|Yup we are weird, but that is part of our true charm, plus there was beer involved too|
|If we didn't embarrass our kids, then we weren't doing it right|
|Oh and I try to corupt young family members, like my cousin's daughter too|
Also, as Andrew is not from our area, we decided to do a holiday cocktail party as a way to introduce him to the family and friends that will be around on Thanksgiving week-end. So this farm-wife is going to spend some quality time in the kitchen between Thanksgiving dinner and the party, but that's okay as it is one of my favorite things to do, cook and entertain.
|Wedding dress shopping in Coeur d' Alene|
A wedding on the Farm! We are gaining another great son-in-law as Andrew proposed to our daughter, Kaitlyn and she said yes! Being a farmer's daughter, she has chosen the date of July 14 for their wedding which is after spring work and before harvest. Andrew is a fine young man and we are excited to welcome him into our close knit family. Andrew grew up in Southern Idaho and has a ranching background which blends nicely into our farm family as he understands the demands of agriculture.
|Andrew and Kaitlyn -newly engaged|
|A center stone that has been in Andrew's family for years|
|Showing off the at a family b-day dinner was a great venue|
in which to announce the happy news
The happy couple will be wed in the same church as we got married in and our oldest daughter, Jen got married in as well. Then the wedding reception will be on the farm, just 1/2 mile down the road. It couldn't be more perfect. Now the flurry of activity begins..... =)
|Our picturesque little white church in the country|
|1st day of kindergarten|
|Zack with his pig|
|Brinley and I picking the berries|
|Huckleberries are tasty & tart with a flavor all their own.|
|Farmer Joe as we were heading back to the car|
|Farmer Joe (papa as called by the grand-angels) enjoying|
a dip in the pond to cool off and do some swimming
|While playing in the water, these crazy young adults were riding their|
bikes off a ramp and doing a flip on the bike into the water
|Guests dancing barefoot in the grass at Red Barn Farm|
At the BMW motorcycle rally, we found this guy above. He was kind enough to stop and give a performance.
|LtoR, with checked flag, Angela, van driver, Thomas, Eric, Kirk, Andrew, Chuck,|
Dalton, Gary, Mike, Kevin, Israeli, Seated in the yellow bug cut out, Phil, Mary, Kim, me & Joe
|All lined up before getting ready to ride|
|Looking over the day's route. L to R, Joe, Phil, Mary, Kim|
|Lunch stop along the way, Mike, Chuck, Gary, me, Joe|
|A scenic remnant of a building. L to R, Kirk, Phil, Kim, Eric,|
Toby our other guide, me and Joe
|One of our pastry and cappuccino stops|
|Touring a castle, me, Joe, Kim|
|In our riding gear (minus the helmets) at a scenic lake|
|Joe, me, Phil and Mary|
|Getting ready to get on the road again. The churches in|
each town were beautiful
|Amazing places to ride, notice the rock with the tunnel through it|
|As I was the only one riding behind (or 2 up), I was busily|
snapping pictures while riding, as captured in Joe's mirror
|This is what we looked like when traveling together|
|Eric and Kirk during one of our coffee breaks|
|Route planning, L to R, Mary, Phil, Angela, Dalton, Andrew|
|Breath taking view during one of our stops, Mary and Kevin|
|Angela and Mike during one of our pastry stops|
Each night, most of us would gather in the bar to sample good German beer and socialize. Bonds of friendships were formed and it really was an adventure of a lifetime. When parting, an invitation was extended to each person that if they were ever in Idaho that they had to stop by so I could feed them, give them a comfy bed if needed and renew the friendship. Money can buy a good adventure, but it can’t buy the friendships that arose from the trip. I’m thinking it was good to be me, what a ride.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
|It's a wonder why the relatives invite me to family functions..|
but my crazy cousins & I have lots of fun!
|The star awaiting the beginning of her performance|
|Brinley - front row on the right|
|A star, of course I'd a tad partial|
The month of May is a busy one for this farmwife, if I can get through the next 1 1/2 weeks life should be a little quieter, but this week will feel like a tornado for me. Monday & Tuesday will just be spraying weeds - weather permitting, baking around 4 cakes in preparation for a June 5th bridal shower & office work. Not so bad, then the rest of the week is craZy. From Wednesday to the following Saturday I'll work my regular hours at my off the farm job, help my daughter Kaitlyn move 100 miles away, drive my mom to Montana to attend a family member's h.s. graduation, attend a couple of board meetings, attend a dance recital for my 5yoa grand angel, bake one or two more cakes for a bridal shower and also host a breakfast for Joe's motorcycle buddies..... then thankfully very little as I think I'll be physically and mentally exhausted. =) Looking at this makes me think maybe I'm a little crazy, but most weeks are not like this - thank heavens. What is Farmer Joe doing? Well mostly working in the fields, helping move our daughter and then he has to head out of town next week for his own board meeting for the Idaho Grain Producers. UI Graduation
A perfect day dawned for the University of Idaho's graduation held on May 14, 2011. Our youngest daughter, Kaitlyn graduated from the same college as Joe and her Aunt Lisa. We had a joint celebration for Kaitlyn and her friend, Clark Gill who happened to be the nephew of some of our very best friends. As both are from farm families, it seemed fitting to hold the event in our shop. Being the proud parent, I've posted several pictures of the graduation party.
