Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Saying good bye...

We traded our old mini van in for a newer model earlier this month. 

As I was cleaning out 8 years and 4 kids worth of junk, I found this diaper -- THE LAST DIAPER-- in the glove compartment.  By baby number 4, I was done carrying a well-stocked diaper bag and really didn't go too many places very far from home, so I would just leave the house with the kids and a very minimally packed bag of absolute essentials.  I had stashed diapers in the van, "just in case", and often I would go to this stash. 

Well, one lone diaper remains.  Dave and the kids and anyone who rides in my van and finds it necessary to rifle through my glove compartment asks why I still have this one diaper in there!  You see, I have grand visions of someday coming to the rescue at a sporting event, accident scene, picnic, playground disaster, with this trusty diaper to... oh, I don't know... absorb gallons of blood?  Use as a tourniquet?  Be a giant bandage over some terrible, gaping wound? 

Anyway, we passed our old van along to our high-school aged nephews sans diaper.  Sorry guys.  You're on your own there.  The diaper is safe and sound in the glove compartment of my shiny new van! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I am NO electrician...

So, across the road from my parents' house is one of their two cow pastures.  In this pasture our two fair-bound cows and their spring calves are residing.  Long-story-short, we would like to semi-permanently relocate these 4 to a smaller fenced-off area in the corner of this pasture until fair time.  The problem is that the electric fence doesn't work right now.  Well, the men of the operation thought that I should/could "just go out and walk the fence to find the place where it's shorted out". 

O.K., I'm that desperate to get this mini-pasture into working order (I won't go into the details of what it takes each day to get the cows and calves corralled...), so off we went. 
Holly was the official photographer of this ordeal, while Drew--under Dave's orders-- drove the 4-wheeler, in case I get shocked unconscious, or something.

I started at the fencer box (where you turn it on) and walked the entire perimeter of the pasture.

 How am I supposed to check the fence, you ask!?!?  Take a screw driver and touch it every so many feet and it'll spark if it's on.  Doesn't this sound fun, safe, easy, safe, and safe?  
(If you're wondering whether the weeds are the culprit, the guys assured me it's not...)

 I don't think the fence works at all, I never experienced the "arc" that the fence would make with the screw driver.  I really don't know if I was doing it right or if I was expecting to feel something different.  I have no idea...
That white ribbon is a second strand of electric fence that runs one length of the pasture and keeps the cows out of a field of tempting field corn.  That part was mildly electric: when I touched it with my finger is was kind of weakly on, more "sparkly" than "SHOCKING!!!" though. 

Oh well, I didn't make any grand discoveries and we are back to where we started.  It was a beautiful day, though, so I'm not complaining!  Maybe once the hay gets baled and put up, the wheat gets combined and delivered, the straw gets baled and put up, and they hay ground gets sprayed, then maybe the guys can help this gal out with her minor problems ;)   Oh wait, I forgot about the feeder cattle, the manure, the .... oh never mind.  We'll just sort our cows and calves off each morning the way we've been all along.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Farm Quiz!

Test your knowledge of straw baling 101:

This kid is:

 a)  5' 4", 80 pounds (with muddy  boots on)
 b)  more help around the farm than his mother (times 3) 
c)  buffing up for seventh grade
d)  all of the above

The first thing you need to know about putting-up straw (into the barn) is:
  a)  it needs to be at least 90 degrees out, with a heat index in the triple digits
b)  you have to first harvest the wheat in a state of the art, ginormous combine (thanks Grandma Lori!)
c)  Grandpa Kent will NEVER be too old to sling bales --in the mow, where it's like 15 degrees hotter than out on the rack!
d)  all of the above

That grin on his face comes from the fact that:
a)  he's not in school
b)  he's doing what he loves
c)  20-30 of these bales have his name on them for his 4-H cattle next year
d)  all of the above

At the end of the day there will be: 
a)  a barn a quarter of the way full of straw (4 loads worth, anyway!)
b)  3 very tired men and 2 very tired boys (Dave, my dad, and our hired man are inside stacking, Drew will soon join Danny on the rack to feed the elevator!)
c)  lightening bugs and a beautiful sunset (because that's what July nights are good for!)
d)  all of the above
If you answered (d) for all 4 questions, then you aced it, smarty pants!  Keep up the nice work!  You get an A+!!!!

P.S. If you aced this quiz and are new to Living the Daly Life, test your skills at this quiz from last year!  Many Hands Make Light Work!

Friday, July 19, 2013

When in doubt: ACCESSORIZE!!!

Emma and I got some new bike doo-dads for our birthdays last week. 

