Adventures of Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I had big plans for the weekend. They mostly consisted of tilling my garden, planting as much as physically possible and mowing. But the torrential rain we got Saturday about noon really set me back. No tilling meant no gardening. I did finally get most of my mowing done. But, since I couldn’t do what I wanted I found other ways to keep busy!

Saturday…

 

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Piper checking on the overly dramatic Raider the Sheep after his banding.

 

Started to morning by banding all the boys, goats and sheep, and giving them their second CDT shot.

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Button with Laker and Royal(standing) Dodger being a little dramatic.
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Indi with Ziggy (back) and Xavier (front) who wasn’t dramatic at first and then holy cow goat!
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Scarlett’s kids Jacy (left) and Jeff (laying down) wondering what the heck happened here?

Once we got that done I ran to town for some groceries. I was still planning on tilling the garden about 1. Then the rain came. Hard fast moving rain that dumped about .9″ on us. Gee just when my garden was almost dry enough to work in. Sigh.

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After some minimal pouting, I turned around and this. How can you be upset about rain when there is beauty like this behind you?

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Cookie
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Miss Kitty
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Taj

So I brushed these guys out and double checked new tattoos and nails and switch them to the outside pens. Then I kind of wandered and checked everything out.

Much to my surprise the pigeons have started laying eggs! We got two, but one had a tiny crack. They are so cute.

Sunday…

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Madelyn had gone camping with some friends, so the boys and I decided we should have our own adventure. We sent to Buffalo Wild Wings and ate, which was probably enough excitement for the day to them. Then we head on west of Ames to the Ledges State Park near Boone. They weren’t sure what to expect. At first, I think they were fairly convinced that they were going on an adventure like we do at Mom’s house. With creeks and ravines and some trees. They like those adventures, sure, but I think they were hoping for something new.

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They thought it was very beautiful walking through and finding stairs. They were sure by this point that we had seen the ‘ledges’ that were actually just little ravines.

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His face when he actually saw the Ledges, completely priceless!

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The excitement level ramped up a bit here. While we still had to hike a ways, they couldn’t wait to see what it actually was like down there!

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It was beautiful. I had driven here before but never taken the time to walk around. It was beautiful and a perfect day.

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I am almost certain that Landon has done or said something that upset Denton here!

 

Of course they had to get in the water and played and explored here for about an hour.

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The swallows nest along the ledge are crazy. It looks like they barely fit.

 

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Third time up these stairs, my energy is fading, theirs seems to be growing!

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They were very excited to get to the top and see what was up there. Ended up mostly trees, but there were some beautiful sights on the way.

 

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Looking back to where we had been.
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Straight down.

Over all it was a great afternoon together. We finished by heading through Dairy Queen for a smoothie and headed home to clean up and relax. Which is when I finally got the mowing done.

Monday…

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Started bright and early at the Rhodes Fire Department Annual Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast! Yum! Then I had to go to town for our business to get everything finalized for the Rhodes Memorial Day celebration. Then we got ready and headed to Collins to meet at the cemetery for the event there. I missed taking a picture of the awesome fly over a local pilot does! It was very cool and I got caught watching!

Then after we all ate dinner at the bar in Rhodes with the local legion, we all headed back to mom’s for our family fun! Started by getting supper ready and cooking and then headed out for an pasture adventure.

 

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His boot tops are too short to get in.

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Littlenephew made it to the top of the big big hill.
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Throwing rocks.

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Niece#2 was actually considering pole vaulting the creek!
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Niece#3 was happy to help her sister out in this poor idea!
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I wonder what Denton and littlenephew are discussing?

 

 

Just missing Niece#1, Niece#5, BigNephew, Sisinlaw and Brother, but quite the crew. My heart is full. After a Creek long adventure, we headed back to check food and play our usual game of kickball! No serious injuries, but Sister did come out of retirement and she might be a little sore today!

We celebrated Niece#3’s birthday and had way to much food and a lot of loud discussions, but there is no where I would rather be!

Thank you to everyone who has and will serve for this blessed life and beautiful country I get to call home. Freedom is not Free.

 

Friday’s Hunt v3.9, v3.10 and v3.11

I am still doing so well at keeping up! I really planned on getting some pictures taken while it was nice out. But then I got busy cleaning out pens and trying to get feet trimmed and just didn’t. So here is v3.9 with the prompts Letter I, Weeks Favorite, and Nose.

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Well there is always Indi. She is due here in the next couple weeks. I really thought that she had been breed and was due the 9th. But, obviously not. So hopefully she has some babies soon, since we are leaving for vacation the 21st. She will be moving to Sisters this weekend either way.

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My Weeks Favorite from that week is this one from Denton’s Birthday gathering. They get so excited about Gramma’s red cake!

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This guy is always nosing his way into everything. Even though this picture was taken back in the fall, he constantly poking his nose around. I love him for it. I hope this means he will be curious and go everywhere!

The next week, for v3.10 our prompts were the Letter J, Weeks Favorite and Birds or Wings.

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The letter J is for me. Just Jennifer. Not very exciting but hey, it’s the letter J!

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My Week’s Favorite is this one of the baby guinea pigs. They are so stinking cute and fun to play with. I think the kids finally decided on names for everyone. The redish and brown one on the left is Skipper, next to him(kind of blurry) is Slade, who Madelyn thinks she would like to keep. Then the mostly white one in front is Saber and Denton has taken him as the one he wants to keep. In the back the mostly brown one, our only female(I think) is Sinnamon. That one Landon has picked as his. Normally I wouldn’t even consider keeping any more, but due to Gizmo’s injuries I don’t think he will be able to do any guinea pig agility at the fair. Yes, it is a real thing and now a class!! I can’t wait because I think it is going to be hilarious! Squeaker is Gizmo’s companion and I don’t know what to do about the having babies until I figure out for sure who is boys and who is girls. So for now we are keeping a few of these guys to take to the fair.

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I think she loves her birds. This will probably be one of my all time favorite pictures of Niece#5 and her chickens!

Now we are finally to v3.11 for this week. Our prompts are the Letter K, Weeks Favorite and Drink.

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Letter K…Kids. I know there are kids coming. I am starting to worry about when. I was really hoping the kids would be on the ground before we leave. Now that is got cold again, I am not wanting them to come now because of that. However, I feel bad taking them to Sister’s house and making them do all night barn checks while I am on vacation. However, at some point, there will be kids.

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This Week’s Favorite is Niece#4 and Miss Kitty the rabbit learning to bunny hop! Miss Kitty is our new lionhead bunny and full of spunk and sass. I am really enjoying these new additions. We also got a blue lionhead buck, but he couldn’t go to bunny hopping due to Denton being sick. Hopefully next time they can both go. Niece#4 is doing really well with her bunny and looking forward to taking her guinea pig Cocoa (Squeakers sister) to the fair as well.

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Before it snowed, I cleaned out the pool for the ducks. Not only did they enjoy the Drink, but also the bath. It was a great and happy day for them. They aren’t as happy with the snow and block of ice in their pool.

Well, thanks for joining me for some Friday’s Hunts. Thank you to Teresa at Eden Hills for letting us join her again! Have a great weekend.

 

Winter is boring

I can’t complain about the way this winter has been going. I don’t really mind snow, which we haven’t had a lot of. I don’t even mind a little cold. I do hate wind and slop and rain in the winter though. That we have had enough of. My lots are a disaster but everyone is making it through the winter ok. I haven’t been up to much besides working at my other two not farm jobs as much as possible. Besides that, I picked up a few new hobbies.

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This one has become a favorite and I really can’t thank my dear friend from high school enough for allowing me to tag along to Iowa State Men’s Basketball games. Although they aren’t maybe doing as well as I would hope, the atmosphere in Hilton is always fun.

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Even more fun is getting to take the kids along with me! They aren’t even really Cyclone fans (they seem to think they like that other team, whoever that is) but they love going places. I even got them both in ISU shirts for Gold Out Night!

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I have even gotten to take of my nieces! Niece#4 and Denton were pretty excited when their picture made the jumbotron before the game! Then there is the next hobby I picked up. Niece#4 is wearing one of my projects.

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Yup, crocheting. It’s actually a lot of fun for me. I have made 3 scarves and am working on a hat and a blanket right now. Definitely something to keep me busy during the evenings

Tux is making it difficult at times, as you know he really likes to lay on my lap and the yarn moving around really makes a great toy. But he’s getting better about leaving it alone if he wants to lay with me.

We also had another really fun crafting day.

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I loved this project. Ok, I actually love them all. However this one came along as I was putting Christmas decorations away and I really needed something tall and thin to sit by the TV. These turned out perfect for that space! Who knew an old ketchup bottle, olive oil bottle and wine bottle could turn out to be just the decorations I had been looking for!

So you see I am keeping busy and having fun. I just kind of wish I could use this spare time to garden or play in(read clean out) my barn for hours or sit in the yard by a wonderful fire enjoying the evening. Yes, I am ready for spring.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart

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This little lady has a Birthday today. She is my sisters baby and is the big old one one! She is the best Niece#4 I could ask for.

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She is one of my boys best friends. They play and act silly together.

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I love hanging out with her. She is so much fun and loves to do anything with animals, and well, me!

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Her silliness and orneriness is evident in her constant smile.

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She’s always up for an adventure.

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Her love for animals melts my heart. I just can’t explain her gentleness enough.

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And then there is her willingness to help and learn. This kid will do anything.

I am a very lucky person to get to be her Aunt. I love this kid and so proud of the young lady she is becoming. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

 

Being a Farmgirl

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She likes to check the crops. And by checking I mean play in the corn until her daddy is ready to go. She rides patiently in combines and tractors. She has learned to hook up wagons and hayracks. She watches and pretends to fix things.