|Kaitlyn as she is walking to the stage (she is the one looking at the camera)|
|Cupcakes say "Congrats UI 2011 Clark, Kaitlyn"|
|UI Graduates, Kaitlyn, Clark, and Joan, his mom|
|Soren, my son in law with their daughters (my grand angels, baby is Maggie, Natalie and Brinley)|
|My mom, Ruth,( we call her GG ) enjoying the hearty food|
|My step dad, Doug and Kaitlyn|
|Kaitlyn and her daddy, both UI graduates|
|My brothers, Barry and Doug|
|Barry, Aubrie their daughter and Sis in law, Denise |
enjoying themselves over good food
|Grandpa Dale visiting with Clark|
|Jay, Lisa, Kaitlyn, me and Joe|
|We love the farmers who grow the|
hops and barley for our favorite beverage
|Andrew ( the boyfriend) and Kaitlyn|
|Our nephew, Zack, (Jay & Lisa's son) and Brinley, our grand angel|
enjoying lunch and hamming it up for the camera
|Longtime friends, Tedi & Jay, who were our next door neighbors|
in town during Kaitlyn's childhood
|Kaitlyn and Joe's Mother, Dorothy|
|Joe and good friend, Karen, who is also Clark's aunt|
|Me with the other grand angels, Brinley and Natalie|
|Papa holding the newest grand angel|
|Egg hunt at the city park|
|Showing the loot after the hunt|
|Dying eggs is a sport in our family|
|GG was helping Natalie as she was really liking this |
dying the eggs activity
|One thing about farm-wives, we all know our way around the kitchen|
and I've never met one of us who wasn't a good cook
|The greeting among friends|
|Of course, our favorite place to be was around the food table|
|Good friend, Jacie (left) and neighbor, Renee (right)|
|Neighbor Gail chats with Ruth, my mom|
Wow, where do I begin? This month was a blur with so much going on. January is big birthday month as both daughters were born in January and now two of the grand-angels as well (Brinley and Maggie). Plus my step dad, sister in law, a cousin, a niece and mother in law all have January b-days too. So needless to say, it is a busy month of birthday celebrations as well as our anniversary is January 12.
|L to R, Emily (Kaitlyn's roommate), Ruth, Joe & Maggie, |
Jen, Brinley, Natalie and Kaitlyn during a joint b-day dinner
This farm wife was pretty busy after Jen came home from the hospital and had to be quarantined to our house as daddy and both big sisters came down with the flu right after the birth of Maggie. Jen had a brief bout with the flu at the hospital, but quickly overcame it and thankfully the baby never did catch it. Then daughter Kaitlyn came down with it as well, so I was tending 3 households helping everone(Joe was out of town) and of course have come down with it.... so as I write I am trying to rally and get over this nasty strain. To add interest to all of this, my step dad's shop burned to the ground and took with it his restored old car, pick-up and drag racing memorabilia, although there is nothing we could do, but offer our condolences, it was a sad event. Well it's off to "bond with the couch" again, as fatigue gotten the upper hand. So with that my friend's, stay well and take care. G
|Joe putting together a tractor for the|
littlest grand angel. He was getting expert advise
from the two helpers.
|Joe and nephew, Zack, patiently waiting|
to open gifts. Zack is the son of Jay & Lisa. This was
our last of the 4 Christmas gift opening/dinner events.
December 6, 2010
This year we decided to go to a nearby tree farm to cut our own Christmas tree. It was a perfect day, cold but sunny. Our oldest daughter Jennifer, son-in-law, Soren and grand angels, Brinley and Natalie also came along. Our other daughter, Kaitlyn was working so she couldn't come with us.
|Heading out towards the grand fir lot|
|Natalie sitting on poppa's shoulders was a|
better option than walking through the snow
|Brinley and Jen searching for the perfect tree|
|Joe looking at the one I wanted - somehow|
the trees don't look so big out in the field as they do once
in the house.....
|Photo op with the grand angels|
|Joe and me posing in front of our tree|
|Soren, Jen, Brinley, Natalie and baby #3 in the making|
It was a good day and I think we will do this again next year. This is what holiday memories are made of. The tree smells so good and it makes me smile every time I walk into the house and smell that heavenly pine scent. =)
Each year my oldest daughter and I make items to take to our local hospital's crafts fair. We are both hooked on making Christmas ornament wreaths. They are easy and look great. Sometimes we leave the wreaths up all year long. The wreaths are for indoor only.
What you will need for the project is a straw wreath form, a glue gun with lots of glue sticks, ribbon, tinsel garland, and assorted ornaments.
Step 1: I usually leave the plastic on the straw wreath - but you can unwrap it if you prefer. Cut a length of ribbon and wrap it around the wreath and glue it, but make sure you have enough to make a loop so you can hang the wreath on a hook. Make sure and use lots of glue when attaching the ribbon to the wreath.
Step 2: With the glue gun put a stream of glue on the outside and inside of the wreath. I usually do a quarter of the wreath at a time, so I do a stream of glue on the outside, then quickly attach the garland to the hot glue. Continue until the outside and inside of the form has a garland band as shown in the picture.
Step 3: Start hot gluing the various ornaments on the straw form. I usually will put large ones on first and putting them more on the front side of the wreath, saving smaller ornaments for the outer edges of the wreath, but there is no wrong way to do and completely what you like. From experience, I will use plastic ornaments on the outside edge of the wreath as they will not break, then I do the breakable ones on the front of the wreath (hope this makes sense) and see the picture below. The varying sizes of the bulbs and textures add interest. It is important to put a good glob of glue on the ornament where you want to secure it to the base. Then as I add ornaments, I not only glue to the wreath, but put a spot of glue on each ornament that it touches to help secure it.
Step 4: Continue to work around the ornament wreath until it is filled with bulbs. Once that is done, I will usually hang it up so I can take a look to see if the overall shape is round and even. Once I'm okay with the basic overall look, then I return to my work station and cut about 1" pieces of the garland, fold the piece in half and put a spot of glue on it and poke it into holes between the ornaments. Look at the sides of the wreath to make sure that you cannot see any straw wreath form showing between the ornaments as shown below in the picture.
Step 5: If you have strings of glue on the ornament wreath, take a portable blow dryer, turn it on high and aim it closely at the wreath where you want it to melt the glue strings. I usually will have lots of glue fibers on the wreath and the blow dryer is great at either melting them into nothing or at least melting them so they are not noticeable. Note: be careful to not get too close to the garland as some brands will melt if the hot air stream is too close.
See you can do anything with the wreaths. For added interest, I glued a foil wrapped star in the center. Any color combo is great so just let your imagination go and have fun. =)
October, 2010October 22-25, 2010 I accompanied Joe to a National Association of Wheat Growers in Minneapolis, MN last week. While Joe attended meetings, I was free to roam the streets of downtown. While exploring the big city on foot, I attended a Sunday morning church service at the Westminster Presbyterian Church not far from our hotel. There I signed up to help serve the Sunday meal later on that day to the homeless, that are referred to as guests. The whole experience was a truly humbling experience and one I will never forget. I requested to take pictures, but could only take photos of the church crew working. The dinner was a highly organized event . I was so impressed by the kindness of those working, and in visiting with members, I learned that a professional chef donates his Sunday to cooking a wonderful meal. Several churches each take a Sunday to feed those in need. This week's dinner consisted of mashed potatoes, a breaded chicken breast, brussel sprouts, rolls, salad and carrot cake. Before the guests arrived, the chef always does a presentation plate so those in the kitchen know how to dish up the food, just as in a high scale restaurant fashion. The guests are seated at the tables and I was one of the volunteers to serve them. All the guests were polite and very appreciative of the meal. It made me very thankful for all that I have in my life.
|Westminster Presbyterian Church|
|The Chef hard at work|
|A volunteer getting the coffee ready|
|Getting the salt and pepper ready for the tables|
|Another volunteer helping with the dinner|
|One of two serving stations to dish up the plates of food|
|The church dining area before the guests arrive|
|Jen & me in front of our booth - named|
|A view of the event. People love to get out in the countryside.|
|People enjoying the day at the festival|
|The crazy women in our family, left to right|
Kaitlyn, me,Sarah, Edie, Ruth, Jen
Other than family reunions, my side of the family has never taken a vacation together, so over Labor Day we rented a house close to the beach and enjoyed some much needed down time. Only my younger brother Barry & his family were not able to attend and we missed them. Pictured above were daughters, Kaitlyn and Jen, niece Sarah and almost sis-in-law, Edie along with my mom, Ruth. As I briefly mentioned in a previous update, a series of events and some heart wrenching parent care issues have forced my mom and step-dad to separate, so we are still working through all the heartaches and challenges of this new situation. So this time away was a much needed fun event, of which it proved to be. (we all were wondering why haven't we done this sooner??)
|Poppa & Natalie playing in the ocean for the first time|
Natalie loved the waves & the cold didn't seem to
faze her at all!
|Mom, who we refer to as "GG", Jen and Brinley|
looking for beach treasures
|An addition to Jen & Soren's family|
is on the way, which will make #3
|Joe and I|
|Niece, Sarah being her exuberant self|
|Daughter, Kaitlyn enjoying a stroll on the beach|
|Sarah, Doug (my brother) and Edie|
GG, Brinley and Son-in-law, Soren
More walks on the beach for more
cool rocks and shells
|Natalie enjoying low tide|
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++August 2010 Fun.... yard sales and cutting sunflowers
Jen with Natalie in the backpack and Kaitlyn with Brinley taking a look
at a yard sale in Uniontown, WA
|Me finding a vintage bike to ride around the countryside.|
|Lots of treasures found!|
Brinley manning her lemonade stand at the garage sale
|The youngest grand-angel sampling|
the goods after the sale was over
|Life is good with a cupcake in hand|
|The shoes Brinley bought from the monies|
she earned from her lemonade stand
Just before harvest started, Jen, Soren and the grand-angels came out for dinner and afterwards Brinley and poppa were out in the yard cutting sunflowers for a bouquet for mom.
|Poppa thought some of grandma's lavender would|
look good in the bouquet
|Hmmm lavender smells so nice|
Joe and I by our bike.
Happy 4th of July America!
A couple days after we got home, we attended the Johnson 4th of July parade. This is a great event that draws 3,000 or so people in this little tiny town (maybe 20 houses and a grain elevator) in Washington. This is the only parade where the parade contestants spray water on the spectators and that spectators spray back. It's lots of fun and it wouldn't be the same if we didn't attend the parade. (Usually we are in the parade, but this year decided to just watch). You never know what or who will show up at this crazy parade and this parade is a "one of it's kind".
View of Genesee's main street
A parade in farming country is not complete without at least one tractor.
This year's theme was about the past and it's first settlers.
It's a place where the kids eagerly wait by the sidewalk curb for the candy to be thrown by the parade participants.
In the green gator are granddaughters Natalie and Brinley taking a tour of main street.
Our youngest daughter, Kaitlyn with Brinley.
Even the littlest ones (Natalie) get in on the candy action!
Natalie finds a safe spot to eat her candy.
Below is our oldest daughter, Jen with GG, my mom.
Living in a small community is wonderful and we enjoy it. Small town living may not be for everyone, but I would not trade it for the world.
The Annual Easter Egg Dying Event
For probably 20 years now, all of my side of the family (2 brothers & their families, my folks) as well as Joe's brother, Jay, his wife Lisa & their son have been coming to our house to color Easter eggs. Everyone partcipates and it is a firmly entrenched family tradition. Some years, Joe & Jay have have missed in partcipating or arrive late to the festivities as Spring work is usually just beginning or in progress depending on where Easter falls on the calendar and weather conditions. But most of the time they are here. This year the guest list grew a little as our youngest college age daughter, Kaitlyn brought home her boyfriend and a good friend from college. Lots of eating was done and there was much laughter and even the newbies were getting into the fun. It was a bittersweet event as my wonderful step dad couldn't make it due to his complications from cancer, but insisted mom attend.
Here is a picture I took when in California last week for the Ag meeting, it was a fun place to visit, but city life has never been a draw for me. I like the wide open spaces, but again to each their own. Also wanted to share a picture of the exotic flowers I saw on one of my walks.
So thanks for your ear. Come back soon!+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The weather has been pretty nice and I've accepted that winter is over and spring is very near. Time to begin decorating for spring. I started pulling out some spring like decorative items to give our home a fresh look. I still have my crappy camera which sometimes works, but I'm hoping to get a new camera soon and one that I can take both short movie clips as well as some good shots. I'm excited to share some of my projects that I'll be working on, both inside the house as well as outside. I have some cement planter projects in mind, I want to experiment on making some unique cake plates out of existing items and may learn to weld as I want to make some yard art... who knows where that will lead too. Either way, stop in often and check out this page for new things. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here is a peek into our house. I like to decorate, no formal training, I just put things together that I like and I love wheat. In fact I counted 8 wheat bouquets around our house, not to mention the wheat lamps, wheat plate holders, etc. Here are some pictures of my favorite parts of the house. I need a new camera, so bear with me on the crappy quality of my pictures! =)
I found this wheat light in an antique store in Long Beach, CA when I was there on a business trip a few years ago. I carried it home on my lap in the airplane! Perhaps antics like that explain why my girls tell me I'm not "normal".... of course my standard reply is "normal" around here is a setting on the dryer.
Here is one of the wheat bouquets in an old thermos, grouped with an old childs truck and other little farmish items. Also displayed on this cabinet is a wheat plate that says harvest on it. As soon as I get my new camera I can take close ups.
I'm having technical difficulty with getting my pictures loaded, could be the "nut" behind the computer (me). So stayed tuned for more.