One Crazy Easter Weekend

Easter. A holiday made for epic celebrations. One great event, a promise of things to come and a time to reflect, give thanks and gather…oh, and food, really great food. How do you improve upon that?

Oh, yeah…add in a broken nose.

Scooter, in his Easter finest, sporting his now off-centered nose. It adds character.

That’s right, a broken nose, 6 hours in the ER and getting to bed about 3 in the morning.

Don’t worry, we still made it to church, and Scooter was proud to sport his new black eye. My eyes were probably a little black, too, but from lack of sleep, not a baseball to the face.

Lesson learned? Don’t let the boys play baseball the night before a holiday. Or maybe I should teach Scooter some better catching methods.

So today we head to the eye doctor, to get his vision checked out and make sure his fuzziness isn’t anything that a new pair of glasses won’t fix. And later on this week, once the swelling is down, we’ll see the ENT and double check his nose.

You can believe me when I say that I’m not one of those people that asks, “What next?” Because I know where that may lead…and I’d rather not know! 🙂

Hunt My Meat Monday

I know, I’m funny, right? Normally I participate in Hunk of Meat Monday with Beyer Beware…but today, I don’t have any meat to make, because my hunt was unsuccessful this weekend. Oh well, I have two more weekends to work some magic.

But I want to share my hunting story, because I think you will enjoy it!

Things I need for my hunt: blaze orange, gratis tag, shells, clip, pelvis saw.

Deer season opened at noon on Friday. The boys and I drove around a bit, but didn’t really do much for hunting. Saturday morning, bright and early, I walked the trees behind our house with some friends. Then we walked more trees and then we walked some more. (By the way, did you know that hunting is GREAT exercise?)

We saw a few deer, but I never did shoot. Not sure why. Hmmm…better get over that!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon, my little sister and I decided to walk another set of trees. It wasn’t a great day for hunting, it was cool and the wind was blowing 40+ mph. After we walked the trees, we thought maybe walking the slough next to the trees would be a good idea. The chances of having the deer laying in the weeds were pretty good with the wind the way it was. And so Amy decided to take the south side of the slough…and I took the north.

What I did not realize is that the slough extended for most of the quarter of land. And in order for me to cross the slough, to get back to the road where the vehicle was parked, I needed to either A) walk for about a half-mile north before heading east again, or B) get my shoes a little wet. I decided to go with B…looking back on it, I should have hoofed it farther.

Anyway, I was walking along, crossing the slough where it looked the driest and the most narrow. But you know about looks, right? They can be deceiving.

About 10 yards from solid ground, the ground went from squishy to ankle deep water to over knee deep. I was up to my butt in slough water and no where to go but forward. I closed my eyes, prayed I kept my shoes on and forged on…not thinking about what things I may be stepping on, in, etc. My sister was laughing so hard that she could hardly stand!

I finally made it through and out the other side. Shoes still on, clothes soaked, gun dry, mentally smacking myself for not walking the extra bit. Did I mention it was cool? And windy?

The slough behind me didn't LOOK that wet...famous last words.

So, we got into the suburban and I suggested since I was already soaked and dirty, we might as well walk something else while we were out. Apparently my stinky slough-water-filled clothes got to my sister though, she insisted we stop by the house for me to change.

My socks after my little swim in a slough. The slough grass is a nice touch, I think.

Maybe next Monday I’ll have a better story…and hopefully a recipe!

Monday at Mayo

Today was our first day here in Rochester for our fall checkup. We have met with the dietitian and got some really great new ideas for George’s diet.

For example, she gave me the idea of grilling a portabello mushroom (the great big cap) and topping it with a bit of salsa and a little bit of shredded cheese, to make it resemble a burger. What a GREAT idea! (I just hope George goes for it!)

We’re also going to be in contact with a chef that has a daughter that follows a low-protein diet…can’t wait to get some more ideas and recipes!

But I would like to give a big shout out to those people that have been so amazing and have made me feel like I was at Scooter’s coronation activity today. Scooter was named Little Mr. Ellendale last fall, and that meant that him and Little Miss Ellendale would be part of the high school Homecoming ceremony.

Unfortunately, this is Homecoming week…and I couldn’t reschedule this appointment again. So I missed it, but not really. Not one, not two, but at least THREE different people took photos for me. And truthfully, it probably went better than if I would have been there.

Scooter, escorting some beautiful women!


Little Miss and Little Mr. Ellendale - future Homecoming royalty???


The beautiful thing about living in a small town is that you can ask someone for help, and know that all is taken care of…and I can’t believe how lucky I am.

The Littlest of Blessings

A few weeks ago, I received a great surprise in the mail. The boys were so excited because it came in this HUGE box…

So COOL!!!

It wasn’t what they expected, but I was still really stoked about it!. It’s a beautiful garden bench plant stand from Avant Garden Decor.

I LOVE IT!!! It’s so beautful, and fits in with any outside decor.

And it’s tough. (But I’ll get to that in a minute.)

First, I purchased some flowers to plant, and prepared my area.

Getting everything ready to go!

