Friday, December 14, 2012

Those flying rodents!

Living in the country we have to deal with all sorts of critters.  From the rabbits that eat my garden, the raccoons that use the shed for a delivery room, the skunk that gets in the garage and my least favorite, the pigeons.

We have a large machine shed that has overhead doors on each side to let in the light and the wind go thru when it is nice out.  The door on the south side has an electric door opener that sometimes decides not to work.  When that happens we have to get the loader out and my husband climbs in the bucket with a ladder to reach the opener.  This is as you would imagine, totally not something OSHA would approve of.  Usually the culprit is a birds nest in the chain.  So we place dryer sheets in there to keep them out.

On the other side of the shed is a large door but no opener, this has to be opened the old fashioned way with man power.  Well, this door has been broken for quite a while.  The pigeons discovered this and have taken full advantage of it!  We have tried spraying things into the nests, distroying the nests, and even scaring them out and shooting at them.  Which I have come to discover that Annie Oakley I am not!

There is only so much pigeon crap we can take!  There is nothing more irritating than washing off a piece of equipment and putting it away only to discover a few days later that the pigeons have used it for a toilet.

So finally we did the unthinkable! We called the guys! LOL We called a company to come out and fix the door! I know, I know, what is the world coming to when you have to call the guys? Now we just have to remember to chase the pigeons out before we close the door!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Those long toothed pains in the butts!

This time of year is like Christmas to the outdoors men in the state of Iowa.  Bow season for deer has started and shotgun season is on the horizon.  Trapping season has also started, thank goodness!

Beavers seem to be taking over our creeks!  If you didn't know, beavers will go into the corn fields and demolish acres of corn stalks to use for building their dams.  My Dad traps and this is one of the photos he sent of a beaver dam in a creek in one of the fields.

It isn't that big now but it will get bigger and bigger as the beavers build and build.  This causes flooding in the field in the spring if these aren't destroyed and the beavers caught.  My dad set some traps and this is what he got this morning!

WOOO HOOO! One down, many more to go!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Summer Harvest

Every year since I moved back to Iowa I have tried to have a bountiful garden.  Unfortunately I have always run into some problem.  One year I had to leave for a family emergency for a week and the weeds got out of control.  When my sister in law came over to mow my lawn for me she mowed over the garden too.  I wasn't upset in the least because I had been thinking about doing the same thing.  Another year I couldn't get my hubby to help me work up the ground.  At the time I was about 6 months pregnant so all my abdominal muscles were already stretched to the limit.  There was no way I was getting anymore work from them. 

This year was different!  My youngest daughter was almost 1 and the older one was 6.  I took them out to the garden with me to play in the dirt.  The older one was not too thrilled about it at first.  Her favorite part was watering the seeds.  The younger one loved it! All of it! From getting dirty to throwing the dirt so it got in her hair and even taste testing it.  She just loves to be outside.  Later in the summer I would spend the evenings after supper pulling weeds.  It was cooler and I could leave the little ones at the house with Daddy!

I had an overflow of tomatoes and peppers! Which works out fine because I know how to can those.  I had big dreams of serving fresh green beans and carrots at supper and making salads with all the veggies that came from my own back yard!  Well I did serve green beans one night for supper but they didn't go over very well.  The carrots never even popped out of the ground.  I did have some awesome salads with my accidental cherry tomatoes.  When I bought my plants they were all labeled as large tomatoes.  But one produced small cherry tomatoes.  I am unsure how that happened but it was a good accident! 

Here are all my canning projects from my tomato bounty!

We did crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa, canned jalapenos and two jars of canned habaneros.
It will be a wonderful in the winter to be able to use my garden tomatoes to make spaghetti or lasagna and the hubby has already started plundering the tomato juice for breakfast!

Monday, August 20, 2012

WTH are my strawberries!!!!!

For my birthday my MIL got me two Hydrangea plants.  I guess I should mention that that is the same exact gift I got last year too! IDK what happened to them, they just died.  My MIL got me some stuff that you sprinkle on the soil so that they will bloom in color all year long.  Well the hubby put it on the soil for the plants but he used the whole 5lb bag.  We think it was a little too much. LOL

We have been getting no rain and I wanted to prove that I could take care of the new bushes that she got for me.  I have been watering them every other day and they are looking good.  I wanted to have large colorful blooms on them for years to come.

I also planted my usual flowers around the trees and they haven't taken off like they usually do.  It just isn't a good year.  I got two hanging bushes to put out front and they also died.  I planted some strawberries in a container because I didn't want them taking over my yard.  I had been watering them with all the other plants.  I was hopeful to see some strawberries soon.  The plants were green and I even had some blooms on them. 

So the girls and I have been away visiting family in Indiana for a week. I asked my MIL to water my flowers for me while I was gone because she is like Martha Stewart on steroids. I swear! She has the greenest thumb of anyone I know. She rocks!  She said she watered them like I asked and the bushes look good.  The strawberries on the other hand were terrible.  I forgot to tell her about them! They were looking very brown and at deaths doorstep!

The family and I were going out for supper the other night and as I pulled out of the garage I saw my strawberries just weren't bouncing back from being brown.  I had watered them and made sure they were getting enough sun.  I told the hubby about my plants and that I wasn't sure what to do about them.  He looked at me and said "Well, I may have gotten some Round-Up on them when I was spraying the yard last week."  LOL 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Don't call me and run down the EMS!

Earlier this morning my phone rang with a number from Bettendorf.  I usually don't answer my home phone if I don't know the number but I thought what the hell.  I answer and a recording with a gentle male voice started.  He told me that every year older persons are injured in accidents because of delayed response time of EMS services.  Some geriatric group is giving life alert away for free.  When you push the botton you will have a licensed EMT on the line to help you.

OK, I am an EMT on the local service for my area.  I take offense to the way this phone advertising made it sound like the EMTs just take their time getting to your house.  We don't sit at the station like in the bigger cities, we have to get dressed in the middle of the night, we have to drive to the station and then leave with proper equipment.  I am in total support of the elderly having life alert! It helps them have independence but also a piece of mind that someone will be there if they need help.  But don't try to sell your product by putting down the people that volunteer their time to help their community! 

It takes a lot of time to be a volunteer EMT or Fire Fighter.  There is a mandatory number of training hours to be done.  Monthly training meetings at the station, monthly business meetings at the stations, bi-monthly county meetings and annual conventions that while they are not mandatory are a great way to keep up on ever changing regulations.  Every two years CPR has to be renewed and the professional licensed has to be renewed.

EMS services put a lot of time and effort into providing their services.  What is an EMT on the phone going to do? Tell you to get up if you fall? How is that going to help you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I didn't do it Mom!

We spend a LOT of time in the Tahoe.  I am not the best about keeping the interior clean, it's not unsanitary but cluttered.  I usually clean out the Tahoe once or twice a week depending on the activities for the week.  This week my mother and sister are going to be here to visit.  Then we are driving over to Indiana to see my aunt and pick up my other two sisters!  My Tahoe is the taxi for the upcoming two weeks!

As I was deep cleaning the interior I discovered that someone who shall remain nameless spilled chocolate milk in the back seat floor carpet.  We had just treated ourselves to McDonald's the day before and the lid on the chocolate milk container was not tightened all the way before it landed on the floor.  A certain 6 year old was asked about the milk and replied with "I didn't do it Mom!"  She still maintains her innocence two days later.

I cleaned the spot with hot water and soap, then with Resolve carpet cleaner and then again with hot water.  The spot was gone but the odor remained. I tried febreeze with minimal luck.  I then did what every person in my situation would do.  I googled it! LOL  I found an idea about using baking soda on the spot.  They use it in cat litter and it works so I tried it.  I bought a brand new box of baking soda last night at Wal-Mart and applied it liberally to the area. 

I left in on overnight.  I got into the Tahoe this morning to run an errand and totally forgot about the smell! I take that as a good sign.  I went out to vaccum up the baking soda and the 6 year old again denied the blame for the milk.  "I didn't do it Mom!" hmmm, where have I heard that before!

Long story short: Baking soda actually worked!!!!!!  Good cause I didn't want to have to spend money on a professional carpet cleaning job!

I can honestly say there probably will be more containers of chocolate milk consumed in my Tahoe.  We spend way too much time in it to ban eating!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just another day in the country!

I was planning on writing this post with awesome pictures of a great meal but things got a little derailed.  I was making pork chops, cheesy potatoes and corn on the grill.  I had taken awesome starting pictures and the pork chops were coming to room temperature when the phone rang.

It was my mother-in-law asking if the two girls would like to go with them to the pond and put the new paddle boat in the water.  I was just getting ready to light the grill and throw on the chops! Luckily nothing had been starting so there was nothing lost.  I sent the girls with grandma and grandpa to have fun!  Who wouldn't rather be at the pond then sitting at home?

So while the girls were gone I decided it would be a good time to tackle the weeds in the yard.  Supper was about 2 hours behind schedule but we didn't care! What else is summer for than throwing the schedules out the window?

Just another day in the country.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Special Delivery

As I walked out to the mailbox today I discovered that I had actually gotten some personal mail!  My niece, my sisters and my mother had all sent me cards in the mail.  Of course it was my birthday recently so that would account for the cards from everyone.  I was so excited to see the large pink envelopes piled amongst all the bills and the credit card offers.  Then to put icing on the cake there were boxes in the mail too! Two of them for my 6 year old from my sister and my mother.  She was just as excited seeing those boxes as she was coming down the stairs Christmas morning.  She couldn't believe that she got mail!  As she opened her boxes she exclaimed at all the goodies inside.  She got activity books and cool patterned socks from Grandma and an bright pink outfit from her Aunt.  Inside one of the boxes was two cars that were also rattles for my other daughter who is 1.  She was just as excited as the rest of us. 

As my oldest was getting ready to tear into the activity books with her pencil in hand I made her stop and write thank you notes before she could play with anything that she had gotten.  I know that when she gets older she will probably not do thank you cards on her own but then I can do as my mother does when I lax in sending a letter back and casually include in the conversation "I wasn't sure if she had gotten my package because I didn't hear anything back" and then give a nice weighted pause. Ha ha!

I saved opening my cards until things had quieted down in the house and I could take my time reading them.  Yes, I actually read the cards someone sends me.  I figure that if they take the time to find the right one in the store the least I can do is actually read it.  As I got done reading the enclosed letter from my mother I thought about the last time I got this excited about an email or a post on Facebook and I couldn't remember any electronic communication that gave me as much satisfation as those cards did.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Blogger!

Hello everyone! I am hopping that this blog will expand my horizons and introduce me to new people as I share my lifestyle with them!  I live in Iowa on a farm although I am not the typical farmers wife. I like to shop, get my nails done and spend time with my wonderful daughters!  I hope you enjoy reading about my farm life!