Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dirt Moving and Little Bat

Today is a red letter day. Why, you ask? Because today Ryan became a farmer. We've been farming six years or so, but today Ryan became a Farmer. Today, he fixed our tractor. It wouldn't start, and so he did some consulting with his uncle, went to the parts store, did some praying and cursing, and got it working! I'm so proud. It was a clogged fuel filter. 
Here's where it died; thankfully he got it off the road with its momentum as it died so that it could sit while he worked on it. This is particularly good because it sat there for a few days while Ryan did his troubleshooting.

And yes, you see dirt in its bucket! Hurray! Ryan has started construction on the driveway!
I'm excited to see progress. He's also been working on the orchard, and already has some trees planted.

I don't have any finished quilting or sewing items this post, but I did make good progress at a quilt retreat this last weekend. Hopefully I'll have something soon to show you.

With Halloween coming up, H got to be a bat at dance class last week. 
In other activities, we went to the science center two weeks ago and the kids had a good time.
Z had a blast chasing balls around at the ball wall,
And H built giant carbon nanotubes with Grandpa. 

The weekend before that we went to the Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, since I figured it is our new equivalent to Pella's Tulip Time. They had the greatest "toy" for kids there - a 10 or 12 foot sandbox full of corn. The kids loved it and played with it for probably an hour. better than sand as far as I can say. Less messy, easier to manipulate, less of an issue if they try to eat some (although still not good), etc. 

I also recently finished up my MBA finance class. I'm sitting the current class out until next summer because I just have too much going on right now. At the end of her nap H came down and saw me working on homework, so she asked for a piece of paper and pencil too. I love her rendition of what my homework looks like. My little engineer!

I also captured a picture to try to show Z's eyes right now, which are a perfect shade of hazel. Ironic, I know. I'm not sure if they will stay there or darken to brown. If you're wondering about the two fingers, he has been sucking on those fingers from the day he could get coordination together to get them into his mouth. Always the first two fingers on his left hand, he's not a thumb sucker. 

And that's all I have for today. Goodnight Moon!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Turkey loading and modern placemats

They say the days are long but the years are short. I definitely experience that whenever I decide it's time for a blog post and discover it's been a month since my last one.

Ryan's been working on our new farm quite a bit, mostly chainsawing to clear out trees for our driveway. He's making progress, although slower than both of us would like. 

We're also finishing out our primary growing season, so Ryan has been to the poultry locker twice in the last week and a half and the lamb locker once. Animals are actually looking to be normal weights this year! First time in three years we have a normal batch of turkeys. Still higher loss rates than we would like, but a normal batch is much appreciated. 

We load turkeys in the dark (otherwise they are very difficult to catch!), so I snapped a shot of them on the trailer. 

And what would farming be without something jury rigged somewhere? In this case, it's trailer lights. Our trailer lights don't work because, frankly, they're probably older than I am. We have a trailer lighting kit, but it's for a car being towed and doesn't exactly mount to an ancient livestock trailer well. 
If you're thinking: "Duct Tape!" you would be right. Except we didn't have any handy. That means electrical tape!
Yeah, this lasted about 60 miles before Ryan had to bungee it. I tried. 

We have a fox around the farm again (big surprise). About a week before the first turkeys went in to the locker, the fox got one moments before Ryan saw it, so I can now say I have field dressed a turkey. It wasn't actually as bad as I expected and it was delicious. I know, horrible picture. I forgot to take one when I had more than one piece left because it was yummy and we ate it first. 

I've been doing a little quilting, I had a friend request some placemats. She's young and far cooler than me, and considers pink to be her signature color. So I whipped up some placemats for her. 

I have enough pictures taken for a tutorial for these, but I don't know if anyone wants one. So leave me a comment or send me an email if you want one. 

H and Z and I had a bit of a date at a local place called Goldie's in Prairie City. Best tenderloin in driving distance. H was all three-year-old, in full princess getup. 
Here she is in crown, tutu, "necklace", and "wand". Yes, that is a ball of rubber bands beside her. No, I'm not sure why.

Z has been taking halting steps, he takes a couple and then falls down. 4 days shy of 11 months old, and that kid is walking.
Still no movement on selling our current farm. Sigh. Hopefully soon, but I don't know how optimistic to be as we head into fall!