Friday, July 30, 2010

My side job this summer...

My office/work area in our glorified utility room has been a mess all summer.
Pictures in boxes and bags were all over!
My responsibilities during harvest involve a lot a down time between activities, and since I have nervous energy to burn (well, nervousness that burns energy) I need to have a project that I can pick up and put down as the interruptions occur.

This year, since my we are celebrating my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, I decided to scan and print all their slides. This led me to the "Picture Boxes" that were in the attic as my curiosity wanted to fill in all the blanks. As a result, I ended up sorting through all their photos, and putting them in pocket albums.
I've spent many days now transported back to my childhood, and Oh! The NOSTALGIA!! It was really quite wonderful, and fun...and though there were many pictures that couldn't be placed for exact time and location, so many others brought back memories and feelings and laughter. It was a treat...

However, I admit that I am glad it is all done...Very satisfying to know that the approximately 2000 pictures that were ignored in boxes are now in chronological order (for the most part) and can be enjoyed by our family. I can't wait for my sisters to look through them, and hear what memories they bring back for them..

Forgive me for patting myself on the back...but I'm just so excited about these books, that I had to share. It was one of those projects that always seemed to big too complete...
but now it is done...
and will never have to be done again!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Camp for the dogs...

Last week, Dillon and Tiffany's dog, Macy, spent a short week with us while they were camping elsewhere. 

Her digs at our house were like Summer Camp for her, and she and Daisie made the most of it!
Here is Macy's Camping Cabin...
She was free to go in and out as the Camping Cabin has access to the indoors.
However, the access is through a Pet Door...

The Pet Door proved to be problematic for Macy, despite various Pet Door 101 classes conducted through the week. She just couldn't believe that is was a two-way door. For her, it only seemed to go OUT, not IN, and it was very mysterious how Daisie managed to work it both ways. Macy got wise to Daisie's SuperDog abilities, and would sneak in right behind her when the door was up...But on her own -- nope, just couldn't go in. Like most Campers, she did suffer a little homesickness too. We would hear a mournful howl or two early in the morning, as Macy thougth about home, where there were no mysterious one-way doors, and her people were in the same building as she...

She was alway fine by morning roll call, and ready to participate in the Campers' favorite activity, which was: Let's Play Fight Until One of Us Gets Hurt or Until We're Both Exhausted

After exhaustion would set in, then you do what most Camper's do -- harass the Counselors...

Then the Head Counselor would usually enforce a rest time...

...mostly because the Head Counselor was tired, or in danger of being knocked over.
But then it was time for more:
Play Fighting!

This wasn't ALL they did for the week, but it was MOSTLY what they did for the week.

We did have hikes through the berry field, and Daisie taught Macy to eat berries, though Macy didn't get the hang of picking them herself  like Daisie does.

 She did learn to roll in the mushy berries on the ground and then carry around streaks of red, and embellishments of seeds on her formerly glossy black coat.
She met and made friends with Roxy, who made daily berry season visits with her Master.

Of course, the Head Counselor made sure she got some treats, and souvenirs...and I think that overall, Macy had a really good time. She was a Happy Camper, and though she was born a city dog, she would happily become a farm dog.
She looks pretty happy here, doesn't she?

And Daisie is recovering from Summer Camp...

...dreaming about more of this:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nature's Air Conditioning...

...looks like this:
...a featureless sky...all gray, flat gray. Seriously, this is a picture of the sky this morning...It's cloudy, but you can't see any definition. The technical name of this natural wonder? Marine Air, an onshore flow...And I was very thankful for it when it came to chase out those 90 degree days that were cooking our fruit to the bush, and our workers to the floor.

But this morning, it was working just a little too well! When I rose this morning, I found the dog curled in a compact little ball on her bed. She cracked one eye open and looked at me as if to say: "What? Is it winter or something? It's colder in here than it usually is when there is snow outside!!" And she was right! The thermostat registered 62 degrees...I was tempted to test if I could see my breath, but decided I didn't want to know. I wore long pants, long-sleeved shirt and sweat-shirt while I ate my breakfast. The coffee couldn't get done fast enough. I warmed my hands on the cup!! GoshOfficial! It's JULY!!

Ah, the efficiency of Nature's Air Conditioning! But I fear we've taken it a little too far when you must open the windows to let some heat in!

 You can't call us "greenies" or anything. It's actually our Dutch tendencies that compel us to exploit these natural efficiencies...That, and the fact that my dear husband is addicted to efficiency, and analysis of the most efficient way to do anything everything! He is highly analytical. I am not...I'm all feeling this, and feeling that, and intuitive...And it drives him crazy when my intuition is wrong, and even more so, when it is right!

But that's another post...a long post...

So -- while we have air-conditioning in our home, we do our best to use it sparingly efficiently.

This means that overnight in the summer, every window that can be opened is opened for the cool night air to come in the house and cool it down. On first rising, all the windows on the east side of the house are closed. The front windows are left open to continue to allow the cooler air in. The temperature is monitored closely, and when it begins to reach par with the inside temperature, the side windows are closed. Monitoring continues, to make sure that the west side windows are closed as soon as the outside temperature exceeds the inside temperature. The air conditioning is set to start automatically when the inside temp exceeds 76 degrees, and it runs then until the outside temperature drops to the lower 70's, and then windows all around the house are opened -- except those that might have some sun shining on them still.

It has taken me years to learn this system, and, in fact, there are many days I don't touch the windows because I'm just not sure I have it right. I'm so devil-may-care in my window opening, irresponsibly opening windows just because there is a breeze, and it feels good. Foolish short-term thinking! I could be letting warmer air in which will eventually heat up the house! Just because it feels good, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do! Management, discipline!! You must have them to exploit Nature's Air Conditioning!

But it struck me this morning, as I sipped my steaming beverage and warmed my hands, that perhaps efficiency isn't everything...That maybe, just MAYBE, we were spending just as much time being uncomfortable as if we hadn't managed the windows so militantly.

But that was heresy...and I put it out of my mind immediately...

And turned on the gas fireplace.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

As per your requests...

The recipe for the Mexican Lasagna pictured in my last post...Kinda like this...

...was found on the Pioneer Woman's blog...Yes, yet another PW recipe of deliciousness.

It's officially called "Pastor Ryan's Mexican Lasagna", and you can find it at


Friday, July 9, 2010

It's been a little busy, here on the Farm...

Crazy busy, in fact. Picking season has begun in fits and starts...The cold, wet weather during bloom time has translated into a harvest that is just piddling along...a little ripening at a time. The 30 degree temperature swing in the last week has not been the best antidote for that either. While the heat brings on the ripening, this kind of heat is starting to cook the poor little buggers right on to the bush.

I'll make no bones about it -- Raspberries, and their farmers, are pretty particular about the weather.

And since we can't do anything about the weather, we'll leave it out of the equation and tell you that the rest is going well. Good crew, no rain, the machines are working...We're getting 'er done!

And the machines are out in the field every day now, working, working, working...

But a few other things are going on too:
We celebrated the 4th of July with our Annual Cowboy Breakfast... That's my pa, cooking over the fire -- pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon...Yum!

Daisie got a new best friend -- Macy, Dillon & Tiffany's foster dog. She is a good girl -- and the two of them together have happy times, running, chasing, and panting in the shade.

I harvested my first crop from the garden!  They're gone already...crunch!

The Farmer's been busy pounding posts...Somehow this job always falls during the hottest weather...

And I keep busy trying to keep The Farmer fed...I made this recipe of Mexican lasagna. It's huge! A single recipe yielded these two overflowing pans. One is in the freezer...for another day. Very delicious, if I say so myself. The Farmer is reluctant to eat this time of year -- too busy, you know -- so it's good to have tempting dishes on hand.
While it's a great, and great BIG recipe, it had a lot of steps, and I made a LOT of mess!!  Had to call in the K-9 Vacuum for clean-up! Thanks for earning your keep, Daisie!

And while we're busy doing other things, the baby berries just keep growing and growing and looking good!

And that's good, because next year, we hope to see them filling up a lot of these:

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (