Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turkeys, Training pants, Another Skirt, and Bed changes

It rained today! This is an event in itself. It has been a dry, dry year here, as you probably already know. I think previously it hadn't rained here for the last month, and we haven't seen real rain in at least two. 

Nice as that is, the turkeys have really suffered in this hot weather. We aren't even sure if it is the weather or some other factor (hatchery, feed ration, etc), but we've lost a lot of turkeys. We are down to less than 40 of our original 150. We're trying to figure out what we're going to do next year, since this is the second bad year of turkeys in a row. Do we raise 40 broad-breasted bronze and 40 giant white turkeys? Currently we have raised just the whites, but sometimes the bronzes are a little more tolerant of less than perfect conditions. Do we just not raise turkeys at all? We have some very loyal customers who really depend on us for turkeys that we don't want to disappoint. Last year I said if we had another year like last year that we might be done with turkeys. I'm not really sure what we will do. The picture above is from 2008; our grass is not this green and our turkeys are not this big yet. 

Our toddler went to Hotel Grandma this week, which means I actually got out my sewing machine!! I did a couple of non-quilting projects that I've been meaning to do for some time. 
First, I added to some training pants for the little one in preparation for starting potty training soon. 
I followed a tutorial from the blog "It's Our Long Story" I saw online, probably spotted on Pinterest. I changed it a little in that I didn't put the flannel on the inside of the training pants, I put it between the laminate fabric and the outside of the training pants. As Ryan mentioned, this made the training pants I purchased more attractive in addition to making them water resistant. We will have to see if they help in the whole process - I think they will. 

Then I pulled out some fabric I bought on sale from my favorite quilt shop, The Quilting Connection in Ames. I had about 2 yards, and I wanted to make a similar skirt to the maternity border print skirt I made a couple months ago. I learned a few things from that one, a major issue being that it didn't have pockets! Pockets are a necessity, I have realized. I have to have somewhere to carry my cell phone since I don't always have a purse on me and I don't like leaving my cell at my desk at work. So I roughly followed a tutorial from Boulevard Designs for the skirt, but with a knit waistband for the maternity aspect. Then I used the pocket template and tutorial I found on Punkin Patterns for the pockets. In the end, I probably have my own pattern out of all of this, but I didn't take enough pictures of the process to make a tutorial. If there was demand for it, I would make another one and do so. 
I wore it tonight since Ryan and I went to dinner as a date night. You have a good shot of my growing baby bump here (I'm at week 24 out of 40), and my hand looks funny because it's in my pocket. I'm starting to get to the point in pregnancy where people are more sure when they look at me that I didn't just gain a bunch of weight recently. I'm also feeling better (it took until week 20) and pregnancy is fairly tolerable right now. I posted on facebook about it but I don't think I mentioned it here: we've found out it is a boy! I'm very thrilled by this, it means it will probably be my last pregnancy if everything goes well. We can't predict the future, though...

It has been a big week for our daughter. She seems to be having anxiety that manifests itself in her pulling her hair out on one side. She tends to do it while in bed, and we think she's having anxiety about her big girl bed. So on Tuesday this week, I took her to get a haircut to even out her hair.
She did very well, she's apprehensive in this photo but actually was quite calm during the process. 

During the day on Tuesday, Ryan got her a new twin mattress and brought it home. So after our haircut we went to The Evil Empire's Pella Outpost and picked out some sheets. She, of course, picked the princess sheets but I found them fairly tolerable once we got them home. They are not horribly covered in princesses, they are mostly pink and have some flowers and swirls on them. 
We put it on the floor because part of her fear seemed to be in falling out of bed after we switched from the full crib to the toddler rail. 
She was fairly enthusiastic about her new bed, yet has continued to mostly sleep on the floor. Sigh. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Farmer's Tan

Just a quick update with something that struck me as particularly amusing. My toddler (who DOES wear sunscreen and a hat when going outside) has the beginnings of a farmer's tan. She must truly be a farmer's daughter. I tried to capture this phenomenon on my aging camera, but I admit I'm not thrilled by the results. Hopefully you can see what I'm talking about!
 We put Daddy's arm in there just for a sense of perspective. Both for size and for what a REAL farmer's tan looks like. If someone doesn't think you're wearing a shirt when they're standing 200 feet away, it's not a real farmer's tan. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Garage and the Bees

Today Ryan gave me a lovely gift: My garage back! Huzzah!! Do you remember our power outage? Holy cow, I just went to look for that post and learned that outage was on February 13th! That was over 21 weeks ago! Anyway, that outage fried our garage door opener. So we had several weeks where the garage door didn't open, and for some odd reason it because the repository for every form of random junk on the farm. It wasn't clean to start with, and being filled with more junk did not help. So then we had several more weeks where it was unusable as a garage because a car would not fit into it. But finally today, Ryan got it all cleaned out. I'd like to say I helped, but at 22 weeks pregnant I'm largely useless.
And then here it is with a car in it:
And here's the pile of junk we're hoping to get rid of. Anyone want a push lawnmower that needs a tuneup?

On a totally separate note, we have a nest of wild honeybees that has moved into one of our soft maples. I don't think I already blogged about them (sorry if I did) because I didn't think they'd stay. But they've made a home in the maple tree limb and they all come out when it's warm. 
I really have to get a better camera to get a picture of these guys. It just looks like a dark spot in the middle of this picture. I'm having deja vu, so perhaps I did blog about these before...

So now a picture of the cows grazing peacefully. The extreme heat of this summer has been very hard on the turkeys, and we've been losing quite a few. Luckily we haven't lost as many as some farmer friends of ours, but we've certainly been losing them at a steady rate. Turkeys like heat, but shouldn't be born TOO warm. 

And a few pictures of my toddler, who's grasp of language gets better every day. 
Drawing with sidewalk chalk:

Pretending to be Mommy:
Cuddling on the couch: