Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting Married Soon?

Oh if I had to do it all over again!!
Can you see Bill DOING THIS!! VBG

It's sure something to think about.
They look like they are having so much fun!
Let's do away with those boring,
stuffy, formal weddings!

My sister, (Dawn) and her husband, (Chris)
got married in a hot air balloon.
I'll have to see if I can get some video of that.
It was totally awesome!

One balloon carried, Bride, Groom, Minister,
Maid of Honor and the Photographer.
(who doubled as Best Man)

A second balloon carried a filming crew.

The families followed the balloons
around in cars throughout the country.
They landed in a hay field where
strawberries and champagne was shared!

A barn dance was held a week or so later.
What a BLAST!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I'm 'coming back as'!!!

I was at the vet's office yesterday waiting while Kruz and Mad had their dentals.
The vet office now has a big flat screen TV that plays Animal Planet 'non stop'. I suppose that's all well and good, but with the huge increase in their prices, I could live without it! Not to mention, I can't read a book with the TV on. Luckily I took some knitting along!!

One of the AP shows was about animals with extreme diets. I learned that I would like to come back as a HUMMING BIRD!! They eat 60 meals a day and don't gain an ounce! I think with a heart beat of 200+ per minute, Martha might already be one?

I do NOT want to come back as a whale! One species swims 6000 miles round trip to give birth in warmer waters and then swim back without eating! Hello! We can't make it 20 minutes from home with out cracking open a soda or some chips! Sorry baby, you're on your OWN!

They talked about bears going 7 months during the winter without eating, drinking or peeing!! YIKES! Seals that gained 400+ lbs so they could give birth, feed their baby up on warmer land and not feed for 3 months. Penguins males that went 3 months balancing an egg on their feet and ate snow to stay hydrated, but didn't eat! I sure hope that snow wasn't YELLOW!!! EEWWWW!!

Yep, I'm definitely coming back as a Hummingbird!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fun at Christmas Time!!

Well, Christmas FINALLY came and I was able to part
with that 'fart machine' that has been begging me to
turn it lose for the last couple weeks!


It made it to Christmas Day UNOPENED!

I made a little movie clip showing
Daphne and Vaughn opening their gifts.
I've included the noises in
case you'd like to purchase one!

Brother Kalvin is the one that asked
if it was a 'fart machine'.
A while later I was wishing I'd
gotten him one too!

It did get opened and we needed a
screwdriver in order to insert the 9-Volt
battery that was required.
Kalvin saved the day!!

He was inserting the battery,
I had the remote!
Of course I was planning on
'farting him' as soon as the
battery was inserted!

I thought he'd had gotten
it in place, so I pushed the remote.
A FANTASTIC Fart erupted!

Every one's laughing, except Kalvin.
He looks up, and asks,
"Was that the fart machine?"
My Brother in Law, Chris points an
accusing finger at my sister.....
"No, it was DAWN!!!"

Kalvin started to laugh and said,
"I didn't think so, I didn't
even have the battery hooked up yet."

Yep...that's my family!


From our little Red Neck Christmas Tree you YOURS!

I think the winds were just a bit too much for it!

It's now tucked up nicely in front of the house.
Maybe I'll get a picture of it later! G

Have a Great Day!
If you're traveling,

Monday, December 21, 2009

One of MY FAVORITE Days of the YEAR!

It's the first day of WINTER!!!
No, not really...

We've been suffering with winter weather the last 3 weeks.
Now it's just OFFICIAL!

What I really love about it...
is it's the SHORTEST day of the year!

From here on out.....
days will get LONGER!!

That means SPRING is

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Year's Resolution Anyone?

I know, Christmas isn't even here yet...but it's "NEVER"
to early to start thinking about your better living habits in 2010.
If you're looking for a way to eat better,
then might help you along the way.

Need some help trying to find
a proper diet?

Here's a British "Eating" show that you 'might' enjoy.
It's nice to see TV picking on other FAT people!!
It's NOT just Americans ANYMORE!
Okay, so we invented "FAST FOOD"!!

I do have to admit here, the "post" doctor is rather 'creepy'.
I'm sure that's why he got picked for the show!

