Friday, July 21, 2006

Neighborly Ways

Last night, our neighbors to the west hosted a "block party" of sorts - - they invited folks from around the township to enjoy their home-grown pork. Everyone brought a side dish . . . everything from home-grown & home-made (zucchini bread, sweet corn casserole, cherry cake, three bean salad) to very creative (a dessert made with Fruity Pebbles, licorice rope and mini oreo's to look like a giant caterpillar) to the storebought Mexican dip platter & tortilla chips I bought on the way home from a late meeting. I had every intention of making a lovely crock pot of green beans slow-cooked with a pork hock, onions, and cream of mushroom soup...but time got away from me again. It was a great time to catch up with friends, re-aquaint ourselves with the neighbors, and meet some new faces.
Dave & Laura are great hosts and I hope this is a long-lived tradition in our little corner of the world.

Fast forward to 7:00 am this morning and the dog is barking furiously, which wakes us all up (late), makes DD cry, and DH runs downstairs throwing clothes on with every step. It's concrete-pouring day!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vacation...all I ever wanted

Can you hear the Go Go's tune in your head? It's one of my favorites, but I couldn't find the video for the bottom of this screen. We're heading out for a week's vacation at the lake cabin in Minnesota. I'm bringing lots of scrapbook supplies, some magazines, and leaving all thoughts of work, the garden, and the new building far behind. My neighbor is taking care of the chickens and cats and mom & gramma are taking care of the garden (what's left of it). Honestly, I don't care if I ever see another green bean in my whole life! Mom & gramma are going to Farmers Market for me tonight (I have a board meeting for work and we have the neighborhood party later). I think there's over 20 bags of green beans! And some potatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.

DH is putting in the re-rod today so he can pour concrete tomorrow for the new building, a 30 x 40 workshop with two garage doors, two walk-in doors, lots of windows, and a 1/2 bath. A little heaven on earth for my man...

Have a great week y'all!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Is it hot or is it just me?

Hot being the operative word here. Not warm, but really hot. Our thermometer (in the direct sun) read 115 yesterday. Did you know that the heat index is actually calculated for the shade? Just learned that last night. Heat index was 105 yesterday, so our thermometer must not be totally off. Whew!

Had a good crowd at Farmers Market Thursday night. Sold out again. Met some great people who asked me about our "happy chickens" and that made me grin from ear to ear! I'm picking about 2 ice cream buckets of green beans every day. I planted seven rows (five varieties). That's a lot of beans, folks!

Saturday, DH borrowed a skid loader and worked on our long driveway and then started in on the building site. By the end of the day, it was as level as it is going to get. By the way, 3 foot high tomato plants do not transplant well.

DD finds a cool spot out of the way and enjoys a sour green apple to "supervise" the job site. A crop duster over the west field on Sunday morning:
One of the kittens discovered a dish of raspberries and dug in:

DD stayed overnight with my mom Saturday night. DH and I enjoyed a motorcycle ride and spending time with friends downtown. Sunday morning after church, we drove to my mom's to pick DD up and had a great brunch.

DH's mom (G'ma K) came out for supper Sunday night - - he made ham steaks on the grill and chef salads! G'ma K has a tradition of buying school supplies and clothes for each grandchild's first day of school. She brought the "booty" out with her and DD was thrilled!

Last, but not least, my favorite photo from the weekend:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So that's how it works

Working on a community promotional video project at work and we had our first day of shooting yesterday. It poured for most of the day and was miserably humid the rest of the day. So, we tried to do as much indoor shooting as possible. It's just amazing the amount of time and equipment it takes to make something look good on camera. The crew was great and worked very hard to make it as quick and painless as possible for the locations and subjects we picked. TV and the movies make it look so seamless and effortless - - like you just set up a camera and flip the switch...not so! Because of the weather, the crew will come back for another half day this summer to shoot outdoor shots and again in October to get some fall color and more interviews. The final product will be completed in November.

Kelli Crowe's post is too funny because DH and I say this all the time.

View the trailer here.

Here's the dialogue (bear with me):

"Well I'm gonna to go then! And I don't need any of this! I don't need this stuff," (he pushes all of the letters off the desk), "and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this" (he picks up the ashtray) "and that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this! The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I am, some kind of a jerk or something? And this! And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair." [Outside the house] "And I don't need one other thing except my dog." (dog growls) "Well I don't need my dog." (Various scenes of Martin as he travels along, carrying his remote control, his paddle ball, his matches, his lamp, his chair, his magazine, but not his dog. Eventually, Martin spots a woman carrying a red and white thermos. He trades everything he has for the thermos.)

Ok, so maybe it's a little twisted, but it's funny to me!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just lovely . . . and yours?

The weekend, that is. Farmers Market was great - - sold out again. Mom & Gramma were there and it was nice to chat between customers. Took Mom out for her birthday beer after Market. Had a most raucous time with some local barflies. When I got home, my DH came upstairs to tell me about the fireworks. Fireworks, on a Thursday night? Yes, we could see them lighting up the sky over Gladbrook, 20 miles away. That was the kickoff for their annual Corn Carnival, a great event for a small town (pop. approx. 1000).

Friday night we got into my favorite restaurant, That Place on the Corner (yes, it's really called that). The best steak around! DD behaved very well and we had a lovely time.

Saturday, DH ran some errands and DD & I worked in the garden tearing out most of the peas. I left a few that looked like they would still produce. They are a big hit at the Farmers Market.
Drove over to the Felix Grundy Festival in Grundy Center - - got rained out! So, I took a lovely nap on the couch. Later, the neighborhood ladies got together and went back to GC for the street dance featuring my favorite local band, "Loose Neutral." It was rockin' good with a fun crowd! We danced, sang, chatted, and had a ... lovely time.

