night.  I'm always looking for the deer in the headlights.

The snow seems to be getting deeper as we get closer to the creek.  I can tell we're getting close to the house...
I can see the little Christmas tree.  And since we've no place to go...
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wooden Spools and the Pickle Jar

Hello, I'm back!  Hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  I've been quite busy and haven't posted in a bit.  Some of you noticed.  I have quite a lot to catch up on, so I'm going to break it up into several different posts.  Today, it's recycling because this happens to be the first picture taken since I last saw you...

You know how I love these old spools.  They come in handy for so many things around here.  These are super heavy, with double two-bys on each end.  When sitting flat on the ground, these spools are about bar height.  One of them is going next to the high side of the pool.  I'll probably add some weather-proof stools and an umbrella.  Look for the finished project some time this century.

A fellow country person saw these and said that he knew a guy that used them for quail pens.  He cut a large hole in the center for a shelter, and then covered the ring with wire.  So now Mr J wants to raise quail!  Geesh!

This is a project I'm working on now.  (Yes, after Christmas.)   I found this small tree skirt while putting away some Christmas stuff.  It fits perfectly over one of our smaller wooden spool that I use to elevate the tree.  Plus, I'll have secret storage during December!

The gold thing is the base of our fiber-optic tree.  I will be cutting away the skirt from the center so that the fabric doesn't get too hot from the bulb in the base.   If you enlarge this one, you can see a small hole where the cord for the base comes through.  It was already in there!  How perfect!  I will stain the wood in the center and put edging on the skirt where I cut it.  I'll try to remember to post a picture of it when it's finished.

We haven't yet finished the walls in the basement.  Mr J wanted storage for his pool table supplies.  He added a few drilled holes and some left-over paint...

The smaller spools are from our fence wire and rope.  Being the perfect size for a five and three-year-old, these have been claimed by the youngest grands as stools.  I guess I'll pretty them up and upholster the tops to match the living room decor.

OK, I did promise a pickle jar...
I've been relearning to knit and crochet.  I had one skein that would not pull from the center, so I had to pull it from the outside.  (Knitters will understand.)  I don't like tossing the yarn around, especially when their are shedding animals in the vicinity.  I remembered this pickle jar.  A full 5 or 7 oz skein fits perfectly and feeds out very easily, keeping the yarn clean and tidy!
I love reading blogs about how you all have recycled items that would otherwise be tossed in a landfill.  To me, finding a way to use old items is a fun hobby.  Let me know about some of your favorite repurposing.