Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Remembered

Growing up Christmas was such a fun time. (It is still fun but now it is lots of work, too.)  This picture includes me, sisters Deb and Cin, with our brother, Scott. It looks like we are each holding a gift or two. I think Deb is sitting in a small round chair that we fought over. I wish one of us still had that chair. I am certain they are out there but I have never seen another one like it. It was round, with a partial back and it moved in a complete circle. We would call saved when we needed to get up from sitting on it. If one did not call out "saved" the chair was fair game for a new recipient.

I suspect I was about 7 or 8 years in age in the picture below. As the oldest of 13 grandchildren my memories of good times with my father's parents are many. Here my sisters and I are pictured with three of the Jensen boys. My plaid taffeta skirt was one of my favorites. I love seeing the tree and furniture from that era.

Christmas 2009 with Malissa, Matt, Kelsey and Hannah 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Count Down to Christmas

To all I want to wish you a Happy Holiday Season!!!

The ice and snow have made us aware that even if today is the first official day of winter, we have had a good share of winter weather already.

To all who celebrate Christmas, "Merry Christmas" 
To all others "Happy Holidays"
To all "May 2010 be a year filled with joy, happiness, family, friends, good food, love and laughter."

I sprayed my metal bucket a different color this year.  Bring green is not a color I use.  I wanted something that said happy and it went well with my ribbon and decoration.  I like the change.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yesterday the wind blew ALL day. Forty miles per hour winds with 10-12 inches of snow makes for blizzard conditions. We brave Midwest citizens mostly stayed indoors. With the snowplows operating in emergency situations only home was the best place to be.

These photos were all taken from inside our warm house.

I am obsessed with this snow bank.


I think it looks like a ski slope. 

Today the sun is shining.  I managed to get a picture of the snow framing the window and the snow drift.

This last picture is by the artist named Kelsey.  She sees a canvas in the most unlikely places.

I am ready for winter to be over with and I suspect it has just begun!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


We are in the mist of our first snow of the season. School was dismissed early. I think the grand girls decorated the shop door. (Could it be a "Random act of snowfall?")
Sam and Sage wanted snow pictures. I shoveled once yesterday and again today before announcing it was time to dig out the snow blower. Their Grandpa is using the snow blower to clean the drive. Do the Aussies miss snow????

Our dogs are staying away from the action.

Kelsey and Hannah helped put up the snow fence along the lane. The posts were already up. With wind in the forecast the fence needs to be in place. The view from the eating area is covered in snow. Now the wait for spring begins.

Winter has arrived.

Monday, December 7, 2009


We got a new camera a bit ago. I needed pictures of Kelsey and Hannah for our Christmas cards. Kelsey got her braces off and Hannah got contacts since they last had their pictures taken at a studio. We could not use the dated pictures. I was pleased with the results of my photos. The old buildings are all that is left of a farmstead down the road.

Hannah is looking serious

Kelsey having fun

Serious Kelsey

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We got a few flakes of snow today. These pictures were taken in 2006.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harvest is Winding Down

While not as nice as his recliner, Warren looks pretty comfortable in the combine cab. Controls for running the machine are in the orange joy stick. Yea, kind of like a video game. The controls for speed, running the head, and unloading auger are all there. The newer combines all have a buddy seat so one can ride along in comfort. I recall the times I rode with my bum just verily sharing the driver's seat.

The corn is suppose to be in nice, neat rows. Wind damage resulted in a lot of twisted corn. It was a big challenge to stay on the rows in some areas. The radio is used to talk with the truckers and the person running the grain cart.

Another look at the combine in action.

The view out of our eating area window yesterday morning.

We will finish the 2009 harvest soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Warren is running Chuck's
big, mean, green machine part of the time.
More about that in another post.
Gary and Chuck both have semi trucks and trailers that we use to haul the grain to the elevator. We no longer dry our corn. The corn dryer needs replaced, we have the co-op grind our feed rations, and our storage set up had become obsolete. When all these things happened we made the decision to take our corn to the elevator or as we say take our corn to town. Our crops are harvested much quicker than they were when we first started farming. Warren and I usually did all the harvest work ourselves. It now takes four guys to keep harvest going at a smooth pace.

The first year we farmed my Dad harvested our corn crop with his combine. I think we bought our first (used) combine the next year.

That first year, Warren bought three old used wagons. He was in a "we have spent enough money getting started in farming mode" and went inexpensive when it came to wagons. I was never very pleased with those wagons. One had to get inside to push the corn out as they did not tilt up very far, they held very little compared to the newer wagons and they were well used by the time they became ours. When the kids were around they would sometimes help by getting in the wagon to keep the corn rolling down. Malissa is helping her Dad in this 1979 photo. Newer, bigger wagons would tip up higher to keep the corn rolling out. There is an art to lifting the wagon up while unloading corn slowly. If the wagon is off center it can tip over. One wants to keep the corn flowing out at a steady pace by increasing the tilt of the wagon over time. We would unload the wagons into the dryer bin. Drying the corn took a day or two depending on the moisture and then we would unload the bin and put it into another bin or silo that had been converted to dry storage.

We had a small corn crib with some overhead storage. Here Warren is unloading one of the two new Heider wagons we got after farming two years. We still used the old wagons but our Heider wagons were the work horses. We ended up with two more nicer wagons a few years later. In the summer I would revarnish the floors of the wagons every year and every couple of years I would do the outside. Those wagons made my life so much easier. They had telescoping tongues, were much bigger in size, and held a lot more corn.

over the years. I never helped with this but
I remember when one and
two row pickers were used in corn harvest.

Before that picking corn was done by hand.

That had to have been very hard work!!!

Corn huskers wore cotton flannel gloves to protect their hands. These gloves had two thumbs. When the working side of the glove became worn - most likely by noon - the gloves were turned over and wore on the other side. When we started farming we bought this type of glove. The double thumbs were a way to make a pair of gloves last much longer. For us right handed folks the right hand always wore out way before the left. Some times we would have a big stash of lefties and we would turn them inside out or wear them on the wrong hand just to find a decent pair to wear. Now that our livestock is housed indoors we do not buy nearly as many gloves. New gloves in the fall always were a treat. By spring finding a decent pair could be a huge challenge.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The granddaughters next door have a black cat. Well she is almost a black cat. The girls can play with the cats but they are not very fond of Warren and me.

The witch is hung. I have the cards made and sent to the Aussie grandkids. There is just a bit to do to finish the ones for the girls next door. Cards for the grand niece and nephews go out today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HARVEST has Commenced

Yesterday we got the beans harvested. At about eleven it was dry enough to get started. The guys worked here until about eight thirty.
One swathe down, lots more to go.

Today the sky is not so blue. It was dark when they go done so the picture taking had to wait until today. What we need is sunshine and heat to dry down and harvest our crops.

It is nice to have harvest under way. Chuck does our harvest work. He does his own harvesting, our harvesting, and two other farmers. None of us have enough acres on our own to warrant new equipment. The combines today are pure luxury compared to what we had 30 years ago.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I seldom get a good picture of the dogs. Today was an exception. Maddie is looking right at the camera. She is a pretty dog but...... is seldom still, digs in my gardens, wants the lion's share of attention, and the biggest portion of food.

Our beans today.

Our beans a month ago.
Harvest is slow this year. October has been cool and rainy.

The corn is testing wet for this time of year. We need hot dry weather for a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I know this guy checks the blog from time to time just to make sure I do not write any bad things about him. Today is his 21st birthday. Or should I write that his age is divisible by twenty-one?
I am sending him greetings of love, today and everyday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

My Mom once told me that I will be late for my own funeral. Being early is not one of my great attributes. As today is only the second of the month I am not sure if this post is early in the month of Breast Cancer Awareness or a day late because the month is over a day old.

This post is to honor all who have or have had Breast Cancer. Most especially this is a tribute to my sister, Cindi, who 12 years ago was fighting her personal battle with cancer. She celebrates her 12 year of being cancer free this year. I know first hand that not only the person with cancer but the whole family is effected when cancer is diagnosed.

To all those who run the race for the cure, wear pink for the cause, buy a cancer stamp, gave money to a cancer charity, have battled the disease, or helped another in their battle, I salute you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Tim Tam Slam

Since our son brought us three packages of Tim Tams from Australia last month we have been saving some (as in rationing). For a long time they sat on the higher counter in our kitchen as a testament to his visit. One day I put a package in the frig. An Internet research on the proper way to do the Tim Tam Slam acquainted me with the information that it works best to use cold cookies. The next morning both granddaughters accused us of eating the Tim Tams. Hannah does not even like Tim Tams but missed seeing them. She does not like Oreo cookies, so what do you expect?

Kelsey and I were the only ones brave enough to do the Tim Tam Slam. We bit off opposite ends of the cookies and then used it as a straw.
The rest of the family missed out on a real treat. Tim Tam Slam cookies are the best!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Bike Ride

On Sunday we went for a bike ride with the Matt, Malissa, Kelsey and Hannah. We all prefer to ride on the paved trails. Not far from us are miles of city trail. The hassle to load up our bikes to ride the trail is worth the effort on a lovely day like yesterday. Until recently M & M had a van. Without the van we needed to improvise a way to get all six bikes transported. When Warren made the bike rack for our pickup he made it to hold four bikes. With careful work we can squeeze and strap in all six bikes.

Helmet Time

More Helmets

Resting? Or waiting for me?

Arranging all six bikes for the trip home.

It takes many hands to get the job done.