Saturday, September 29, 2012


They're all gone. 
Did I really say that? 
They've gone on the final trip to meet their butcher. 
How many meat birds did we do this summer?
How long have I waited to say that they're all gone?
The only meat birds that we have on the property now are turkeys.
But they're easy to care for. ;) 
One of our very packed freezers. I predict plenty of bartering in our future. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meet the Herd: Jill

... Or should I say, 'Jill the pill'... This goat's got 'tude. Looks-wise, she reminds me of our Nubian/Boer cross that we had years ago. Personality-wise, she's just as set in her ways.

Okay, I'm only referring to when she's in the milk stanchion. When you're sitting out there with them, she'll stand there waiting patiently for a head and neck massage. She really is a sweet girl. It's when she's in the milk stanchion; she's a completely different goat. It all started when we took her kid away. She wasn't very happy about that. :lays down in stanchion: That was several months ago, and she's still ticked off. This goat knows how to hold a grudge. We've had to resort to putting a bucket underneath her so she won't lie down, but it's kinda hard to milk a goat when there's a bucket in the way. Ah, c'est la vie.

PS - As part of our goat spa-day routine, we include beard trimming. None of our girls have beards now. Girls shouldn't have beards... ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Bachelor Pasture

Two bucks, a wether, and a llama. 

And yes, it stinks of buck. ;) 

Can't you tell that I'm catching up on posts? ;) 

Cheap Boots?

Oh so true. 

It's All Done...

All the hype. All the planning. All the preparing. 
And the harvest party is over in an evening... 

Everything is put away. Everything's all cleaned up.
Right down to the dust on my boots. 

I guess I can get started  on planning next year's party. ;)

Some last mental notes:
- Apple pies make excellent thank-you gifts. The receiver will quickly put it in a very safe place for a later, solitary  indulgence. 
- When the neighbors call the next morning to tell the barn owner that the party had awesome music, well, that's music to my ears.
- Make sure you bring more water cups than you think you need.
- Move the hymn sing to an earlier slot in the party schedule; more people could participate in a really cool part of the evening.
- Spreading out all the working/decorating load over the course of a couple of days is genius. I don't think that I've ever been so relaxed before hosting a party as I was this year. 
- Take a mallet to hammer in signs. (But you don't 'mallet a sign.' You 'hammer.' Mallet isn't a verb... That's my defense anyway) My brother almost broke his hand from hitting it with the hammer, yet he danced all evening and didn't complain at all. I guess you could see him grimace every time there was a left-hand turn...
- A change of shoes would be a good idea. Especially since the boots aren't completely broken in yet. ;) 
- Clustering the paper lanterns in 'strategic' places makes a much more festive atmosphere, instead of putting them all up all over the place. Then you feel like you're being smothered with paper lanterns. 
- Flapjack flipping is hard. Next time you make pancakes, you can see how far you can flip those goobers with a pie pan. It's harder than it seems. Chickens love the leftovers.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harvest Party 2012

Yeehaw! It's time for a hoe down! 

Getting ready for the next dance! 

Miss Sonia 

Trying to figure out the dance or making introductions. Take your pick.

We'll just call this an action shot... ;)

Squash toss! 

:toss is announced: "I don't think that I'm going to do this." "There's homemade apple pie on the line."  :joins the toss:
After a couple of dances. ;) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Ready!

Oh, we're just getting ready for the Harvest Party. :D 
We helped move nursery tables (complete with pallet-fulls of cinder blocks), cleaned out the entire area, and strung up all the lights. Me thinks that 'tis time to party!
How many people does it take to hang lights?

I'm trying to think of some creative caption here, but it's not coming...


Dang it! The frame cut off his head. :sigh:

But you're trying to figure out what we're doing. I'd like to hear your guess!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Summer Sonata

"Quick, Jess! I want to get pictures of you with your cello! The light is perfect." Well, that morphed into more than just the cello. ;) 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

At the Music Shop...

The dulcimer story continues!

I finally got a chance to sneak off to the music shop. I know, I know... You're thinking, "Why didn't she get there as soon as she got the instrument if she was so excited about it?!" Umm... :cough: Anyways.

I parallel parked (big deal for me - my siblings can attest to that). I walked into the store cradling the dulcimer in my left arm. Gorgeous guitars, sleek cellos and violins lined the walls. An older man with a full gray beard was in the back working on a guitar with strings going every which-way.
"Hi, do you do instrument repairs?"
"We sure do."
"Do you work with dulcimers?"
"Well, it depends on what needs fixing."
I handed the dulcimer to him, "It's not staying in tune... I've tried to tune it at home, but as soon as I start doing anything with the strings it drops in pitch."
"Well let's have a look." He walked over to a table with some antique chairs and we sat down. He started plucking those woefully out-of-tune stings, tweaking the pitch, and strumming. Man, you know what you're doing. I came to the right place, didn't I? Not every music man knows how to play dulcimer if you just handed it to him and said, "Can you fix it, please?"
"Your action is really high, and these need to be completely replaced - hear the clicking?" He was pointing to the tuning knobs.
I grimaced. "How much is that going to cost?"
You could see him mentally working the numbers. "$36."
Only $36?! I must be used to flute and piano repair bills... "That works for me!"
He headed back to the front desk and continued, "I know what book this is from."
"A man from (insert here some college/university in Ohio) published a book on how to make dulcimers."
Whoa! Really? "Is the book still in print?"
"Oh, no. They stopped publishing it back in the 70's. Too bad whoever made this used plywood."
:blink blink:
"It just makes it look funky."
"Oh, I can totally live with that. The world would be rather dull without character."
"You can see where they sanded down the curves and the layers of the plywood are revealed."
We filled out all the necessary paperwork.
"It's going to be a little while until we can get it fixed. Everyone is needing their school instruments fixed that they knew needed work back in June and now they need it by Tuesday." You could hear the tease in his voice.

Soon, very soon, my dulcimer will be in playing order and I'll get to actually try to learn a couple tunes on it without my sisters groaning as soon as I hit the first chord. Oh the mixed blessing that is having perfect pitch. :P

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Family History

After going to the reenactment, I got the family history bug (and the sewing bug, but I'll have to fill you in on that later). I pulled out every family history book that we had, poured over facts and tidbits that have been collected, and pulled everything out of my mom's old trunk looking for letters from my Great-great Grandma Florence detailing their trip across the Oregon Trail. The notes were written in pencil and had faded over the years. I was determined to figure out what was in those letters. I couldn't find them...

But I did find another little gem - a note that my Great-Grandma Karmona had written for my mom who was writing a paper for school about Native Americans. Why would my great-grandma write about Native Americans? Why don't you read and find out. :)

I give you the copy of my mom's final report:

"My Grandma's name is Karmona and I asked her one day where she had gotten her name. She told me - from her Great Great Uncle who was named as they crossed the country in wagon trains. One night as they stopped to camp and have supper Grandma's Great Great uncle started to cry as he was only 2 days old, and as they went to see what was the matter - there was a band of friendly Indians coming back from a hunting trip as they came into the camp the chief made motions. He wanted to see the white baby and when he was brot(sic) he named him, his name which was "Karmonyak" so as long as it was a nice name he kept it and that's where my grandma got her name"

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Have Your Bug and Eat It Too

We were hot. We were tired. We were cleaning out and sorting the freezers. 
Lo-and-behold, we found the beetle.  
And yes, he has a story behind his frozen stasis.
We were coming home late one night from a friend's house after worship practice. We were tired, in desperate need of some zzz's, and had a bad case of the giggles. Jess was coming through the garage with her cello on her back, and this beetle was smack dab in the middle of the walkway. She thought that it was something else until it started hissing at her after she passed it. Swinging around to see what was making the noise, she tipped over all the bikes with her cello case. Needless to say, my brother thought that the whole scene was hilarious, so he decided to preserve the bug. Well, we need the freezer space for the many, many chickens that need a cold resting place, so the bug had to relinquish his space and jar. Time to say bye-bye to buggy. 
Flash forward to this afternoon...
I'm sitting in my room and Jess comes in, "Sarah, where's your camera?"
A couple minutes later she comes in again, "I need help getting this picture."
She wanted to immoralize this bug with a picture. She had a place setting all laid out, it just needed some sprucing up. And they needed help figuring out the camera. :evil laugh: 
With Jacob holding up a table cloth as a backdrop to hide the messy kitchen, old linens pulled out, we grabbed a champagne glass and a rose to finish it all off. Now for the piece-de-resistance! 
The beetle. 
With garnish. 
Is this what I really ordered?

We could probably start a restaurant with insect delicacies. 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

1860's in the 21st Century

We trekked up to Astoria once again to go to the annual Fort Steven's Civil War reenactment. 

Found perch, will shoot. I love this view. 

Don't mess with this guy's dinner. He is taking his post very seriously

If only the cooler and Pepsi machine weren't in the picture!...

Red coat?

I heard that the whole weekend was like this. 

Being cool. As usual. 

Men standing around their guns. Probably talking about their guns too. ;) 


There were so many of these gorgeous horses! I think I have horse envy... 

Working hard or hardly working? No they're not dead. 


I found the 4th!

Would you want to cross paths with a bagpiper with a kilt and eye patch?

Union clears their guns

And the Confederates clear their guns

Well, aren't you the cutest little prairie girl?