Grandma and Grandpa gave Emma a new set of handle-bar streamers, these are WAY cooler than any I've ever seen before, they have flowers on the ends that spin when she rides. 

The handlebar streamers definitely add to the experience.  Her bike really is the IT thing, from the basket to the handlebar streamers, right down to the training wheels...  wait, what are those training wheels doing back on that bike?!?!?!  Sometimes her oldest brother is too accommodating.

This is my new bike accessory:  an odometer/speedometer/clock gadget!  I LOVE it!  Dave couldn't have gotten me a better present.  After all, I only asked for a water bottle holder--which I did receive, also!  As I ride along, it scans through different calculations:  the time I've been riding, the distance, my average speed per hour, my actual speed per hour, and the actual time of the day.  It clips on and off so I don't have to worry about it sitting out in the weather!  I asked him what he paid for it and it was only $14.99 at Farm and Fleet!!!  (Sidebar:  When I first started running, he bought me an iPod for my birthday.  I took it back because I couldn't justify spending a week's (or more) worth of groceries on something so frivolous.)  So anyway, this has really increased my quality of life.  I might as well have won the lottery I feel so lucky!   
What cool things do you have to keep track of where you're going and how fast you can make it?  I've seen bracelets, heard of things in tennis shoes.  I think that there is a lot of cool stuff out there!  Share what you love!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Summer Project:

Trying new recipes!  I love cooking new things in the summer because I a) have the time, b) am not dead-tired, and c) don't need to be doing 6 other things like checking homework, folding laundry, quizzing spelling words, just to name a few, all while trying NOT to burn dinner. 
Last week a new Taste of Home: Simple and Delicious came in the mail and it was full of pretty pictures and yummy recipes!  I tried out three new ones this past week. 

1.  Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet:  tasted like Cheeseburger-Mac Hamburger Helper, but without the weird, processed taste.  (I don't really like Hamburger Helper, but I love what it stands for-- a meal that is quick and EASY!)    Everyone liked it and, as promised, it was start-to-finish 30 minutes.

2.  Fresh Corn Fettuccine:  didn't love it.  There was something strange and funky about the grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil mixture that is supposed to be the base of the cream sauce.  Dave ate it, but none of us liked it.  I won't be making this again, but you might like it.  Don't let me dissuade you!  I will warn you, though, it takes longer than the stated 30 minutes and it's not really something you can walk away from.

3.  And I got out my good old Crock-Pot for Pepperoni Pizza Soup:  really good, I'll use diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes next time, and Drew and I kind of picked around the sliced mushrooms and big chunks of tomatoes, but we love ravioli (which you add in the last 15 minutes).  Next time I think I'll do beef ravioli instead of cheese ravioli because there wasn't enough meat in it for me.  We all liked it, but Dave LOVED it!  It was easy to assemble at the beginning of the day so I'll pull this recipe out again next winter on a school day! 

What are you cookin' up on these dog-days of summer?!?!? 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cloverbud Project Time!

The girls are "Clover Bud" 4-Hers, or junior 4-Hers.  There are fewer projects for Clover Buds to choose from, Clover Buds don't get premiums, and they don't have to keep records.  We like it because it gives younger siblings a chance to participate in the club, get to know one another, and learn something! 

The girls both signed up for the Clover Bud Visual Arts project this year.  Most anything goes for this project.  (Last summer Holly did V.A.'s and made a collage out of stuff she collected on our Philadelphia vacation.)   We were looking through the project booklet that 4-H provides and found the directions for fabric covered note boards.   

We took a trip to the JoAnn Fabrics and collected our supplies. 

The girls had a milestone learning experience!  Ironing!!!

We tacked the fabric to the back of the cork boards.

We measured and cut ribbons for the note-holding and then reinforced the ribbons with some hot glue. 

Ta-Da!!! Aren't they cute!  Holly is the "wild child"--she loves animal prints!  Emma is the girly girl, hers is pink and flowery, just like she is! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rabbit Racing

Our rabbit has a new hobby: running.
  We discovered this new hobby of his kind of by accident.  One day after opening Spot's hutch door, the kids took off running over to the swing set and Spot happily ran right along. 

 Then they started making a "chase me" game out of it, and now they play 'rabbit races' with him every time they can! 

When they tucker out and plop down on the ground, he'll hop right over and snuggle up, or stretch out along side for a little break. 

Then, off they'll go again! 

He's such a darling pet.  Spot has definitely been one of the best investments I've ever made at the 4-H Fur and Feather Sale!  Now if only I could talk hubbykins into getting Spot a "friend"... wouldn't baby bunnies be so much fun!?!?!?!?