Thursday, December 8, 2016

Boxwood Tree 2016...

My friend Brenda and I have a fun tradition...if a couple of years counts as that...of making boxwood trees at Christmas time.

I didn't trim our boxwood bushes again this year (oops!) so we had plenty for cutting and making our trees.  We started with several blocks of wet foam and a dish/vase for a base.  (sorry no pictures of this part...we were having too much fun!!)  We then headed out around the house with our clippers and filled containers with snippets of boxwood.  After about 2 1/2 hours, and numerous trips out to the boxwood bushes, we were finally satisfied with the finished products.

Here's my tree last night after I finished decorating it with some of my favorites from my angel collection.  The tree skirt was a score at our local Ten Thousand Villages store a couple of years ago on after Christmas clearance...


Here are some closeups of a couple of favorite ornaments from my collection.  I don't like to put them on our family tree because some of them are rather small and I don't want them to get lost when we undecorate, and go out with the tree!

I bought this one in Heidelberg Germany in 2006 when I took a trip to visit my sister's family...


This tree topping angel/star ornament came from my sister.  I don't remember for sure, but it might have come from her mother in law in Germany...


This one was my latest find at Ten Thousand Villages.  It's made out of tin cans, and is from Burkina Faso...


This one was also a gift, but I don't remember if it was from Germany, or from an estate sale in Chicago!


This pasta angel caroler was made by another sister...


And this one came from Lancaster Central Market in 2008.  It's not a great picture, with the glare from my flash, but it's a Springerle cookie with an angel...


I have other angel ornaments from various people and places, but these are just a few of the ones that had "stories" behind them that "made" the blog today!

Brenda and I had a fun afternoon, creating and reconnecting since our busy lives have gotten in the way!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Phoebe the Resourceful Puppy...

Winter finally feels like it's threatening to pay us a visit, and the dogs are finding warm places to sleep at night.  They have numerous options...upstairs in the barn in either the sawdust pile, the hay mow or the straw mow (their usual first choice)...in the dog house with the flannel blanket...or downstairs in the barn with the cows.  We let the door open so they can go in and out as they please.

This morning when we went out to milk, I found Phoebe curled up in the cow stable in a pile of corn fodder...


Last night this bale was intact, but by this morning, she had torn it apart and made a nice warm nest for sleeping.  She's a late riser, and was still quite sleepy and calm when I found her.  I actually curled up beside her for a few minutes before I had to get back to work!

Some may think she made a mess by tearing up a fodder bale...but since it was going into the gutter in a few short hours anyway, I call it "being resourceful"!  :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall 2016...

It's been a while since I've posted...

A lot has been happening, but my "get up and go" must've "got up and went"! My camera has been pretty idle.  There have been a bunch of things that I've had to cross off my list...stressful things...but hopefully I can put them behind me. The time change certainly hasn't helped anything.  This getting dark early stuff is for the birds! I need lots of sunlight/daylight to keep me going!

In the meantime...fall has been in full swing.  The rye grass behind the barn is growing, and I think this is one of the most beautiful views of the farm!


The corn and soybean harvest have been finished for a while now, and they both yielded very well.  Jim is about finished with baling corn fodder. The barn is full...


He finished cleaning out heifer pens...aka spreading pazutski...over the weekend, and now it's on to some other things like moving calves around, repairing some leaky water bowls and lots of other busy work. The weather has been beautiful!  It's actually rather dry, and the fall leaves have been hanging on extra long this year.  Jenna and I went on a college visit near Philadelphia on Friday, and the drive was spectacular!

Phoebe is growing...and is a mixture of sweet...


and naughty!


I will say, I wasn't very happy with her this weekend!  On Friday night we noticed that we are down one chicken...thanks to miss Phoebe.  :(  And on Sunday morning, Jim noticed that she had chewed off some wires on his sprayer.  :(  It's a good thing she's so sweet!

Yesterday afternoon, when Jim and I returned home from an afternoon at Eric's cross country banquet at college, we were greeted by the sweetest, most enthusiastic, warm, wiggling little brown body, and it almost made me forget that I was frustrated with her.  Puppies are definitely a lot of work.  We don't want her to be "one of those dogs" that people don't want to be around because she jumps up, destroys things, etc. We're slowly getting there!

What are your fall days busy with?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wind Damage...

Yesterday started out to be a gorgeous day!

We said good bye to our last puppy...headed off to Church...had lunch...and relaxed a little before going to Jenna's orchestra concert...in the MGB with the top down...

