Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Imprompto Bowling

Zachary didn't have to work Monday night because things were slow and suddenly we had an open night together. What to do... Bowling! We gathered up our nephews, Jordan and Seth, and Jordan's girlfriend Tam and headed for the lanes. We played 3 games and I broke a 100 every time with a high of 147, so I still have my self-respect. Zachary did good too, but midway through, he started to try to perfect his throw with some sort of backspin so it would hook. The boys had to try that too. Jordan's performance went in the gutter (repeatedly) :-P and Seth's, well, he might be a natural. Check out the video.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scenic Road Trip

This past weekend we went on a road trip. On Friday we left for Illinois to visit Zachary's sister Kristanna and husband Bob and their new son, Tristan. It was a beautiful warm sunny day. We got our Walker Brothers fix for lunch, and then headed to their house. This is where I would insert a cute baby picture, but we didn't get one because we were too occupied with a new video camera. We still have to figure out how to add and edit video...
After leaving late that night, we drove up to Beloit to stay for the night. Saturday we were greeted with rain that followed us the rest of the weekend. Our main goal that day was go back to the Great River Roadhouse in De Soto for pizza, a place we discovered on our honeymoon nearly 5 years ago. We have been craving the pizza ever since then and wanted to make it back. We decided to take a scenic route, driving west towards Dubuque and then north along the Mississippi River. After taking a interesting trip through road construction and nearly getting stuck in a mud hole, we made it to the roadhouse. The landscape is amazing in southwestern Wisconsin. Pizza was just as delicious as we remembered. After vowing to be back before another 5 years past, we decided to stay in Viroqua for the night. Sunday, still raining, we drove to Westby and La Crosse, looking for neat shops. We found a great outdoors shop in La Crosse with tons gear. We picked up a few pieces to add to our camping gear. Later on we scouted the Black River State Forest for a future adventure. It was a fantastic weekend, despite the rain and fog. Great scenery and fun country back roads.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blooms and Buds

The daffodils are blooming, the maples are budding out.
Unfortunately we are going to get a few inches of snow tonight and tomorrow... The spring growth will have their chance to show their resilience again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Our little flock of chickens is amazing me. I figured with the move to our farm and their temporary home in an old corn crib would stress them out and they wouldn't be laying many eggs for a few days. We have collected 18 eggs from them since Saturday. We made 2 batches of cookies with our eggs so far and have plans for some deviled eggs soon. And it will be an excuse to make AB's Hollandaise Sauce more often. (drools...) I guess that is the Production in Production Red shining through. Hopefully we'll have their permanent home done in a few days and they'll have a much more comfortable chicken headquarters.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Thanks delinquent Green Bay youth, now I have MC Hammer running through my head. (and thanks for the laugh.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Outsmarted... Repeatedly

Today was one of those humbling days. While Zachary and my Dad were cleaning livestock sheds, I decided it would be a great time to move the 2 big sheep, Ricky and Fred, to their pasture. We were keeping them in an old horse stall until their pasture dried up a bit. It ended up being an exercise of sheep wrangling. I thought my fences were sheep proof. The pasture is an old calf pasture and it always kept the calves in. After a series of escapes and fence fixings, I gave up. Back to the horse stall they go. Good thing I had their favorite treat in my pocket, Saltines, otherwise I would be still chasing them. I guess we have a new project to work on- rebuild pasture to "sheep spec". Yes Liz, you can lecture us now... :-)
Last night, Zachary and I picked up our hens. We have 6 Production Reds, a cross between Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires. We don't have their home and yard complete yet, so we put them in a temporary home. We planned on working on the coop and yard this afternoon, but it seemed we were eternally building temporary homes, catching, and moving chickens all day. They seemed to find a way out of every place we put them. They ended up in a old empty corn crib. When we thought it was safe, we ran to Fleet Farm and picked up fencing supplies for their permanent yard and when we returned, only 5 were in the pen. Chickens! We found her later in the shed and put her back with the rest and triple secured the door. It was like the movie Chicken Run, without the meat pie machine and these chickens do fly. At last check tonight, all were accounted for. We did get a chance to work on their yard at sunset tonight, when they went to roost. During all the ruckus today, they laid 5 eggs today.
Cows are easy compared to these things.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First Sprouts

After a few days, the first sprouts of the seedlings have popped up. This group is a mixture of flowers and vegetables. I still have a few more seeds I want to start indoors. Each row is a different seed and it is fun to see which seeds sprout in what order. The Cardinal Climber Flower was the first to come up, followed by the Outhouse Hollyhock and Brunswick Cabbage. Over half still have to come up.
Now if I can keep Queequeg from flattening them, we should have a nice crop to plant outdoors in a few weeks. Quee has a history of flattening and chomping new plants. Hopefully I can negotiate a cease fire...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ah Spring...

I found this little ambitious self-seeded pansy squeezing around the rock border in one of the flower beds tonight. He has beaten out the daffodils, the tulips, and the rest of the spring bulbs for the first spring bloom around here. They will not be pleased.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


After hours of pouring over the seed catalogs, I finally ordered and received our selections of vegetable and flower seeds. This will take care most of our seed needs for my parents and ourselves. I started two seedling trays tonight and hopefully finish the rest in the coming days. I am excited about these seeds, as many of them are heirloom varieties and GMO free. We ordered from Baker Creek and Seed Savers Exchange.

Change of Routine

A new schedule has taken root in our household. The job I mentioned last week came through and Zachary is now full time employed. In these economic times, we are grateful he found one. The crappy side is the during the week, we won't be seeing much of each other. The job is 4 days a week, 10 hour days, from 3pm to 1am. It wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but the wage is good. We are hoping if we can put up with this schedule for a while, we can pay down debt and achieve our other financial goals faster that we originally thought. It will take some getting used to for the both of us...
Last weekend, Zachary and I picked up a couple "how to" books on knitting. I inherited a bunch of knitting supplies from my Grandma Doris and finally put them to use. We learned casting on, garter stitch, and the purl stitch. Zachary actually enjoys knitting, what a renaissance man. It is very relaxing once you get a hang of it. We are both really interested in sock knitting, but we are many many hours of practice away from that. Our friend Kate is also a knitting newbie and she came over last night to practice, after making a delicious meal of stuffed mushrooms and brownie sundaes. Yummy!