Saturday, June 30, 2012

Baby Turns 7!

 I need to start this post by telling you that I am NOT a mushy mother. I want my kids to be independent and leave home as soon as is legal. Just kidding. Kind of.

Seven years ago I had suffered through 3 months of bedrest, the last month of which was spent in a hospital 2 hours from home. At home were Mr. Farmer, 4 year old Sissy, and 3 year old Boy. Mr Farmer had to work full time, coordinate and transport the kids for the day, and come visit me on Wednesdays and for the weekend. The hospital and doctors were awesome and even brought in air beds for my kids to sleep on during their weekend stays. Yes, our family was together for the weekends in the hospital. They had a playground and satellite tv, so it worked. I was allowed out of bed in a wheelchair for one hour per day, so that's when we went to the playground and I got to feel the sun on my face. During the week, I had an aid take me down to the gift shop for my free time or I went down and got in a hot tub. As wonderful as all that sounds, I wasn't home and I was sad.

(I'd go back in a minute these days!)
The day came and I was still three weeks early, but my protein levels were too high and it was time. I had a beautiful baby girl. My first pregnancy as the other two kids were adopted, so everything was new to me. I had a perfect baby!

She cries at sad movies, sad commercials, and was even crying at these pictures of her and her Daddy. She LOVES her Daddy.
She is so independent, smart, inquisitive, helpful, sassy, loving, tender-hearted, and  perfect. I love her with all of  my being and will until the day I die. She will always be my baby.

Happy birthday, Baby!

Mushiness over and out.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Later this week we will be celebrating Baby's birthday. The past few years I have made the kids' cakes using a homemade marshmallow fondant. While they are not professional, they come out pretty good and the kids love them. Here are a few from years past.

This was my first cake.

This one was done for a Valentine's getaway for church. The "box" is the cake. And then I made the "chocolates"-- they are cake balls.

This was done for the Boy's birthday. It is all edible.

This was a cake done for a friend.

This was my birthday cake.

This was Baby's cake last year. We had been planning on Strawberry shortcake for months. Had it all planned out. Then, just before I started making it, she tells me she wants SpongeBob underpants. WHAT?!? At least it was much easier to make.

 Shortly after Baby's birthday we had a 4th of July/ July birthdays celebration. SpongeBob flagpants was perfect. No one saw it coming!

This next one was done for Sissy's 10th birthday. It didn't look like a horse to me, but kids are easily impressed.

This one was for my father-in-law's 60th birthday.

 I've done many more, but don't want to bore you.

Now I'm off to find some cake. All this reminiscing has made me hungry.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Lesson

I did a post on my bread making and thought I should follow it up by talking about grain a bit. I started by making whole wheat. Soon Mr. Farmer had some acid problems that we linked to the wheat. SO, I switched to spelt with a little wheat mixed in. He handles this combination just fine. Spelt is just another type of grain and is one the the original grains mentioned in the Bible. It's been around for awhile. It has more protein and nutrients than wheat and has a delicious flavor. It makes a lighter loaf than whole wheat, too. It does, however, cost twice as much as wheat. Of course!  So when I make bread to sell, I make whole wheat.

Now I'm gonna learn ya sumthin. When a grain is ground or cracked and the outer shell is broken, it starts to immediately break down. The oils start to go rancid and the nutrients begin to be lost. Within three days almost all nutritional value is gone. This is why I freeze any left over flour and the bread we will not be eating quickly. I want all the nutrients and vitamins I can get. The flour is still ok to use, but you've lost nutritional value. Also, the bread will mold more quickly than the store-bought stuff. It doesn't contain all the unnatural gunk to keep it from spoiling and keep it "fresh".

Here is a little visual for what happens to flour by the time it hits your store shelves.

They take the bran out and sell it to you separately. Then they remove the middlings and sell them for livestock feeding. The wheat germ is also removed and sold back to you, as is the wheat germ oil. And that's it. Now you have  the garbage left over  your white flour. Yum!

It used to be, back when there were still millers that ground your wheat for you, that if a miller was caught removing anything from your ground wheat that he was hung by his ear to the doorpost of his shop. You didn't mess with people's wheat. Now we pay people to do it and re-pay them for all they took out.

All that said, I still use white flour for some things like cookies. I need to get the sifting attachment for my Bosch so I can just use my flour without the bran, which changes the texture of a cookie. They are still delicious cookies, but Mr. Farmer prefers the white gunk for cookies. I figure that cookies aren't healthy anyway, so I'll make him happy. Just this once.

She Thinks My Tractor's ....

The Great Iowa Tractor Ride is this week. Over 750 tractors from all over arrive in one place and have a huge ride through different towns. This year the ride goes through towns around here. The above tractor was the funniest with its sign proudly posted on the rustbucket and old men hanging on it.

 There were tractors of every color. In fact, there were so many it was almost overwhelming.

Here is a really cool one painted as a memorial.

The  machines came in all sizes and shapes. And their seats did, too.

And there were tractors from all over the country. I found some from Washington, Texas, and North Carolina.

Look at the size of these tires as compared to my Baby.

We also found some that looked nothing like your typical tractors.

And now a couple of my favorites.

And finally, there were decorations on several. Baby noticed all the bows and pretty flowers, but our favorite was this.

   Before you email me, those are monkeys and not small children. Small children are encouraged to sit in seats not be hung on the canopies. Although, if I had a large family, I might be tempted....

I am one of those women who loves tractors of any shape, color, or size. I am partial to the red ones as I think the colors are prettier, but my tractor is an orange Allis Chalmers 190 and we have old JD haying equipment. We also have two red ones, both Farmall- an old one and a new one. Mr. Farmer thinks we need a tractor for every attachment we own so he doesn't have to switch equipment. I'm ok with that.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

South Garden

Post two
The south garden

First we will be taking a short trip out back. This particular garden is about 1/2 mile from the house. We have several mowed trails for 4- wheelers and this one leads us to our garden.

We're rounding the field.

Across the creek.

Through the sumac.

Next to our huge elderberry patch.

And....we're here.
The south garden.

We were out last night planting our pumpkins and gourds for the fall. The end of the garden needed tilling before we started.

In this garden we have onions, zucchini, acorn squash, cantaloupe, Burrell melons, and Orange-glo watermelon.

Did you know deer eat onion tops? I didn't. But the tracks we found next to these missing tops tells us they do.

So far back here, we have no access to water, so we made this to catch rainwater. This garden gets very little help from us other than weeding and initial watering. It is at the mercy of the weather. So far it has done really well for us. The ground here holds so much water that there are crawdads around the garden and water about a foot under the ground, even in this very dry year.

Everyone helps in the garden. Here is Sissy, running the smaller tiller.

All planted!

Our huge wild gooseberry bush behind the garden.

We plan to put a cabin back here someday. The garden is in the top right corner of the photo.

A look from the creek bridge, toward the creek.

And that's the end of our garden tour.