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19 posts from September 2009

until next year

B&W coneflower

My favorite flowers are starting to dry up and I won't be able to enjoy them until they bloom again next year.  We went down to the river the other day.  There were a few wild coneflowers still hanging in there.  We came upon a couple of really small snakes.  One was dead and the other was trying to make it's way across the path.  When Jim would put his walking stick near it, the baby snake would bring it's head up to strike.  Much like a rattlesnake does.  We have never seen this kind of snake before...and would you believe that I didn't have my camera.  I just didn't feel like taking it along, but I won't do that again.

we went apple picking

Apple basket

And we didn't even have to leave our yard to do it.  We had such a busy weekend, but it was a wonderful one.

Sunday was very relaxing and after church we went to our son Josh's home for lunch.  He and Aleena made a delicious meal.  Our son Dan was there too, so it was nice to visit with them all and watch the grand kids do their thing. 

Sunday evening we enjoyed a nice piece of fresh apple pie and more visiting with our son Dan who came by.  What a nice way to end the weekend.

Apple pie

Now it's Monday morning and the week is starting.  It's up to the office today to get some work done.  Jim is flying out tomorrow to NC to help Jake, Jennie and baby Zoe who are moving back here.  Work is going great.  There is a lot to learn but it's all starting to click and two days a week with no weekends or holidays is perfect.

The weather has taken a turn.  It's pretty windy, rainy and cold.  Now it's feeling more like winter is coming.  I thought for a while there that we would be having summer, since our summer never really came.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today.

canning weekend

It 'twas a busy weekend.  Friday afternoon I canned 6 quarts of stewed tomatoes.  I was able to add onions and peppers from our garden.  The only thing I did add that we didn't grow was celery.  We still have some green tomatoes that I'm hoping will ripen, but I'm not counting on that happening.  The nights are starting to get into the 50's and next week we'll be seeing some 40's. 

2nd batch

We found a way to use our apples.  We sprayed our trees and thinned as much as we could and still our apples were not the greatest.  But, we found something that we could use to help, and that is a Mehu-Liisa Steamer Juicer and Food Steamer.  It came Friday afternoon so we decided to try it out that night.  So, in the pouring down rain, Jim went out and gathered all the wind-fallen apples.  One of the recipes says it's okay to use wind-fall apples


We cut the apples up and filled the steamer basket up to the brim.  Then we sprinkled about 1/4 cup sugar over the top.

Apple juice1

We put the lid on and waited for the juice to come.

Apple juice 3

And it did.

Apple juice4

The apples really sunk down as the juice was steamed out of them.

Apple juice5

Here it is, the finished product. 

Apple juice

Then on Saturday morning we were up pretty early (5:00 a.m.) so Jim and I made 2 1/2 quarts more of apple juice and then I canned another 7 quarts of stewed tomatoes.

Stewed tomatoes and apple juice

Our neighbor brought over some beans so Jim and I canned 18 pints and froze 3 quarts.  We used the Mehu-Liisa on the ones we froze because we ran out of lids for the jars.  We have lots of canning jars because Jim used to can most of the salmon he caught.  In fact when I cleaned out the pantry I threw out some canned salmon from 2003.  I was very surprised that it didn't smell as I was emptying the jars after all this time.

Canned beans

So in all, we canned 30 1/2 quarts. It sure feels good to see these jars sitting on my counter waiting to be put in the pantry to be enjoyed during the winter months.

This was my weekend so far, how is yours?

the coop is done

Chicken coop

The hens and roosters are both officially outside now.  We decided not to make a permanent chicken coop and went with a chicken tractor.  That way we can move it around the yard.  Jim did an awesome job making the coop and he even made the wheels.

Chicken coop 2


The roosters are in a temporary place so that they can get nice and plump.  They really love it outside.

Rooster pen2

Rooster pen

The hens are starting to understand that when it starts getting dark they have to go in the house.  The first two nights were very interesting trying to get them to go in the coop.  But, I think they understand now.  Tonight we had to get some things from Farm & Fleet, but the hens were still out.  By the time we got back it was dark out and when I checked on them they were all tucked in tight for the night.  Whew!!!!  I sure didn't want to loose any sleep worrying about them being outside all night.

now i know what it's like to be one of the little people

Remember the book series The Borrowers?  That's what it felt like standing next to this truck, like we were one of the little people.  This is so big and massive in many ways.

King of the lode

Check out those hydraulic rams.

Looking up

In front

Back side


This particular truck was used and now is retired.  You can see another truck behind the one Jim is standing next to.  That second truck is smaller but the bigger truck is the size that is being used in the mines.

Big tire

Two trucks

I sure wouldn't want to pass these guys on the road.  I'm not sure that they would even see you.

the iron range

We had a wonderful time up in Northern Minnesota.  This area is know to have the largest deposit of iron ore in the United States, and the locals call this area "The Range".


This is a former part of the open pit mine that is now stocked with fish and the water is 250 ft deep in places.

Mine pit

You can see here the mine being worked.


Jim and I spent the weekend with these wonderful people Emil and Dorothy.  We had such a wonderful time visiting with not only these two but many others.


Jim loved this sauna.  It's an old fashioned sauna that is heated with wood with no running water.  The water comes from the hose that is sticking through the side of the sauna.  This is what you would call a true Finnish Sauna.  This sauna was actually built before their house was built.  They were living in the basement while the house was being built.

There's a cute story to go with this sauna.  Dorothy and her kids decided one day when Emil was at work that they were going to build the sauna.  So they set out and started digging the trench for the foundation.  It ended up being the perfect spot for the sauna and this is where it got built.

Wood sauna

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Ours went by too fast and now the week has already started and Monday is almost over.  I'll be showing you something else that we got to see on our trip to the iron range.  But, that will have to be for another day.

we seem to have a mean one in the bunch

One of the roosters is pretty feisty.  Every day we put the chickens and roosters outside for the day.  When it's time to bring them back in, one rooster will peck and bite Jim just about every time he tries to pick them up.

Do you think it could possibly be this guy?  Just check out that stare.  He's the biggest one in the bunch and sits up on top the water and feeder it seems like the most.  Trying to establish who's the king rooster I'm guessing.

The stare

The roosters are already starting to get their combs.  Our grand kids just love helping with them when they're over.

Mr mean 

We have named our hens and the last one named was named by our granddaughter.  So each time we go to pick them up I'll call them by name...Except the roosters, they don't have a name. But, sometimes when we pick up the roosters and put them in the container that we use to carry them back to the brooders, I'll say "Hello Chicken fingers", "Hello Baked Chicken" etc.  One day our grandson was helping and when he heard me say this he said "and this one's soup" to the last one getting put in the container.  He caught on right away.

Here's my girls...

Back row is...Blanche, Beverly, Buffy

Middle row is...Hazel (this one our granddaughter named)

Front row the black ones are...(facing right) Suzie Q, (facing left) Matilda

The gals 

I can tell them apart because each one has it's own look.

We'll be putting the chickens out in the coop when we get back from our trip.

You all have a wonderful day today and I'll be back next week.

the moon...a star...and babies

Do they go together?  Maybe not but that's what this post is about.

These are two of our newest granddaughters.  The one on the right we finally got to meet and the one on the left we get to see everyday.  Both these babies are such sweetie pies...but all my grandchildren are :)  and...The one on the right we'll be getting to see more of, now that she and her parents are moving to our area.

Two babies

Looking out my patio door this morning...The moon and a star, such a beautiful sight.

Star and moon 

The job is going great so far after day two.  I really enjoy the work and my trainer yesterday was super and she'll be there on Thursday as well.

I can't wait to show you our chicken tractor or coop if you want to call it that.  It should be done before we leave tomorrow for the weekend.   We won't be putting the chickens in it until we get back. 

Since today is my day off...well sort of...I still have to head up to the office for a bit.  I have a busy day a head of me so I best be off.

You all have a wonderful awesome day today.

has it really been 5 days?

First off, I started my new job last Thursday and it was great.  Still have a lot to learn but I'm really going to like it...and...If I want, after I get the job down pat, I can pick up more hours.

On Friday, my sister and three of my dil's headed to Shipshewana for the night.  We stayed in a nice B&B.  The room we had was the "dorm" room and it slept 9.



Jake and Jennie came in on Wednesday.  Jennie had a job interview at a local hospital and got the job.  On Friday they went hunting for a house to rent and they found one.  When they get home they will be packing up and heading right back.

We had Zoe's baptism at our house on Sunday afternoon.

The parents 

The god parents 

It's been busy around here and this weekend we are taking off again to go to the Iron Country.  Life just never slows down.

The chicken and roosters are getting pretty big now.  Jim has the coop almost done and next week when we get back they'll be having a new home.  All the grand kids love helping to take care of them when they are over.

With me working now I'm not so sure you'll be seeing as many posts as you have in the past...But, we'll see.

You all have a wonderful day!