Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow, Beautiful Snow

Because of the snow we got last night the 4 turkeys that were going to be butchered were spared their life for another week. Instead we cleaned up the pine branches and when they were done I cleaned the nest boxes and added some fresh straw for the turkeys and chickens. When I was doing that Ron put the snow blade on the tractor so I could plow the drive. While I was doing the drive Ron fixed the front gutter of the shed. We have to get some parts for the back gutter so that one will have to wait until later. We worked outside for about 3 1/2 hours and I enjoyed it so much. I am an outside person and get out as much as I can.
The white pine tree lost several branches, knocked down the gutter on the front of the shed and broken it on the back.

More branches from the white pine.

Still more branches.

Branches were on the roof of the shed.

Side yard, doesn't it look so pretty.

Back field and woods.

The driveway after I spent about an hour or more with the plow clearing it. Beautiful job.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where Did It Go

I've looked everywhere but I can't find it.  I am not a person who can sit still and have nothing to do, I have to be busy ALL the time or I am bored.  Ask my husband and he will tell you that I am not a happy person when I get bored.
Well today I can't find my get and and go.  I have no energy, have a headache, and ambition is a foreign word.  Is it the weather or the mile long list of things that need done?  I'm not sure but I hate when I get like this.  I have to be productive, get something done, accomplish a task.  Right now the only thing I am doing is sitting here thinking of all the things that I should be doing and wishing someone would vacuum the house, it needs it so badly. 
I have been up since 6 and have only answered some emails, started a load of wash, measured some Amish items getting them ready for pictures so I can post them and gathered eggs.  For 4 1/2 hours that is nothing. 
If you find my get up and go please send it back to me as I need it ever so badly.  Thanks for your help.

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Still Here

I'm still here, I've just been very busy.  Ron and I turned the back 2/3 of our garage into a storeroom for all my stuff I sell on Etsy, eBay and my new store.  We did a beautiful job and it looks so nice.  I have an on the wall vent-less gas heater on the wall (it has always been there) and run the dehumidifier for 3 hours each day to make sure it says nice and dry.  We worked on the garage for almost 2 weeks whenever we could squeeze in some time.   
Then I spent several days developing a new store and some days I was ready to throw in the towel.  I had been thinking about this for a while now and watched several YouTube videos and followed one by Tyler Moore.  He is very good and has over 100 videos and would recommend him.  It was a little harder than I thought it would be but it is up and running and have had 3 orders so far.  In my new store I only sell Amish and Mennonite items and have 100+ items so far and have at least 100 more items that need added as soon as I sell some more items.  My racks only hold so many items and I have four 7' racks jammed with items that are listed. 

Here is my new stores web site:

Also I have an Facebook page for me and my store and would love if you would follow and like it:

Thanks so much for those that keep reading my blogs and hope to write more that I have in the past year.  Being retired is a busy life for me but I love every minute of it.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turkey Processing Day

Today was turkey processing for 2 lucky birds.  We processed 1 tom and 1 hen, the tom will be for Thanksgiving and the hen is going in the freezer.  It was 23 degrees out and a horrible wind so it was darn right cold.  We ended up doing the gutting inside because we were frozen.  Derek and Brandon came over to watch and stayed outside until we were almost done with the first turkey and then went in because they were cold.

Learned 2 things today:
1. We have to get the plucker made and soon before we do the next group of 6 turkeys in a couple months.
2. Looks can be deceiving, the turkeys dressed out a lot smaller than I thought they would.  Of course they are not commercial breeds and had plain old turkey food WITHOUT growth hormones.  The tom dressed out 14.8 lbs. and the hen 8.1 lbs.  The hen will be the perfect size for the 3 of us with leftovers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Truck After Our Amish Weekend

All the totes and garbage bags are full of Amish clothes, 6 large tubs in the bed of the truck and 2 small totes inside the truck.  We had 8 garbage bags and 2 paper sacks full of clothes.  All the garbage bags of stuff and paper sacks have been hung up and only about 1/3 of that stuff has been posted to sell.  The totes have not been touched yet and probably won't get touched for a month or so.  I should have enough stuff to sell for several months.

Back of truck before we added stuff from the cab.

Back seat of the truck before we moved stuff to the bed of the truck.

After moving stuff.

Truck ready for the trip home.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pictures of Our Amish Trip to Northern Indiana

Pa-Ma Treasure Trove, the second hand store we shopped at and the parents of the couple we ate with.  The store is on the right and side and their house is on the left side.

Inside the store.

Inside the store.

Buffalo at an Amish buffalo farm.

Deer stand on an Amish farm.

Amish farmer harvesting his corn.

Some buggies at one of the stores.

Trying to hang laundry on a windy day.

Corn cut and stacked to dry.

One row corn picker.

Some odd looking ducks we saw.

More ducks.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Facts not Fiction I Learned While Visiting with the Amish

Here are a few facts we learned while visiting and eating with the Amish, remember each Amish area is different and this is how it is in Northern Indiana.

Shunning: if a child is not baptized into the Amish church and leaves the Amish they are not shunned but if they were baptized and leave they are shunned until they join any church and bring a letter from the pastor that they are active in the church then they are not shunned any longer.  They just want them to still seek the Lords guidance even if it is not in an Amish church.
If shunned they can still see their family but if they sat down to a meal they would be the last one to take food from the serving bowls and after that no Amish would be able to take food from that bowl.

English attending Amish churches:  If I wanted to attended an Amish church service I could do that.  They would have someone sit with me and write notes to help me understand what they were talking about.  Most of the service is in German with some English.  Children learn German and then when they go to school they learn English.  So to introduce them to some English the service has some English in it so they can get used to it.

Getting married:  The bride chooses the color of her dress and the color of the mothers dresses.  Jane's dress was a dark blue with the mothers dresses a lighter shade of blue.  The servers colors were also chosen by the bride.  There are 3 to 4 meals served on the wedding day.  The noon meal is for the family and those that were the witnesses for the bride and groom.  A meal at 5 pm is for the cooks, servers, friends, family who were unable to attend the service and any English friends.  Then at 7 pm another meal is served for the brides and grooms young friends and there is a lot of singing that goes on at this point.  Then if there are some that were not able to attend any of the other 3 meals a meal is served about 9 pm.  Darrell and Jane had 3 meals with a little over 1000 people who were served.  Between the noon meal and the 5 pm meal they open gifts and visit with family.  No rings are exchanged, for the man his symbol of marriage is that he grows a beard and for the lady she must now wear an apron with her dress every day.  The apron can be the same color of the dress or it can be white.

Funerals:  This is the only time where everyone must wear black clothing.  The widow usually wears black for an entire year but the amount of time is not dictated but suggested.

Divorce:  They do not believe in divorce but if it happens the person who initiates the divorce must leave the Amish church and the other person may not remarry unless the one who initiated the divorce dies.  In the Amish church unless death occurs you are always married to that person so that is why you cannot remarry.

There were other things talked about but these are some that stand out with me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Evening With the Amish

I don't where to begin.  We arrived at the Amish house a little before 5 and was ready for our buggy ride.  We were the first ones there and got the first ride.  The inside of the buggy was so much nicer than I thought it would be.  The seats, the walls and ceiling were deep blue velvet, the floor was covered with vinyl flooring.  It was also much smaller inside, it had a front seat that held 2 people and a back seat that held 2 people very snuggly.  The driver of the wagon sits on the right side of the buggy.  The ride lasted about 20 minutes and we talked the entire time which made it seem like 5 minutes.  Mr. Gingrich pointed out different things along the route and told us different things about his neighbors, Amish and also English neighbors.  He was saying that the English will help the Amish and the Amish will help the English whenever help was needed.  He said that everyone gets along like one huge family and the only difference between everyone was they way they dressed and lived.

Me in front of one of the two wagons they used.

Ron in front of the wagon.

Me in the wagon and ready for the ride.

After we return we went in the house and visited with Jane Gingrich while she finished cooking the meal.  She was extremely friendly and allowed me to take pictures of the inside of her house as long as I did not take any of her.

This is an added part of the house where they serve the meal and is a general purpose room at other times.  In the corner you can see where she does her wash.

The other side of the area where we ate.

This is their living area in the huge room.  The stove is used to heat the whole house.

I did not take any pictures of the main part of the house.  They are planning to tear down the original part of the house because of several structural problems and rebuild and run a bed and breakfast.  They would like to get started next year but need to put in a new septic system and a new well so it might have to wait another year.  I for sure will be one of their first customers when they get it opened. 
One of the questions someone asked at supper was why they do these meals besides a way to bring in a little extra income.  They said they cannot have children and they were lonely and decided to try this and love doing it.  They work with several bed and breakfasts in the area and serve meals at least 3 nights a week.
For supper we started out with a salad and bread with apple butter and zucchini apricot butter for the bread.  Then we ate family style with Mr. Gingrich passing the bowls of food around the table and he would not take anything until last.  We had mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, chicken and noodles, baked fried chicken and meatloaf.  Everything was simply delicious.  Then for dessert we had pumpkin pie, apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  This also was passed around the table and you served yourself.  During the whole meal they answered any questions that were asked and encouraged everyone to ask anything they wanted to know, we were one of four couples as their guests.
After everyone was done Mr. Gingrich gave everyone a tour of the house.  The house had very few furniture items but what they did have was all Amish made furniture and was lovely.  He even asked if anyone wanted to see the basement where Jane has stored all the items she cans.  She cans a variety of vegetables, jams, jelly, fruit, and lots of meat.  She uses the items she cans in the meals she serves.  I was the only one who was interested in seeing the basement.  She has everything arranged so nice and neat. 
It was time to say our goodbyes and I asked Mrs. Gingrich who runs the store who came over to help clean up and do the dishes if I could give her a hug for telling us about this.  I cried and told her that this was like a dream and was something I will never forget and would be back next year to shop at her store and for sure will be eating here again.  Also told her I will keep in touch and I want to know when they open their bed and breakfast so I can come and stay with them.  She said next time we come up we can make arrangements to stay with her until her son and daughter-in-law get their bed and breakfast opened.  I just might take her up on it.

Me in my new hat I bought today.

Little Miss Eliz

On Tuesday and Thursday morning I have the privilege of watching Eliz while Gina is trying to finish getting her nursing degree.  She is always a ray of sunshine to my week and has been very easy to take care of.  Yesterday she was 12 weeks old and is growing like a weed.  Just wanted to share an updated picture of her so everyone else can see how cute she is.

I sat her on the table while I was getting her bottle ready and she was so patient while it was warming up.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Northern Indiana Amish

Visiting the Northern Indiana Amish has been very fun and exciting.  The Amish in this area are very talkative and outgoing.  Way different from the Amish in Arthur, Illinois where we visit a couple times a year.
The second hand store we went to today was wonderful.  A young lady waited on us.  Her mother came out and explained that she was cooking for the crew of workers who were helping out at an Amish house and business that burnt to the ground last Friday.  The Amish are a wonderful group of people who are there to help out their family and neighbors in any type of emergency.  The work crew has already started to rebuild the home and business and will not stop until they are completed. 
I picked up a huge amount of ladies dresses and a few children's items. 
We also stopped at a couple cheese shops and I think I had one of every sample they had out at both stores and LOVED them all.  We have purchased a little over $100 on cheese and beef sticks so far.  Tomorrow we are going to the bulk food store, a general store and fabric store and of course tomorrow night is supper with an Amish couple and a ride in their buggy.

Out working in the field.

The hay wagon is full and ready to be moved out of the field.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

If I Had a Bucket List..............

I am on cloud nine, I feel like a child on Christmas, I feel like I won the lottery.  We left home today for our 4 day Northern Indiana Amish community trip.  We had one Amish thrift store we were stopping at today and we went there right away.  Pa-Ma Treasure Trove in Milford Indiana is now my favorite store.  This is an Amish run second hand store that had a little bit of everything.  The people who own the store are probably in their 50's and are the friendliest Amish people we've ever met.  Right away when we walked into the store Mr. Gingerich offered us coffee and fresh baked pumpkin whoppie pies to eat while we shopped.  Ron had one right away and I had one after I finished shopping, it was delicious. 
Both Mr. and Mrs. Gingerich talked about anything and everything in the Amish life.  They had 5 children and 4 chose not to remain Amish.  They see all the kids all the time and they are not shunned.  Mrs. Gingerich even took me into her house to show it to me.  Very simple, very spacious.  It was open concept, one huge room with the living room dining room and kitchen all in one huge room.  The bedrooms and bath were off the main area.  They heat their home by a wood burning stove that is in their shop that is attached to the house and also have a wood burner in the living room side that they only use if it gets below zero out.
Their only child (son) who remained Amish lives next door and every Saturday night they have a Threshers Dinner at their house for a $15 donation.  It has to be a donation as they don't have a license to do it.   You can arrive at 5 pm and they will take you for a ride in their horse and buggy and then the family style dinner is served at 6 pm.  The dinner consists of 2 meats, potatoes, vegetable, rolls and pie.  Might serve more than that but I was so excited about getting to go Saturday that I'm sure I missed out on what was being served.  I would pay just for the ride and a chance to sit and talk to them.  They will answer any question you ask and are just as friendly or friendlier than their parents. 
So go ahead and envy me about 5 pm Eastern time as I ride in the buggy and then at 6 pm when we sit down to eat.  I will see what I can take pictures of and share them on the blog.  Sure hope I can sleep tonight as I am so excited for this chance of a lifetime and it is 2 days away. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Taking a Break

Thought I would sit and rest from working on taking pictures of stuff for Etsy and catch up my neglected Blog.  I had about 130 items to get photographed today, then I will tweak the pictures and then get them posted.  I have about 40 more items to photograph yet today so I can work on the tweaking part tonight.  Etsy and eBay are 7 days a week and all day jobs. 
My son Ron came over on Wednesday and transferred the stuff from my old laptop to the new one, cleaned up the screen of un used items and gave me some pointers.  The only thing about this laptop is that it has a very touchy control pad (mouse).  I don't have the space on my lap to use an external mouse and I will just have to get used to this one.  I now like this one a whole lot more than I did Monday.
Watched Eliz on Thursday while Gina was in school and she slept most of the time.  She was dressed in a Winnie The Pooh outfit for Halloween.  She was 11 weeks old on Friday, time sure flies.
Ian went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and here are some pictures of him and him holding Eliz.  Ian is not a baby person at all and you sure can tell by the way he holds her.

Well this isn't getting the rest of my pictures done so I need to get busy and get them done.  I still have 3 totes of stuff that I need to get hung and then do all the pictures of them.  Busy, busy old lady but it keeps me out of trouble. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

New Laptop Has Finally Arrived

I had a super high at 11:30 when FedEx delivered my new laptop.  By 12:30 I was at a super low.  My desktop and old laptop had Vista operating system and this laptop has Windows 8 operating system.  To me it's like speaking English to speaking a foreign language.  The only thing I was able to do on my own was set it up, connect to wireless and install MS Office Software.  Ian helped me the best he could and he has it functional right now and my son Ron will be over Wednesday afternoon to help me and to transfer the needed things from my old hard drive to this one.  It sure is a learning curve and feel better tonight about things. 
I need to play around and explore more on it and find all the those hidden gems. 
The laptop itself is beautiful, have a 17' screen, number keypad, nice shinny black and of course it is a HP the only brand I will purchase.  In a couple of weeks I will be sailing very smooth but right now the seas are a little rough.   

Monday, October 14, 2013

Catching up

It's been a while since I had time or made time to sit down and write.  Two weeks ago I finished up dehydrating shredded potatoes and have 3 half gallon jars full.  That is a lot of potatoes and should last until next year.  Went to a nice auction the first of the month and picked up a lot of nice linens that I need to get listed on Etsy and eBay.
My corner of the living room: reclining chair, end table with light and a wooden tray where I keep my laptop next to my chair. Last Monday night I was getting out of my chair in the living room and picked up my tea glass that has a handle on it and tapped it on the edge of the wooden tray and the bottom of the glass just sheared off and tea went into my laptop.  I dried it, took the air hose and blew it out, and put the fan on it and my laptop is fried.  It is about 5 years old but was in excellent condition because I took good care of it.  I was devastated, we were leaving the next morning for Indiana and Ohio and I always travel with it and also the thought of buying a new one was pretty upsetting.  I have a desktop but it is in the back of the house and not convenient to use.
The trip went real well until Friday morning when Ron was turning around in a parking lot and a loud bang and out went the power steering.  We drive a super crew F 150 and no power steering is a bad thing.  He looked under the hood, power steering fluid OK, belt OK and could not see anything wrong.  Across the street from where we were in this small town was a little mechanics shop and we went over and asked if someone could look at it.  They came over and made the same observations as we did.  He said it needed to be looked at by a Ford dealer and told us where 2 were.  Now we had a big decision to make, go to the dealer to see if they could look at it and if so if a part was needed would they have it in these 2 small towns or just try and drive it home or as close to home as we could get.  We decided to cut the vacation short by 1 1/2 days and start home.  We had a truck with 7 totes and over a dozen garbage bags full of Amish and Mennonite clothing and if we got stuck who would be able to come and get us; no one.  We drove until dark Friday night and then got up early Saturday and we made it home.  On the way home Friday I called the Ford dealer where we get service and made an appointment to drop it off Sunday night so they could look at it today.
In August we had it in for new tie rods and other front end things.  The problem was when they put in new tie rods they also put in a new power steering gear box and it was defective so it did cost us anything as it was covered under warranty.  Good for the no cost but still a little upset that we didn't get to all the places I had planned.
Our son Ronnie hunted for the best bargain he could find for a new laptop and placed the order for it Thursday night.  Now it's just a waiting game.  We should be able to get the hard drive info transferred from the old one to the new one.  Ron had Blossem pick up what ever it is so he can do it.
So for now I am stuck in the back room in the corner all by myself if I need to use the computer and with well over 1000 items to get listed so I can sell them I can see I will be spending a lot of time here.  :(

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Canning Potatoes

Today Ron and I canned 67 pints of red potatoes, just a little over 50 lbs.  Ron said he thought he was in the Army and on KP duty.  Next I will dehydrate hash brown potatoes and then can potatoes, carrots and onions together for when we have roast.  We bought 100 lbs on Saturday afternoon at 50 lbs for $8.99.
We canned about 100 lbs last year as plain potatoes, roast mix, vegetable soup mix and potato soup mix.  I have a few of the potato soup mix left and a a few of the vegetable soup mix left so I won't be making those this year.  Tomorrow I hope to get the hash brown potatoes started and that will take a couple days to do.  Dehydrated hash brown potatoes come in so handy and take so little space.

Friday, September 27, 2013

That Mole Will Never do That Again

Living out next to a field and woods we have moles all the time.  We've tried the stuff you put on your lawn and mole traps.  Traps are the best answer if you use them ALL the time but I am too lazy to put them out and try and catch them.  It's a never ending battle when you are the only one in the neighborhood who tries to get rid of them.  I've come to terms with it over the years, live out in the country and you have to put up with something.
If I see the ground moving which I have several times I have no problem grabbing a shovel and waiting for the right time to plummet it into the ground.  I have a 100% kill rate going doing this.  Today when I was out making my rounds checking on the chickens and turkeys I saw something gray out of the corner of my right eye.  I walked over to it, tapped it with my shoe and there he was a huge mole.  Before I could bend down to get him he was digging his way back into the ground.  I pulled him by his back legs and was successful in getting him.  Before I could make a plan on how to dispose of him he bit my finger.  I told him "OK buddy it is all out war now, no peaceful demise for you."  I threw him in the burn barrel, piled some dried garden items on top of him and the rest is history.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Forty Three Years and Counting

Forty three years ago Ron and I said "I do".  We celebrated and had turkey burgers for supper and spent our day and night just like any other.  Out of 3 children 1 remembered it was our anniversary and Ron didn't remember until just this morning.
Maybe I should start forgetting the kids birthdays and anniversaries and see how they feel.  Do I sound a little disappointed with my kids, darn right I do.  Usually 1 or 2 forget my birthday, the same for Ron's birthday and as you can see it's that way with our anniversary.  Kids!!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Re Purposing A Wooden Ironing Board into a Corner Shelf

We have re purposed 2 wooden ironing boards and have a couple still in the garage.  I asked Ron if he could take one and make a corner shelf for the kitchen and the below is what he came up with. The shelves are made from a wooden ironing board that was unusable for anything but parting it out. So the whole unit is made from old wooden ironing boards 50+ years old.  My idea, my husbands skills and now I have a very nice shelf to display some of my chicken stuff.
We have 3 more wooden ironing boards and Ron is going to make some more and I am going to try and sell them in my Etsy store.

monday's homestead barn hop