Showing posts from 2010

More Proof That I Married the Best Man

For all of the times that I hear people complain about the crappy, thoughtless gifts that they get from their significant others, I just have to shake my head and smile. My husband is the most wonderful gift giver. Each Christmas I wonder how he will top the previous year's gift because he sets the bar so high for himself. Well, once again, he left me with tears of happiness on Christmas morning.

First of all, I was under the impression that we were exchanging gifts on Sunday once we got back to the farm. But then on Christmas morning I was told to go upstairs at his parents house and wait until called. I heard a lot of rustling around and then Christian came up the stairs to get me. I was led with my eyes closed to the chair in the living room where I was sat to wait.

When I opened my eyes, the first thing that I noticed was everyone standing in front of me with their cameras out. Now that's not intimidating! And then I noticed the large object underneath the sheet. 


It's Snowshoeing Time Again!

Yesterday the sun finally came out and temps were around 20 degrees so we headed out for our first snowshoe of the season. What a gorgeous day! We saw a ton of animal tracks criss-crossing the trails on my family's land. We spooked two deer, flushed a grouse and also saw a bald eagle riding the air currents. We both use the traditional long wooden snowshoes because they are quieter and keep you on top of the snow better.

Natural Decorating

Bringing the outside IN for the holidays.

Free Christmas Music

I'm a big fan of FREE and I love checking out new music so I was delighted to discover that Amazon is offering 25 days of free Christmas music downloads. Now I have some new tunes to listen to while I'm at work!

Hungry Barn Cats

When our barn cats are hungry, they hang around the house in hopes of coaxing one of us to fill their feed dish out in the barn. They'll sit on the deck and give us sad eyes through the patio doors. We only give them food a few times a week because we want them to catch mice but they know they can get treats from me if they are cute enough.

A Mini-Honeymoon in the Porkies

Christian and I plan on going to the Canadian Rockies for a few weeks next summer for our official honeymoon but we decided to take a mini one this fall at our favorite place - the Porcupine Mountains in Upper Michigan. We turned our backpacking trip into a luxury vacation by staying at a different rustic cabin each night. Schlepping a pack over rivers and through the woods to sleep in a woodshed with no running water or electricity may not sound like the lap of luxury to most of you, but to us it was heaven. 

Day 1 (October 10, 2010) - Backpacked from Overlooked Falls down the Little Carp River Trail to the Big Carp 6 Cabin.  8.3 miles.

Day 2 (October 11, 2010) - Morning hike from the cabin up the Big Carp River trail to Shining Cloud Falls and back. Then backpacked 7 miles on the Lake Superior Trail to Buckshot Cabin.

Day 3 (October 12, 2010) - Packed the Lake Superior Trail out to the park road. Then we trudged up to Lake of the Clouds and took the North Mirror Lake Trail in to our 3r…

Little Wolf Knit Group

There's a new knitting group in Central Wisconsin and it was started by yours truly. If you happen to find yourself in Manawa on a Wednesday evening, stop in and join us! Work on your latest project and make some new friends.

Isn't Willa the Wolf pup just adorable? I had a lot of fun creating her.

Saturday Wake-Up

November 6th, 2010 at 7:30AM.

Meet the Apple Master

Our apple tree is loaded this year - so much so that it's resting half of it's branches on the ground.
Along with baking pies and making applesauce, I decided to dehydrate apple rings for an upcoming backpacking trip. I went to Fleet Farm to get an apple corer but ended up bringing home an Apple Master.  "Quickly Pares, Cores & Slices in one easy motion!" Sounds too good to be true... I had my doubts that the Apple Master would really work. 
The first step was to spear the apple through the core. Then I turned the crank and giggled with delight because the Apple Master actually works. And it works WELL! The sliced and peeled apple slid right off of the core. The slices were still connected so to make rings, I just cut all the way through one side of the apple. Next, I placed the rings in a solution of 1/2 C. honey, 1/2 C. water, and the juice of half a lemon. Then I loaded up the trays of my dehydrator. I wish I had more trays! The apples turned out great and the Apple Ma…

I love that...

When you crest a certain hill on the drive to our farm, if you know just where to look, you can see our silos poking above the trees. I love that!