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She loves to care for her animals. Especially her chickens. She is very excited about her chickens! The black ones are hers and are moving to her house soon. She has had to help get their chicken coop cleaned up and ready. And she checks her chickens. All the time. All day. Repeatedly. I hope they all start laying soon so all her checking produces more than 2 or 3 eggs.

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I don’t know what this one was doing. But her face! I love this girl. She is growing up in so much the way I did. There is nothing better than being a farmer’s daughter. You learn more than you even know as you play around your dad working. You end up mimicking your dads work and often times don’t know you are even working because you find it fun.

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She works without much complaint, because it’s not only fun to wash the combine, but important to be a good helper to her dad. She has no idea that all these things will serve her well later in life.

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Of course there is a lot of dinking around! She has to harvest her own corn to feed her chickens. As I said before, they are pretty important to her.

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No matter where she goes, or what she does, there is always silliness and happiness. She is patient and kind and gentle and loving. She is becoming a hard working little lady and I love being able to spend this time with her. As my youngest niece, I will miss when she gets to big to run up to me yelling my name and jumping in my arms. I will miss when she wants me to spin her in circles. I will miss when she wants to sit on my lap or ride with me back to the house. I will miss making meals with her and watching her show me how she knows how to do something by herself. My heart swells with pride every time she learns something new.

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Tears fill my eyes when I see her with her dad. Learning and enjoying him. His patience and love shines in her eyes. I enjoy these moments and love being able to watch her grow up. I just hate that she is doing it so fast.

A night out

A dear friend from high school called and asked if I was interested in 6 tickets to an Iowa State Men’s basketball game Monday night. YES!! Of course I am. I haven’t spent more than a couple hours with the kids the last few weeks, so guess who filled those seats?

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My 3, Niece#4, and little cousin. They were so excited! We had really great seats and they loved the magical atmosphere of Hilton Coliseum!

20161114_184700.jpgI love having the opportunity to do something that we normally don’t do. It was a fairly good game and they are a pretty good team.

We did get an extra special treat that we didn’t even know about. There is an amazing young man who lives in our town and he was honored during the game as the first Athlete Of The Game from the Special Olympics! I love this family and was so excited to be able to be there to watch him accept this honor!

20161114_193421He might not have been able to hear us screaming his name, but we were!

screenshot_20161114-193607Thankfully, because of the big screen, we were able to see his big smile and watch him get his signed ball. Way to Dayton! We are so happy for you!

20161114_190828The Cyclones won in the end. The kids were happy and wound up all night. Definitely a good night out!

A beautiful, crappy, rainy day Part 2

It is with a heavy heart that I post today. My prayers and sympathies are with the Urbandale and Des Moines Police Departments, and the families and friends that lost 2 selfless public servants this morning for absolutely no reason. To who ever did this unspeakable act, may God have mercy on your soul.

So I was telling you that Sister and Niece#4 and I had gone to Kalona to the sale. After we got done in town, we were starting to head for home and discussing where our turn was. We, for no reason, other than we had time, decided to take a different route home. About 2 miles up the road, while enjoying the scenery and the beautiful homes we came across the neatest looking little place. Well seeing as we were on a two lane road and pulling a trailer with a car behind us, we went up to the next road and turned around. We hoped there would be room in their driveway to get in and out.

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Yes, the place is called Sisters’ Garden & Bloom. We had to stop! Besides the fact that the sign caught our attention on our little sister adventure, the antiques!!

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This place is packed! We couldn’t believe the amount of things they had in these two old houses. It was unbelievable!

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This house was the original one on the homestead. It was breathtakingly beautiful inside and outside. I could live there easily.

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It had this amazing bay window in front and was just full of amazing old pieces.

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I wanted one of their signs. I thought this was a great name and they had signs all over.

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They had a great mix of old vintage pieces mixed with some new things and made into great décor.

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The nooks and crannies were all filled and I couldn’t tell if I was enjoying the antiques or the house more.

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They redid the banister with an old picket fence. What a great idea! They had pretty much left the rest of the house the was left basically the way it must have been years ago.

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Outside we found a building mad completely of old windows and doors. It would make an adorable green house!

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It was such a neat little building, also full of cute antiques.

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Then there was the whole other little house. Just as adorable as the first.

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It had a little loft and was full of new and used and remade and repurposed and fun. We spent a lot of time walking around and just looking. Sister found a couple first edition Charlie Brown books from 1968 and a picture that was just her. I found a shirt(new) but it was just kind of me and an old frame that is just what I have been looking. As we were checking out I saw that there were a couple cd’s laying on the counter. I asked her if that was the music that was playing. It was and she explained that the artist is a violinist named Genevieve from Des Moines. I bought a cd and should have bought all three of them. I am going to wear it out listening to it. If you get the chance to check out her work, I highly recommend it as well!

I have to say, if you are down around the area, you definitely should stop in a visit this great little shop on Highway 1. What treasure this area has tucked away on a back road. I am going to work harder at finding these out of the way places Iowa has hidden in plain sight.