But when we came out from the concert, the sky was black.  Hmmm...this was unexpected!  We hurried home, put the top up on the MGB and got ready for evening milking.

Suddenly out of the west, the wind began to blow...and blow...harder and harder.  Jenna and I watched from the kitchen window as an empty hay wagon rolled seemingly effortlessly across the yard, across the road and into the neighbor's yard, coming to rest against a tree, thankfully without doing any damage.

There wasn't much thunder, lightening, or rain...just about 15-20 minutes of strong winds.

After it was over, we looked to the west, up in the field where Jim finished baling corn fodder on Saturday afternoon...




We've never had anything happen like this before.  It looks like the side of the green wagon might have a little damage where it hit the ground, but Jim will look it over closely later today when he uprights it again.

Thankfully nothing worse happened.

There's a lot of power in the wind!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From Farm Dog To World Traveler...

I just can't resist sharing this adorable (yes, I'm biased!!) picture with you this morning.  Cheryl and Frank sent me this picture of Findlay on Monday night.

From northeast farm dog to southwest world traveler!  Findlay traveled in a car, on a plane, on a train, and got to take her first cruise...all in one day!


I just want to scratch those soft, warm little ears and have her lick my face one more time!

Thanks for the picture, Cheryl, and love on her for me!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Saying Goodbye To the Puppies...

It's getting a little lonely around here these days!

Last week at this time we had seven puppies running around, rolling in the flower beds, playing tug of war with a chew toy, chasing Murphy for the elusive drink and pointing at the chickens.

As of this morning, we have only three.

Watching kids pick out their favorite puppy...watching people meet the dogs they chose by sight on the internet...it's all good.

Wilbur left for his new home in New Jersey on Thursday, Reggie and Nugget left for New Jersey and Pittsburgh on Saturday, and this morning Cupcake (aka Findlay) is flying home to Arizona.  Jenna left early for school this morning and said her goodbyes while it was still dark.

Meet our new friends Frank and Cheryl...


We had so much fun meeting them yesterday afternoon and hosting them overnight while they met and got to know Findlay.  They took us out to dinner last night, and there was no lack of things to talk about!  Findlay is going to have a great life in Arizona, we just know it!

*Findlay and her family made it safely to Phoenix...and the word is that she was an amazing traveler!

This Friday we'll say goodbye to Mocha (Delaware) and Ted (aka Cooper) will go to New Jersey next Sunday.  That leaves us with...

Phoebe!


I'm sure you'll be seeing more of this pretty gal!





Friday, October 21, 2016

One Of Those Days...

It's been one of those days...

One of those weeks, really...

Way too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it.  I shouldn't really even be taking time to sit and write this post, but I'll make it quick!  I don't want to forget how sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, God puts just the right people into our lives at just the right place, at just the right time!

Here's some cuteness to go along with my "story"...

Reggie

These dear, sweet puppies are some of what's taking up so much of my time.  I'll miss them like crazy when they go to their new homes, but in the meantime, it's like watching a whole bunch of toddlers that all have different ideas of what they want to do for fun.  They need to run...a lot...so we let them out numerous times through out the day...

I can't see their collars, so I don't know who is who here...
Anyway...the past few days have been just crazy busy.  Jim's been picking corn, I've been watching puppies and trying to get housework done in between milkings, etc.  Yesterday afternoon, our refrigerator decided it had had enough, and it bit the dust.  No fixing it.  I put perishables into coolers overnight, and this morning I headed out fridge shopping.

I don't need bells and whistles in a fridge, and am usually content with left over models or scratch and dent appliances.  I headed to the closest appliance store (which isn't known for their good prices) and got lucky. Really lucky.  They had a floor model fridge...a discontinued model way discounted...with two tiny scratches on the doors that they sold me...deliverable this afternoon...with no installation or delivery fee, and will take the old one away at no charge!

While I was running around looking for a fridge, Jim headed back to the field to finish picking corn, without having time to get the morning "chores" done.  Bedding up the cows, cleaning out gutters, etc got pushed to the side today.  While I was emptying out the old fridge, the phone rang.  I saw on the caller ID that it was our Amish neighbor who's son helps us three nights a week.  I assumed that she was calling to say that he couldn't come tonight. But NO...she was calling to say that he had a half day of school today and "would we have something he could help us with this afternoon?"

I could have cried.  I am so thankful that when life feels overwhelming...no matter how insignificantly so...that God sometimes sends circumstances into our lives as a reminder to us that we matter!

And oh...to top it all off?  I found some chocolate in the crisper drawer while cleaning out the old fridge!   :) :)