Friday, August 13, 2010

A Special Guest & It's still wet out here

Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. This happened to us on July 30th, when we took Hazel to her first Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) field day.
Hazel's first PFI field day
So while we were standing around with some of the PFI staff, one of them mentioned that Temple Grandin was flying in a day early for her field day on Tuesday and they didn't know what do with her on Monday. Of course, I joked that she was welcome to visit our farm. Next thing I knew, she was coming to see our farm on Monday and I was feeding her dinner! Ryan's mother was reading her book at the time and came down, and so did a fellow farmer of ours who found out about it. We ended up having 8 people for dinner and a lovely time. Moral of the story: go to PFI field days!
Ryan, Temple, Janice, & Hazel

Have I mentioned before it's been a wet year here? 

Oh, I have? Well, it has. Very wet. We're just now starting to make the news, but I took some pictures even before Ames went under. 
Our yard. The "creek" was a path once
We have springs forming in our lawn.
By our old well housing
Note the flowing water. And the sand. 
Looking at the compost pile
If the picture looks "foggy," it's because the lens of the camera is fogging up due to the heat and humidity. Makes for a really quality picture doesn't it?
Our whole yard
This is the whole yard from the front porch. Again with the fogginess. Spot the cat says hello too. 

When I was looking through pictures the other day, I found one from 2008.
Yard in 2008
Yeah, remember 2008? Our other record flooding year? Someday, perhaps it will look this way again. In the meantime, watch out for the cattails.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hard day's night & My new favorite fabric website

Don't get pregnant and try to keep a garden. Remind me of this the next time I get pregnant!

But seriously, I'll probably do it again anyway. 

Back to business. This is what I did today. Here is the before picture with lovely model included:
Note the scale: most of those weeds are taller than I am.

And here is the after picture (no model this time, since I took the picture):

You can see our steps! You can see our sliding door! I even hauled off all the piles to the compost pile. I considered leaving Ryan to do that, but decided to have mercy on him. 

So for those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you now know why I don't have any lily pictures on here for this year. It's because they were choked out by vines and other crud until now.

I have also discovered my new fantasy website, called Spoonflower. You can design and print your own fabric! Yay! It's really expensive, but you can get an 8" x 8" test swatch for $5, and this is PERFECT for my I Spy quilts. These are quilts where you play the I Spy game with children using the quilt, and I've been gathering fabrics for one that has a different plant or animal block for every letter of the alphabet. The only problem is that "X", "Q", and "N" are really hard to find fabric for! 

Can you believe N is hard? I know! But think of animals and plants that start with N. You've got nuthatches, newts, nighthawks, and none of these have fabrics dedicated to them. So I have now created fabric using photoshop for a nuthatch and an x-ray fish, and will have to make one with quail on it.