One Stone = 14 lbs (25 stone = 350 lbs)
(12 stone = 168)
I think he's still smaller than most of the contestants on
"The Biggest Loser".

Part Two
What's in your sausage?

Part Three
Are you eating enough fiber?

Part 4
This one is kind of interesting, they cut the bodies (350 lbs vs 168 lbs) down the middle. They also talk about the good vs. bad cholesterol.

Bodies cut down the middle to see
where your fat lays.

Part 5

How many Calories are you eating a day?

Part 6

How much salt is
in your food?

Part Seven

You can be skinny and FAT INSIDE!

Part Eight

The autopsy.
(this actually starts at the end of seven)
It's amazing the size of the lungs and heart!

Average Life Expectancy

Tokyo - 83 yrs
London - 79 yrs
US - 78 yrs
Glasgow (Scotland) - 73 yrs

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another Great Book!!

I really like this Author.
Unfortunately this is the 'last' book
until he gets busy and releases more!

They are all murder mysteries based in England.
Yes, believe it or not...they have murders too!
Remember Jack the Ripper!

This is the first of his new series with
a female character, Bess Crawford.
She's a nurse in the war, and her
series begins in 1916.


His first series, has a male character,
Ian Rutledge, from Scotland Yard.
Ian has returned from the Great
War suffering from 'shell shock'.

As Ian's trying to keep his life together,
he's given the most complicated murders to
solve. With the hope of his jealous superior
that he will fail.

These are pretty quick reads and
very entertaining!
Set back in a time when cars we
new and untrustworthy.
No Cell Phones!

How did they ever manage?

Monday, December 14, 2009


My Nephew's Christmas present arrived today!
I'm so excited!

He's 8 years old and just LOVES practical jokes.
So, when I saw this it had VAUGHN'S name,

Now if I can just keep myself
from "testing it" at a party
this weekend.....

It's going to be tough!

What is it?


Hey, he'll have a voice in picking
out my nursing home!

I've GOT to be nice to him!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's Deer Season here in Iowa. That's great for those
of us that feed a raw diet to our dogs.
It's also great for those of use that have had the
misfortune of hitting them on the road.
Believe it or not,
it's also good for the deer as the quickly become over populated!

My luck in obtaining deer has been hit and miss.
There are years I get one or two and even one year that I didn't get any.
This year is TOTALLY a HIT YEAR!
My brother called the other day and asked me what I wanted.
Him and his friends had bagged a total of 16!!

They provided us with 10 or so large bags of rib cages and
legs that still had some meat on them.
Mostly the lower tendons.
These are great as the dogs seem to enjoy laying
on the kitchen floor and working all that meat loose.

I don't generally like the cold,
but it sure pays off when you have this much meat and bone 'dumped' on you.
Nature is going to have to be our natural freezer for this haul!

He also gave me several bags of nice trimmings.
I took 30# of it to the locker yesterday for summer
sausage and sticks. I have a good 30# more if you're interested.
I can feed it to the dogs, but it seems like
a waste when they have plenty!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

7 Foods the Experts Won't EAT!!

Yahoo always lists possible articles of 'interest'.
I'll admit, I rarely read them.
Today, I DID!!

Yep, that's the title above....
7 Foods the Experts Won't EAT.

I should have left well enough ALONE!!

1. Canned Tomatoes.
They are talking tomatoes in a can.
Apparently they absorb bisphenol-A in the lining that can
cause ALL kinds of health problems.
I just finished eating a bowl of chili made with....
store bought CANNED TOMATOES!!
(Yes, I do also can my own....which is suppose
to be healthier....I just don't have that many jars!)

2. Corn Fed Beef.
Now, if you think I'm touching this
topic you're NUTS!! Besides, there was beef in my
chili....listed above! Not to mention my Brother-in-Law
is a Beef Farmer. I'm NOT STUPID!!
Need I mention Oprah here?? G

3. Microwave Popcorn.
Yep, the chemicals that line the bag is
linked to testicular cancer (and other forms)
animals!! I'm not sure why these animals
are living on a mainstay of popcorn,
but that's a topic for another post.
Luckily, I rarely eat popcorn.....
unless it's covered in caramel that is!!