Then, I got to work and it turned out wonderfully! I was so excited about my planter!

It fit in so nicely!

It was growing to well, and the flowers were really taking off…and then the storm hit. I thought for sure that my beautiful little planter would be toast, gone with the wind, vanished into thin air. For pete’s sake, the wall to our shop was caved in, how could a little plant stand stay put???

But it did.

A little rough, but still standing...hope for us all!

The flowers were a little rough around the edges, but they’re coming back. My precious little planter withstood winds that our great cottonwoods couldn’t stand up to…and it taught me a lesson.

Sometimes in life, it’s not the largest, strongest that survive. And sometimes amid destruction, you can find a little beauty.

If you would like to win a Hanging Basket of your own head over to the Real Farmwives of America & Friends Blog and sign up for their giveaway!

Avant Garden Decor did provide me with this product to review, however the thoughts, opinions and photos shared about this product on this blog are my own.

Mary, Mary…

Well, after wondering if my garden would pull through the flooding, it’s obvious that it handled it rather well! Yay!

In fact, I spotted my first pea pod already filling…can’t wait for more!

I thought I would take a few pics of my favorite blooms to share with you…enjoy!

The hard, fast rain has compacted the ground a bit, but nothing a little hard work won't help out!



These spaghetti squash will serve as George's noodles in the upcoming months. Can't wait!!!



We have a pea pod! Yay!!! Can't wait for the others to set on!



Cukes, cukes and more cukes. Hubby loves them, and so do the kids!



The peppers have been the hardest hit, but they're coming around.



Some of my tomatoes look great, and some look pretty sparse, but this little guy is trying to me hope! My salsa is demanded around this house!



Hopefully in the next few weeks this patch will be pumping out the produce and my boys will be enjoying my hard work. I won’t lie to you, it’s been a really tough year to do this. But in the end, it’ll all be worth it…


Bucket list…

Not so long ago, I received a bucket in the mail from Red Hill General Store – in collaboration with the Real Farmwives of America and Friends. Let me say that securing the bucket for MY use, and not the uses of little hands, was my most difficult task!

But, I found it extremely helpful for various projects that I had going on around the farm…including:

A bucket-ful of healthiness!

1) Picking asparagus – This was the PERFECT sized container for picking a supper-sized bunch of asparagus! Add a little water to the bottom, throw in the asparagus, and toss it in the fridge until ready to cook! EJ decided that eating the asparagus raw was way better than waiting for it to cook, but who can blame him?

Pickin' some strawberries!

2) Picking strawberries – Once the rain stopped around here, the strawberries have come on hot and heavy. We’re in charge of the overrun when Grandma and Grandpa are busy, so the bucket has come in handy on those days!

3) Future use – Picking peas, peppers, etc. This will definitely be my go-to tool for picking fresh produce out of my garden…as long as the weather doesn’t get to it first!

4) Watering can – I don’t have a watering can for my flowers around my house. Mostly because I’ve never planted flowers before, so this is my first year. But I’m addicted! So be on the watch, I’m looking for tips, ideas, etc. to get my flowers off on a better foot next year. Not dealing with a new puppy will help out a lot!

5) Rock collector – EJ and Big Bro decided that this bucket was the perfect size for collecting rocks. And although they are right, it definitely is perfect for that, I had to dump their rocks back on the road so I could continue to use my bucket. I have a feeling that I know who will end up with it in the long run!

Sit, Maggie...sit!

6) Treat dish – Big Bro decided to teach Maggie how to sit (and he did a pretty good job!), and he used the bucket to hold her treats while teaching her! The handle was PERFECT! And I do believe we have a little gal who now knows how to sit on command. (Don’t tell Big Bro, but he learned a little about animal care and patience along the way…let’s keep that between you and me, though, OK? In fact, it’s a 4-H project for him!)

7) To be continued…you see, on the farm, everything has many, many uses. A Halloween bucket may become a flower-pot (you’ll see that one in the future), a tire rim may become a ring dike, tin cans become tomato protectors, five gallon buckets become step stools, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless.

I’m sure in the future this bucket will become a valuable tool in many projects. But while I’m using mine, why don’t you head on over to the Red Hill General Store and pick out your own? Or better yet, head over to the Real Housewives of America and Friends page and sign up to win your very own galvanized and embossed bucket!

I’ve shared my ideas…now what will you do with your bucket?

While Red Hill General Store did provide me with a bucket to blog about for this post the pictures, ideas and opinions shared here are my own.

Wordless Wednesday – Parade paradise!

As I mentioned yesterday, Monango celebrated 125 years this weekend. And what better way to celebrate than with a parade! Check out my parade pictures for Wordless Wednesday:

Grandpa drove one of his tractors in the parade.

Auntie B and cutie Cousin N drove another tractor. Showing vet-school pride!

Uncle J also drove a tractor...this time with the NDSU flag!

Uncle B and Aunt L (along with Cousin H and Cousin G) drove Grandpa's Toronado. Hmmmm...we may have too many letter abreviations going on here!

One of our neighbors had a family float, congratulating Monango on 125 years!

Area businesses also came out to support our town. Including cool throw-backs to the old days, like this truck!

Big Bro was in the pageant, which gave a very quick synopsis of the history of Monango...from the beginning of time to present day. Very cute and funny! And Big Bro's acting debut!

I could post a bunch more pics, but I think you get the point. It was a great afternoon and lots of fun for the kids…but the best part was seeing the community coming together. It’s funny how we’re separated by mere miles, but it takes a celebration to bring us together. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t take another 25 years to see each other again!

We may be rural…but we are not alone.

Super summer Saturday

Well, we finally did it. We managed to have a real family day. Spent doing nothing but family stuff. Well, except that morning. Mark had to rotate the tires on the suburban, but that was it. We hit the road.

We spent a wonderful day at our niece and nephew’s birthday party. And we had a blast!

There was a pinata…

George decided he wanted a turn!



And then there was an attempt at getting a family picture…

Scooter, 7; EJ, 4; George, 2; and Big Bro, soon-to-be 9!



And then there was playing…lots and lots of playing!

The water table was a big, big hit!



EJ had to concentrate hard on his plans.



Little hands at work.



Some rare Daddy play time!


And then, as we were getting ready to leave, the idea came up that we take a drive to see the historic Garrison Dam (it’s releasing water for the first time since it was built!). It was a little bit of a jaunt, but it added to our special day…and we had special guests with us too! (Uncle Bryan and his little angel joined us for the drive…although mostly just napping for the little ones!)

It was an amazing sight to see!

Garrison Dam - releasing water



And then, when we hit Bismarck on our way home, this lovely little storm added some excitement to our journey…

I kept having flashbacks from the movie, "Independence Day."



Yeah, it was definitely kinda creepy!


On our way home, we stopped and visited a college-friend of Mark’s and had a great visit…plus I was able to pick up some 4-H pointers! Score for me!!! The kids played well, even with it being on the late side. Although I had to make sure that EJ didn’t take home any extra tractors! It was great to spend a normal day, much like many other families.

On the farm, that doesn’t happen nearly often enough!

It’s All in the Name

I spent the weekend helping out my Mom and Dad do a few projects around their house…like replacing a hot water heater. It was tons of fun…really.

Actually, I don’t mind helping them one bit. They’ve always done so much for us and since I was always the one physically closest to them, I’ve been part of many projects. Like replacing a porch floor, repainting the entry way, residing part of the house…little things like that.

I was thinking back on my days in school. You know, those days that you are forced to take classes like shop and home-ec. (I think they call it industrial arts and consumer science now. Ha!)

I remember one shop project in particular. We were supposed to make name plates for our homes. You know, those fancy routered slabs of wood that have the last name engraved on them and look so great outside your house? Well, that’s what it was “supposed” to look like.

I finished the project, but I had a bone to pick with the shop teacher. First of all, I was a girl, and if I got married, my last name was changing. So what was the point of the project? I wasn’t keeping it forever.

Second, we had to pay for the wood by the inch. Which to me, wasn’t fair. I mean, some people had really choice last names, like “Rall” and “Hafey.” I mean, even “Beringer” was bearable and wasn’t going to break the bank. My last name? Are you ready?


Yep. My expensive piece of wood was supposed to hold all those letters.

I was going to need a week, just to get the router through all that. And then paint. And then send it through the planer. It was a grueling project. And not all that cheap.

And here we are, some 20 years later. And guess what?

Anyone have an extra-large doorway? It needs a bit of TLC and a new coat of varnish, but it's all there!

My Mom and Dad still have it on the front steps in front of the house.
I think they just want to make sure they get their money’s worth.

Calving by the numbers – Ag Book of the Day 5

I promised yesterday a calving post, but the day got away from me…I know, real shocker, right?

Here is the 2011 calving data:

2/11/11 – Starting date of calving

5 – cows left to calve, as of this posting

75 – number of bull calves

95 – number of heifer calves

9 – most calves in one day, including two sets of twins

2/19/11 – most sets of twins in a 24 hr. period (5 sets)

48 lb. – smallest calf (a twin)

130 lb. – largest calf (not a twin…but born by c-section, only vet call for an assisted delivery this year. Knock on wood.)

18 – number of sets of twins for this year

This group of twin calves is enjoying a day in the sun!

8 – number of sets of twins that were heifer/bull sets (I’ll get into why that’s important to know in another blog, but if you follow Cows_Life on twitter, you’d already know that answer!)

12 – number of calves that have died

3/17/11 – first day that we did not have a calf since calving began

165 – number of cows on the farm right now

170 – number of calves on the farm right now

This calf is a twin...notice the "B" on it's tag? There's an "A" to match!


And now onto today’s Ag Book of the Day:

“Buttercup, the Clumsy Cow” by Julia Moffatt and Lisa Williams. It’s a really cute book, focusing on how to make the most out of any situation. Yes, it’s silly, but you need some humor on the farm too! Plus, it still gives plenty of places where you can talk about real-farm stuff, like the dangers of wildlife to livestock, etc. Mostly, my boys just love it!