Sunday morning arrived a little too soon, but we still got to church by 9 and had a very leisurely day. Would you believe I actually got another nap on the couch in the afternoon? Ken Burns Civil War documentary was on PBS - - and although I love his work, it tends to lull me to sleep.

DH and DD watered the new trees (over 80 gallons for 27 trees). DH made a great summer supper of grilled hamburgers, fried potatoes smothered in cheese, and strawberry jello with bananas! Just lovely. He took a solo motorcycle ride while I planned some Memory Works orders.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

How music can move you

We went to see the movie "Cars" last night - - great show! Especially the music...particularly the song "Our Town" by James Taylor. You can listen to it here. And here are the lyrics:

"Long ago, but not so very long ago,the world was different, oh yes it was.You settled down and you build a town and made it there,and you watched it grow, it was you're town.

Time goes by, time brings changes, you change too.Nothing comes that you can't handle so on you go.You never see it coming, when the world caves in on you,on your town, there's nothing you can do.

Main street isn't main street anymore.Lights don't shine as brightly as they shone before.To tell the truth, lights don't shine at all,in our town.

Sun comes up each morning, just like it's always done,get up, go to work, and start the day.You open up for business, it's never gonna come,as the world roles by, a million miles away.

Main street isn't main street, anymore.No one seems to need us, like they did before.It's hard to find a reason left to stay,but it's our town, We love it anyway."

Living around small towns, these lyrics seem so profound and foreboding. But I believe there's still hope and life left in some of these little towns.

Almost there...

Well, we're about 90% done with darling daughter's room. Just have to hang some pictures and figure out where to put the rub-on hibiscus flowers on the walls.

DD's room before:

DD's room after (is that pink enough for ya?!):

I couldn't find a lot of "art" that I liked (or could afford), so I embellished some pre-matted frames (I forgot that I had) with scrapbook paper, ribbon & clips. Just add photos and...Voila!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Here are the photos

DD and her cousin KK:

DH and DD enjoy a festive 4th:

A pair of gnomes were supposed to be a good luck charm for the local team (we need to find better good luck charms):

The kids actually entertaining themselves during a break in the games:
Leftover rhubarb dessert - the kitten is just a "spectator" Betsy finds a nice shady spot:

R.I.P. Peanut and other stories from the long weekend

Remember Peanut? Well, as my earlier post indicated, the life expectancy of farm kittens is pretty low, especially when their favorite place is underneath the tires of a moving vehicle. Peanut's fate was sealed Friday night as we headed out for dinner at a friend's house. DD and I were in the car, and DH was checking for OUV's (Objects Under Vehicle). He didn't see Peanut under the left front tire . . . and . . . well, you can guess what happened. Fortunately, DD didn't see or hear anything (including DH trying to scrape Peanut off the garage floor without gagging to death). On Saturday night, DH told her what happened and they erected a cross at Peanut's grave.

Friday night was spent at the home of DH's good friend. They hosted a little get together for a few families - - a fun time was had by all, especially when Cindy tried to take my car home by mistake. LOL!!! The boys built lots of little campfires in the backyard and the girls rode the go-kart. Moms & Dads sat on the porch taking it all in and enjoyed a beautiful summer evening.

On Saturday, DH worked at a construction job and I cleaned the house (I like it better when DH and I share the task! It takes so much longer alone!) . We headed to W'loo mid-afternoon to price out a garage and I found some great coordinating fabric for DD's new room.

Sunday morning we all slept too late and missed church (which never happens!). So, in his infinite guilt, DH "encouraged" us all to sit and watch a couple church services on tv (is that what some would call "penance"). Mom came over mid-morning and we tried the "omelet in a bag" recipe. I guess I did something wrong because the bags split in the pot of boiling water (yeah, go ahead and LOL!). After that mess was cleaned up, we made them the old fashioned way and they were yummy! We started painting DD's room and after several failed attempts at using a roller cover meant to be used with the Wagner power roller - definitely not a good idea to confuse the two - and several frustrating verbal exchanges with DH ("I told you to check the label before using that!" . . . "do you really think I did this on purpose?!"), we ran to GC to pick up the right tools for the job. And a little ice cream to cool off the hot tempers. We stopped by the neighbors to check out their new trees and machine shed - - we were having such a nice visit we stayed for two hours! After we got home, I finished painting the room, sewed up some curtains, a headboard slipcover, bedskirt, and bench cover in no time. DD was thrilled with the results, but boy is it ever PINK! (photos to be posted tomorrow)

Monday, DH worked at his construction job again and DD & I worked in the gardens - - we harvested 15 bags of produce for market and we trimmed all the bushes and weeded around the front porch. At 3 pm and after DD says "Mom, it sure is hard work being a farmer", I finally decided to call it quits outside. In a desperate attempt for a "clean sweep", I put DD and the dog in the shower with me - - now that's an adventure! For dinner, we made grilled salmon on a bed of lemon/garlic pasta topped with sauted spinach and mushrooms. It was a nice change, but I'll take tater tot casserole or tuna & noodles with peas any ol' day!

Finally, the 4th . . . totally unplanned, but very fun. We spent most of the day at the high school baseball tournament in Beaman. A fantastic day - warm, nice breeze, great friends, good games, fantastic food (potluck-great idea!), and a handy-dandy tent to shade all of us freeloaders (thanks Brian!). Even with the tent, I was fried by 3:30 and we headed home. DH's friend came out and we watched "Coach Carter" (excellent) and DD stayed up long enough to watch the fireworks; we could see them in a 30 mile radius! Now, that's definitely a benefit of living in "the middle of nowhere"!

For some reason, I'm unable to post any more photos ?!?!?!? I'll try again be continued.