4. Non organic Potatoes
You can't be serious!
Too many the ground...
Then what about carrots?

5. Farmed Salmon
Another "FINE BY ME" one here!!
They are crammed into pens and
fed improper diets.
(and Twinkies and Ho Ho's are??)
If you eat farmed salmon more than
once every 5 months you are increasing
your likelihood of cancer!

6. Milk produced with Artificial Hormones
These cause increased infections
in udders and pus in milk.
Now THAT'S an attractive thought!
So, why doesn't this apply to cheese
and ice cream as well???

7. Conventional Apples
(Vs. Non Conventional Apples??)
Chemicals again, you need to wash and peel them.
I always thought the skin was the best part!

Well, hopefully I didn't ruin your WHOLE
evening and prevent you from that bowl
of popcorn or ice cream!
I think I'll avoid the article entitled....

13 Signs You're Obsessed With Food.

(I attached the article below - sometimes these don't work)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The RED Sparrows!!

This is one of the funniest clips I've seen!
It took so much work to put together and

Thanks to Michele/Packer for sending it to me!!!


Today I'm thankful to be inside a warm house!
The LP Tanker just pulled up, so barring the
loose of electricity (did I say that out loud??)
We should make it through the snow storm just
fine. I'm sure they'll be pictures tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our House in 1913!

Well, here it is!

If I didn't know it was our house, I wouldn't recognize it!!

What's up with those awesome porches on front!
Who tore them off!!!

Maybe I should ask "Why on the NORTH!!"
We live on a Mountain, so it's a hill!
It's a very steep hill.
Don't believe me?
Try running up it or riding a bike up it.
(we're the red buildings on the left)

Had I seen the old picture of the house
a few weeks earlier, I might have been tempted
to go with gray siding.

We stayed with white, I know boring!

The porches are no more, I'm sure it was the 'up keep'.
I would be tempted to add them back on,
but lets face it, it would be expensive!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Need a Good Read??

This was a really fun Trilogy.
Especially if you like dogs, horses, dragons, murder and suspense.
FUN FUN FUN!!! I think they may have made a movie?
I should probably check into that, but let's face it,
movies are never as good as the books.

These would not be classified as 'Quick Reads'.
They have a lot of detail and it's just like being there.
I'd classify them in the Diana Gabaldon series.

I would guess the majority of the books I read are
"Quick Reads". They are books you really don't have to
think about much as you read them. For instance, the James Patterson
series "Cross" books are very quick reads. You don't really get to
have a sense of who people really are. Obviously after you've
read 5 or 6 you get a good sense of Alex Cross, but not
the other people in the book.

So, if you have time to read. Like to read.
Enjoy books with a LOT of detail and don't
mind carrying around a 700-800 page book (each).
These might be a good winter project for you!
Luckily, the come in paperback!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Here's my favorite Thanksgiving song!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our New Car!!!

Seems like everyone is getting a new car these days!
Everyone but US!!!

Wendie got a new ORANGE Element
Kathy got a new RED Rav-4

So, this weekend while we were in Lawrence, KS.
I was keeping my eyes open for a new ride!

So, we came across this little van.
It's sure cute!
That Officer would surely be able
to pick you out of a crowd!

Bill liked this one.
More travel room!!
Just think of all the dog crates
and stuff you could pile on top!!

Finally, on the way home we saw the wild
buffalo roam.
Okay, so they were steel cut outs.
How fun!

Today I'm thankful for my little van, Carrie.
She just keeps on a truckin'!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Okay, I'll admit it.


They are curious, friendly and CUTE!

I'm always looking for fresh healthy food for them.
In fact, I plant extra in my garden, just for the chickens!

So, when a gal at work said her friend was trying to 're home' pumpkins,
I was all over it!

As long as I was willing to pick them up,
they would load them up.
What a deal!!

Now, I don't think about Iowa as a vegetable state, but
I was impressed by the size of the place.

They loaded me up with two pallets
of baking pumpkins!
BTW - they make AWESOME puree!

Of course the majority are for the birds.
It's been a bit cool, so when I break them open the
girls gobble up the seeds and soft insides.

