Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good fences and Gates

A Welcoming Sight
I can look at this photo and smell the warm summer air.

The extended forecast is for sunny with highs near 82 degrees. That's not bad. Of course my favorite temperature range is 63-73, but I am NOT complaining. Every time I see the thermometer at 80+ degrees, I am reminded of my mom who would always tell the grandkids that she would take them swimming as long as it was at least 80 degrees. :-)

Such pretty creatures. I think they are Brown Swiss.

We'll soon be seeing this in our alfalfa field.
First crop is nearly ready.

Fence? What fence?
I'm sure sheep aren't actually snuggly, but...


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Green Hillsides, Wednesday Hodgepodge, and Google+

 Grass Seed
Reseeding a major part of our yard

Mr. Cranberry got a huge part of our yard reseeded this spring, just before we started getting these nice rains. It's perfect weather for growing grass. After our way-too-long winter, we're finally getting 70s and 80s with rain. I guess that means that pretty soon we'll be whining about how hot and muggy it is. But for now, I'm just so thankful to see that bare yard turning green once again.

Join Joyce and the rest of us

1. What news story are you following right now?

 Meriam Ibrahim & Husband

I'm following the story of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to 100 lashes and execution for refusing to recant her Christian faith.  Read the story HERE, finally carried by CBS news, at least online. (I still haven't heard anything on NBC, CBS, ABC on TV, have you?)

At the end of the article, "The U.S. State Department has only said it's "deeply disturbed" by the sentence and has called on Sudan to respect freedom of religion."  That's pathetic.

From the Independent Catholic News, " Faith leaders across the UK have called for the death sentence on a Christian woman in Sudan to be dropped."  You can read the story here. 

From Christianity Today:   "Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Gives Birth in Sudan Prison as 1 Million Protest Christian Mother's Death Penalty." You can read it here.

I also wrote about this situation in last Wednesday's Hodgepodge. It is truly hard to wrap our minds around this, but it IS happening, now. Please pray for this woman and her family.

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

I honestly can't think of a thing right now.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

I can't even remember the last time I ate a hamburger with bun and all the trimmings. I have no favorite place to get a burger. If I'm at a cookout or potluck dinner, I'll get the burger right off the grill, before it's put into a bun, and I'm hoping there's a huge green salad without dressing. Once at a potluck dinner, I spied a huge green salad someone had brought. Here was one thing, besides what I brought, that I could eat... until I saw her take the lid off a bottle of poison dressing and pour it all over the salad. Eating anywhere other than home is definitely not a treat for me.

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

Not that I don't still get caught up occasionally in the trivial, but I do think that over the years it's become easier to distinguish the trivial from what really matters.

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

Donuts come to mind. My maternal grandma made the most fantastic cake donuts from scratch. She was a sweet and kind and very talented woman. My paternal grandma made the most fantastic raised donuts. She was clever and sarcastic with a droll sense of humor. I loved them both.

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

I would say close to a 10. After all, I can drink my coffee in the morning, watch the first 5 minutes of the TV news (to see if there's a rare chance that they're actually carrying any real news at all, instead of just celebrity gossip), read the crawler, listen to Laura Ingraham, be totally in tune with what my dogs are doing, be thinking about my garden plants that need to get into the soil, be aware of the fact that the mailman comes at 11 and I have two packages that need to get out, compose my grocery list, AND write a blog post  - all at the same time. That's kinda multitasking, isn't it?

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

Highs? Well, our youngest son's graduation from WITC at the top of his class in the residential carpentry and cabinet making program.

Our youngest son
photo taken by Courtney, his better half

Seeing the Minnesota grandkids.
Our daughter and husband spent two weeks in Italy and sent back fantastic photos! (and they returned safely)
Getting news that our other daughter and family are most likely moving to Wisconsin this summer! That would mean they'd be only 2 1/2 hours away, instead of the current 9 hours! How great that would be!
Our alfalfa field turned GREEN.

Lows? When Kevin handed me my cellphone and it looked like this:

After we got home from Joe's graduation in the dark of night, I got out of the car and tried to close the door. Something was in the way. The seat belt? Oh well... Well, it seems that even an Otter box can't protect my cellphone from either a) slamming the car door on it or b) stepping on it. Kevin thinks I stepped on it. I think I slammed the car door on it. We'll never know. But it definitely killed my phone. Right now a guy in Chetek is trying to replace the display and see if it can be revived. Then maybe I can retrieve my gazillion photos stored in it. Maybe. We'll see.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 Wildflowers on the hillside

We've made the decision to let the hillside go to weeds, grasses, and wildflowers, at least for this year. For years, it's been mowed and looked so pretty in the summertime. This summer is just too busy and I suggested (quite honestly and brilliantly, I might add) that we get a few Yorkshire/Scottish Blackface sheep and fence in the hillside. I wasn't kidding. Well, at least it was a try. I would love even three sheep grazing on the hillside. Kevin didn't like that idea. Pfffft. He reminded me of how expensive fencing would be for that area.  Okay, fine. My next idea was that we simply let it grow up to native grasses and flowers. I think he's okay with that for now.

 Maybe I should try for a different approach.
I'd love to see three of these sheep on our hillside.
I can easily picture this, can't you?


A word about Google+

For those of you Google+ bloggers out there who have left comments on my blog, please know that I'm not ignoring you. Google+ will not let me leave a comment on your blog because I am not a member of Google+. This is an extremely annoying trait of Google+, making me more determined than ever not to join. (Actually, I've never joined because Google+ simply told me to join, but never gave me even one good reason why I should.) But I am sorry that I am unable to contact you. Also, I will not be able to answer comments or questions from No-Reply bloggers unless I leave it within a comment on your blog post. If you're okay with that, I guess I am too.  Still, I hope you will consider enabling your email on your profile. It certainly allows for a more personal response.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vintage Rusty Stuff, Barns of Wisconsin

Rusty Valve on Gasoline Tank (below)

Farm Gasoline Tank

In the 1950s, farmers had much smaller field machinery than they do now.  Crops for the 20 or so dairy cows could be put up with a small tractor, plow, disc, planter, cultivator, mower, rake, and small hay baler. And to make sure there was fuel ready when they needed it, a small tank like the one pictured above would be kept on the farm.

Concrete stave silo, silage room, and barn

Between the silo and the barn was the silage room, which was basically a covered walkway that allowed the farmer to take the wheelbarrow from the barn to the silo, load silage into it with a sileage fork, and then wheel it back to the feed trough where he would fork out the silage in front of each cow.

Weather-worn granary
used for storing grains, such as oats

I remember being a kid and playing in a huge pile of oats in a granary, burying ourselves in the oats, and feeling all the slippery oats as we paddled through them with our hands. Now, I can only wonder how many rats had crawled over and around those same oats. It makes me shudder!

The rest of the story.
This one won't be standing much longer.

Pallet & Trash Can
That's utter rubbish!


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One of my men's soaps, ready for Father's Day
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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of the following: Treasure Box Tuesday  and Rubbish Tuesday and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Adorned From Above  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Junkin' Joe and Vintage Inspiration Friday and A Favorite Thing Saturday 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014, First Picnic with Asparagus

 Memorials pictured are from Rice Lake, WI


Remembering those who died in active military service of our country.

Beautiful Rice Lake

The First Picnic With Asparagus

The First Picnic

BBQ Pork Loin
Fresh Steamed and Buttered Asparagus
Kalamata Olives

I'm not referring to the first picnic ever, of course. I'm referring to our first picnic of the season. My mom loved picnics and I seem to have inherited that picnic gene, along with a love of asparagus.

First picking

It seems like we wait forever for winter to finally wear itself out, for the asparagus to be released from its ice prison and make its way through the soil. It's mostly like wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, BOOM! Suddenly the asparagus is up and growing so fast you can't keep ahead of it. That is a good thing, and I am not complaining.  We now have two asparagus beds, one old and dying out, just barely keeping ahead of the rodents who apparently survive on asparagus roots during the winter - and the other young bed that's going like crazy. I'm hoping the rodents don't find that one.

There is nothing like the first taste of steamed and buttered asparagus from the garden. One day in late winter, while our garden asparagus was still under snow, I was thrilled to find asparagus at the local grocery store and purchased two bundles. We ate one, only to find that it didn't taste anything like asparagus. It didn't taste anything like anything. It was just green nothingness. We threw the second bundle out.

When the kids were little, I was a bit disappointed as they all, one by one, were introduced to asparagus...and loved it. I know. Just judge me quietly.

Do you raise asparagus? Are you having a picnic on this Memorial Day?

 These guys spent the winter indoors and 
I hope to get them outdoors again in the next day or so.


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Friday, May 23, 2014

London Eye Machinery, Anglophile Friday

I thought I'd post the London Eye from a different perspective. I love these machinery shots. I hope you'll enjoy them.

View of Charing Cross Station

View of Palace of Westminster

Look hard, and you can see Buckingham Palace in the center of the photo


and in case you've forgotten what the EYE actually looks like from the ground:

One revolution per 30 minutes. Amazing views!
Worth the money at least once.

P.S.  Okay, I'm seeing a trend here in the comments. lol  This is NOT scary. The Eye moves so slowly that it never has to stop, even for you to easily step aboard. It CREEPS (maybe I should choose a different word here?) through the air. Feels like you're standing in a glass living room, but with amazing views. And only one pod has ever come loose and crashed to the ground, killing everyone aboard. JUST KIDDING!  It's a wonderful experience.


And Now For the Mug Exchange
Hosted by Stephanie of
The Enchanting Rose

Thank you to Carol of
Buttercup Counts Her Blessings
for the lovely coffee mug!
AND lots of treats besides!
Chocolate, Coffee, etc. etc.
Who wouldn't love that??
Thanks again, Carol (Buttercup)


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'Peaches & Almonds'

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and at

Our ETSY Shop 


Have a great weekend, everyone!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good Fences, Gates, and Farm Machinery

Ah, May in Wisconsin. It's finally here...

...although I'm really disgusted with winter for killing my apple trees. After years. Dead as a doornail. I am so annoyed.  I'll be replacing them with two new McIntosh trees, for those are my favorite. So what killed them this year? It had to be the exceptionally beastly winter.

This is what my trusty McIntosh used to look like in the late summer.

and a closeup

I never used insecticides or anything on that tree. It bore perfect, wonderful apples year after year - and not without words of praise to God and encouragement to the tree.  It was amazing!

The grass IS greener on the other side of the fence.
Poor cows are on the corn stubble while the grass gets a tad longer.

The bottom pipe of this gate is actually about 2' off the ground.
I wonder if the cow is thinking about a way to flatten out and crawl under.

Ready to go!

I thought those chopper boxes looked so pretty all in a row.
I love red machinery. Not meant to be a slam, my John Deere friends.

And in case the irrigation system gets out of control,
the farmer's all ready with two canoes on top of the old wagon.


Join Tex at Run*A*Round Ranch


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'Frosted Apple Spice'
With real dehydrated apple peel from my McIntosh apples
(I better hurry and get those new trees planted!)

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This post is also linked to
From the Farm 


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