Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Of Christmas & Chickens

I finally had a chance to hold a chicken on Friday! To most people this would be a "so what" or "ewww, gross" moment. To me, it's a goofy, life-long dream, Martha Stewart moment. The good people of Sugar Creek Farm were kind enough to endure two hours worth of questions on basic animal husbandry, farm building & equipment needs, and the pros & cons of sustainable ag. By the way, the chicken was a beautiful white silkie ... gotta get some of those! DH's favorite was Jimmy the polish (?) with a big feather "cap." Very amusing how Matt was able to rock it to sleep - - now dh is intent on being able to do it himself!

On the way home from Osage, we stopped in Parkersburg at a couple of wonderful shops (Bluestem Winery & Art Gallery and Stewarts Antiques). The lady at Stewarts was so sweet - - she gave Grace two little dolls and gave me two books. I found a beautiful vintage ivory damask tablecloth ($7) and a galvanized 10-nest laying box! She asked what I was going to do with the nesting box and I told her, "put chickens in it, of course!" She says, "I'm not sure about you people." ;)

Christmas Eve was spent with Ken & Kay and 36 of our nearest and dearest in Beaman. Candlelight service in Conrad at 7:00 pm, and then my mom came to stay overnight with us. Grace was up by 7:30 on Christmas morning. She was SO excited about her skiis (dh made her a beautiful pair of oak cross country skiis that are just her size). He also made her a dressing table/desk for her room. My brother (Uncle Cole) went crazy with Grace's gifts this year: Barbie pet doctor, tea set, more Barbies, pom poms with dance music built in, etc! She had a ball! Gramma Geneen came over for brunch (omelets with farm fresh eggs & ham and homemade blueberry oatmeal muffins). To Marshalltown in the afternoon for Gramma Rempp's 90th b'day dinner party (along with 38 of our nearest & dearest).

To W'loo yesterday to find all those "after Christmas bargains" - - not a good idea! I came home with two Rubbermaid containers and a new welcome mat! I'm SO NOT a shopper!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ah, old farmhouses!

I thought I was so far ahead this morning, I went down to the kitchen to have a cup of coffee with my dh (darling husband) and dd (darling daughter). Halfway through the cup, I felt a trickle of water on my shoulder. We looked up and saw that the light fixture above us was full of water. The toilet in the bathroom (directly above the kitchen) had overflowed! We all ran upstairs to assess the damage - - apparently, the handle just needed a little "jiggle" to stop running. My dh dutifully (but crabbily) cleaned up the mess while I got ready for work. His parting comment to me was "I just wanna live here forever!" He was being facetious at best . . . cruel at worst.

I'm going to lament about my lack of a digital camera now * * sigh * * Not that my dh would have allowed me to take photos of this morning's goings-on, but so many other moments that I wish I had that handy gadget. Hmmm...after-Christmas gift to myself?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's a Small World After All

Anyone thinking of engaging in sustainable agriculture understands the "fits and starts" to getting a new business off the ground. When you come across someone who is knee-deep in the process and is successfully moving across the learning curve, it is certainly encouraging!

I feel like such a "voyeur" when I read the blogs from High Hopes Gardens and Sugar Creek Farm. They are all so brave and courageous to share their daily lives with the world. Their stories and experiences, successes and "teaching moments" tell me a great deal about their character. I truly believe they represent all that I love about Iowa.

My new friend at Sugar Creek Farm encouraged me to "write more." So here it is, Kelli. You and Linda at High Hopes are true "farmgirls" in my book!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Let It Snow!

Lots of snow this weekend, scary travels, and peaceful moments. Started snowing Thursday (4 inches). Snowed again Friday night and all day Saturday. No wind, so it piled in the driveway. Very cold temps (-17 this morning).

Kay and I had planned to go to Waterloo Saturday, but only made it to Grundy Center (and got all of our shopping done there). By the time we got back to Beaman (1 pm), the roads were nasty. We headed back to the farm and stayed put. I strapped on the cross-country skiis and traveled up and down the landing strip - - blazing a new trail not as fun as a well-established one. Tucker ran circles around me the whole way. Brett and Grace were busy baking raisin bread and sweet chex mix.

Sunday morning was sunny and the snow sparkled like diamonds in the front yard. I had Lay Speaker class in Hudson in the afternoon and Mom made a wonderful meal of homemade beef & vegetable soup (with klutches, of course), crescent rolls, and ice cream sandwiches.

Some busy weeks ahead with holiday parties and work activities. Thank God for this time of year to reflect on our many blessings and be grateful for His Son's birth and saving grace!