They rest is not quite so easy.
I usually just let them rot a
bit and they will eat them then.
With the cooler temperatures,
that's just not happening.

I wasn't willing to cook all those
pumpkins in the oven!

I came up with a BRILLIANT idea!!!
I'll cook them over the fire pit!

You can pluck them off the
flames with the stem.
Or use a potato fork and pierce them.

They need to cool first of course.
In return -
My birds will keep on giving us
YUMMY eggs!

What a deal!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back to "This Old House"

So, in 2002 I decided after the new red roof,
that a whole new paint job was in order.

Here's the house before the roof.

Here's the south side, in 2002, after a roof and with the chimney painted.
It's amazing how much a little color will do.

Boy, someone needed to mow the lawn!!

Here's the south side this summer.
In need of new siding, but it shows you the colors.

This little bay window is on the East side.

But add a little color and it really livens it up!
(Hi Kruz in the window!!!)

With the siding I'm going to lose the diamonds.
Not much I can do about that, but I'll have the scales.
These will be white!
I am able to paint them however, so I plan to.

The whole painting process took about 3 weeks.
We were hoping to only have the scaffolding for one.
We needed it for two.
It was a LONG JOB!!!

So, next time I'll show you what our
house looked like in 1923!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I've OFFICIALLY completed my training hours. Well, honestly, I do have a make up class on exciting TURF GRASS! I can hardly wait!! (insert sarcasm here!!) G

We had to miss a night as the conference room was booked for another activity. Word is that we'll be having the 'make up' shortly.

In the mean time I'm looking for a couple projects to do in my local community. Seems there are a lot of things going on in the 'larger' towns (I hesitate to say cities) in my county. The smaller towns seem to miss out, so that will be my focus.

There are so many grants available for planting trees, or seeding ditches...who would have thought? So, now I need to make a few phone calls and decide where my focus will be.

Is it too soon to start wishing for Spring?

Today I'm thankful for the rain!
My fall planted Garlic appreciates it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can't Drive 55!!!

Yes, it's taken me about 10 days to confess. I finally got a speeding ticket!! Before you ask, YES, I did say...."Thank you Officer and have a nice day!" I have been due a ticket for ages and realized my luck was starting fade. Let's face it, I've had 2 warnings in the last 2 years....what does that tell you! I WAS DUE!!!

Here's the sad part. I wasn't in a hurry! It was early Friday morning and I was heading to work after swimming my 30 laps. There wasn't any traffic in my lane on Hwy 151. I wasn't even listening to any hard rock!! I was listening to Susan Garrett's Crate Games of all freaking things!! LOL

I was on time, no reason to rush. Open road ahead, expect for that line of cars coming at me. Yep, that's a County Sheriff pulling over on the shoulder. I was so busted and I knew it. Pulled into the Walford Church parking lot....said a Quick Prayer that DIDN'T pay off! G

Oh well, now I'm being Joe Citizen and whining at all the people that zoom by me in the morning! That's what really hurts....Not racing with the big boys!!

So how fast was I going? Let's say he was being VERY generous when I got the 65 in a 55 ticket. Bill got some Amazon Points (Yes, POINT PIG) as you can now pay tickets on line for your convenience.

Oh, in case any of you are wondering what I drive. Her name is Carrie and she's a 2003 Silver Honda Odyssey, with 165K. Not exactly your sports car! Way to go Carrie!!

Today I'm grateful for all those officers that keep us safe. I just wish there would have been more doughnuts available that Friday morning!!! VBG

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Red Roof.....

Not as in the "Red Roof Inn"!! In February 2002 we added a new roof. After a short debate, in which I WON, it was decided to change the color to red. To be honest, blue, green, black, white or "orange" (is there an orange?), weren't in even in the running.

It must have been one of the mildest winters in Iowa history. The temperatures were in the 50's and 60's. Just totally unheard of in February! Martha and Meme came out with Jamie and Robin to run around the pasture with Nina. It was WONDERFUL!!

It was also the perfect time to add a new roof. This involved a total tear off of two layers of shingles, one of wood and another of asphalt. I think I'm still picking up the nails! Then the new plywood and new red shingles, it gave the house a whole new look.

Of course, this meant adding paint come spring. Our 2002 "Parade of Home" venture began! I was excited!! Bill, I was excited!!!

Here's the West side in June 2002.

The South side in June 2002 after the chimney has been painted.

Painting the chimney is always an adventure. The top peak is 19'. the chimney is another 5' taller. So, it's simple enough to climb onto the roof and do the West, North and East sides. The south side involves wrapping your arm around the chimney and holding on, while you do your best to paint the south side. The part against the house involves a 40" extension ladder. Yes, in case your wondering....painting the chimney is MY JOB!

Next post will involve scaffolding and painting the 2002 Parade of Homes!

Today I'm thankful for the turkey (not one of mine), I'll be eating for lunch!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

10th Anniversary!!

I can hardly believe we're quickly approaching our 10th Anniversary at the Windy Hill Fowl Farm and Puppy Ranch! I should briefly explain the name for those of you that don't know. The first part is pretty self explanatory. We live on a hill and there's nothing between 'us' and Nebraska. Thus, it's WINDY!! Fowl Farm comes from my birds! In the spring of 2000 I started off with 7 chickens and 6 ducks. Since, we've never been with out birds. Puppy Ranch came from Bill's employer, they dumped it the 'puppy ranch' since we had multiple dogs and lots of fun toys!! AKA - Agility equipment.

Here's what our house looked like 10 years ago.

It's your basic 4 square farm house, built in 1890. Looking back, I do have to wonder, "What the HELL was I thinking!!!". The house obviously wasn't my priority. It was the 6 acres that went with the house! The barn and moving out to the country!! It took a long time to find an acreage that would fit our budget and be a reasonable distance from 'the city'.

Many thanks to Marsha, Melinda and Sandy who helped us tidy up
(as best as possible) and get moved in!!

It did turn out great. The land is flat enough for a couple agility yards. There's enough pasture for two horses, and room for the dogs to be able to get out and have some fun running. We really do love the country, even though Bill wasn't too keen on it at first. I don't think he'd ever move back to 'town'.

It didn't come without some issues however. I might blog about those at some other time. Let me just say, the whole interior of the house was painted either baby blue or baby pink! Walls and ceilings! It was horrible! The bathroom, well that along deserves a blog page by itself.

It didn't have any fences, so we had a side yard put on in December 99. Then some friends and family came out in March of 2000 to dig posts and put up 2"x4" horse fence out front. This was to become one of the agility yards. Thank you Melinda, Jeff, Dawn and Chris for your help!!

By January of 2002 it didn't look too much different. We did had the fencing and there were some red wood bushes added. Other than that, not a lot changed.

North - East View

East - South view

Winter of 2001-2002 it was apparent we needed a new roof. Looking to get some color on the house and move away from the boring white farm house. I suggested RED!! More on that in the next blog!!

Today I'm thankful for the wonderful weather!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things that make you go.....HUM....

Out here at the Wind Hill Fowl Farm and Puppy Ranch, we're having some work done. Actually, we're having our house sided. No more painting!!! Well, not as much anyway. More on this later.

This post is specifically about one of the workers. I'd say, 'your typical construction worker'. I'm not sure what that is anymore. So, let me describe him: 40's, a short stocky guy, kind of 'bar ruff' looking. Someone your Dad would love, as long as he wasn't dating his daughter. Your Mom would like him because he'd cleans up his plate and ALL the left overs. He drives a beat up Chevy Pick Up: Multi-Colored Red Neck type with Primer, rust, holes and a junk yard new fender of two tone brown/cream. In the back is a shiny new truck tool box. His pride and joy.

I met him Monday Morning as I had to go and rescue him from the "attack" Tom Turkeys. Leonard and Skynard. Yes, after the Rottweilers in Without A Paddle. The boys had him 'trapped' in his truck and he was afraid to get out. I guess I can understand. Two 20 pound birds making all kind of racket and strutting outside your vehicle. It could be alarming. They are actually very nice birds and great yard alarms.

Do you get the general picture?
Here's the truck.

Do you notice the "I Love My Dog" Bumper Sticker?
I did.
So I'm thinking Rottweiler, Pit Bull, etc......


I got a good laugh out of this one!
He's really very nice, he feeds Rosie, our little chicken,
his bread crusts at lunch.
I told him he's never going to get rid of her now.
He just laughed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Treats!!

It just must be something about being born on Halloween that requires that you make the BEST Halloween food! Carrie continues to outdo herself with her Halloween food prep. I am a bit concerned however that everything seems to be in the 'finger' or this year, 'toe' theme.

Hum.....carrots for fingers?
It worked!

Then her bread creation of fingers and toes!!
Her first making of bread, with yeast and everything!
They were DELICIOUS!
Reminded me of one of my favorite movies - Sweeney Todd

I stole an idea that Meme used several years back.
Lime Jigglers - for Rat Bait!

Then the Eye Balls!!
Sue Ann made some with cheese centers and tomato casings
They were AWESOME!

Carrie's creation involved doughnut holes and life saver gels!
Very cute!

What's Halloween without Swamp Water Punch!!
(See the recipe on Exercised Finished)
You get use to the fleas!

Here's Mike during clean up.
He apparently likes to be blog fodder!
Mike, you play nice with Aragog!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 88th Birthday!!

Leo Greco!!


Okay, so if you don't know who he is, he a radio personality.
He's on WMT 600 AM every Sunday Morning!!!
He tried to retire once, about 8 years ago.
It's lasted about 2 weeks!!

Leo plays "oldie" (real oldies) music.
It use to be a lot more polka, but he's branched out.
He's so fun to listen to, you can't help but smile.
Okay, maybe it's because I grew up with him!
(He's just a titch older than me!)

"Okie Dokie"

Leo....this song is for you!!!

Today I'm thankful for the sunrise at 6:30!!
Nice to see some daylight earlier!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Entomology - Do Bugs Bother You??

I was REALLY looking forward to this part of the campus visit. I had visions of picking up large scary cockroaches and tarantula's crawling up my arm. Millipedes taking a nap in the palm of my hand. Well, you get the picture. By now you're either really excited, or totally grossed out and looking for another blog to read. I was one of those kids that had a butterfly collection and tossed poor helpless grasshoppers into the garden spider's web. SORRY!!!!!

The Lecture was very interesting and I enjoyed it. I was SO looking forward to the "Lab". Alas, I was disappointed. Although they had these bugs present, we didn't get to hold any of them. I did get to 'stroke' a giant Millipede, but lets face it, it's NOT the same. Yes, I'm also the one that gets bitten by the rats at the pet store! Bill is the one that reads the sign that says, "These rats bite". Hum......

During the lecture there was much discussion regarding the Japanese Beetle and the Multi Colored Asian Beetle. (Both pictured below) Many people use these names interchangeably as the same insect. I know I sure have! So, now you know they are two different insects and don't remotely resemble each other!!

Japanese Beetle - Eats LOTS of plants.
Favorites are the Rose, flowering crab apple, flowering cherry,
Japanese maple, linden, elm, viburnum, Virginia creeper, grape.
They don't have any known 'good' qualities.
I personally think their coloring is rather pretty.

Picture credits below -

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
This insect is GOOD.
Even though they do tend to bite! OUCH!!
They also STINK when you try to get even for the bite.
I find that the good old finger flick is your best defense.
They eat the aphids off the soybean plants, so they are good!
They also leave the fields in September or October to find warmer
places to hide. This coincides with harvest. GO FIGURE!

Okay, now on to the pictures of the bugs we got to play with.

Manduca Moth

I'm pretty sure I had one of these behind glass
when I was MUCH younger!

Where did it come from?

From the Pupa of course!
It's quite amazing how a caterpiller
can turn into a moth or butterfly.

Below are some tiny little Tomato
Hook Worms hatching. They will
turn into those HUGE caterpillars that can
clean a tomato plant of it's leaves in a day.
They'll also eat all their 'siblings'!

Here's a fun type of walking stick.
Not the kind we see in our area.

Finally, the millipede.
It was the size of my pinkie finger!!

Well, that's the end of the Tour!

Until next I'm thankful for all the chocolate I ate at work!!