Adjusting to Country Living

My life has changed drastically in the past few months; I sold my house, got married, and moved to the country. I've lived in small cities my whole life and was brought up camping, hiking, fishing and canoeing. While I have an appreciation for the outdoors, I understand now that I am, by no means, a country girl. Don't get me wrong, I love living in the country; it's just different. This is what I've learned so far about country living:

- You can’t get a queen-sized bed up an old farmhouse stairway.

- There are monsters in the corn, I swear. And one of these mornings when I take the garbage out, they’re going to get me.

- 80mph winds can rip a door off the barn.

- Twenty minutes: the amount of time it takes for the Fire Department to arrive when your silo might be on fire.

- Cows bite. Hard!

- When the power goes out, you can’t flush the toilet. No power = no well pump. (This one was a real eye-opener for someone who’s had city water their whole life.)

- The barn is cleaned (…

Never start a plumbing project in the afternoon

On Saturday, much to my delight, we visited a local Alpaca farm. Christian and I would like to have our own animals someday and we have been exploring different kinds of livestock. These gals definitely win in the cuteness category.

We got back to our farm around 3:30 only to find a big puddle of water coming from the water heater. The geniuses that installed the last water heater failed to put in water shut off valves. So, in order to replace the unit, we had to turn the water off to the whole house.
We had just come from Fleet Farm but now we had to turn around and go back to get a new water heater. Being out in the country, stores are not exactly close. An hour and a half later, we were finally lugging the new heater into the basement.
And, guess what. The new water heater fittings did't fit our old galvanized pipes. Having not eaten since our breakfast pancakes, we slammed a few bean burritos and headed back to Fleet Farm to get new fittings. 
By the time we got back to the farm, …

Two weeks ago we met the firemen...

Last weekend we met the cops. And no, we weren't being naughty. (That might come in a few more weeks when we have our big wedding reception at the farm...)
Our mailbox tried to run away during the night!
Christian called the cops thinking it was some punk kids out for a little midnight fun. After further investigation, the tire tracks through the yard (as well and the neighboring ditches) led us to believe it was a drunk driver.

The mailbox was mounted on a post sticking out of an old milk can filled with concrete. When the driver hit the mailbox, the whole unit must have gotten lodged under the car and dragged down the road. The road was all scraped up and the can was found in the ditch around the corner. 
Our renting farmer stopped by later in the day and told us that the same person who took out our mailbox must have missed the corner and plowed into his field down the road. 
So thanks a lot, asshole, for taking out our mailbox. Like we didn't have enough work to do around here w…

The Befores and Afters of My First House

Built in 1857. Purchased August 23, 2006 for $35,000. Sold on July 21, 2010. This is a look back at how much my house changed in 4 years. 

Outside Before/After:

New roof and windows. Added fill around the house along with flower beds. 
Living & Dining Rooms:

Removed carpet and restored hardwood floor. Patched plaster walls and painted. 

Restored hardwood floor. Patched plaster walls and painted. 

New drywall, tile floor, toilet, sink and laminate on vanity. 

Removed vinyl floor. Painted walls.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this house. I hope the new owner enjoys living there as much as I did.

Tuesday Wake-Up

August 3rd, 2010 at 5:38AM.

Nothing Says "Happy Birthday" Like a 911 Call

This past weekend there was an unexpected twist to Christian's birthday celebration. As we were testing out the music speakers in the machine shed for our upcoming wedding reception, the farmer who rents our barn quickly walked up. 
"I think you may have a silo fire. I was just up the silo and I had burning embers falling on me. Do you know your address? We should probably call it in." 
The farmer called 911 and twenty minutes later, the barn was surrounded by 3 fire trucks and an ambulance.

Luckily, there was no fire. A power cord in the silo had an exposed area that dust was falling on and igniting. None of those embers burned long enough to start anything else on fire. Thank God! 
We've been working on restoring the barn and I keep having nightmares that a tornado (or fire!) is going to level it after all the hard work we've done. Not to mention that we have our wedding reception on the property in a few weeks and we would kind of like the barn to still be there. 

When Tractors Outnumber Cars

For one weekend in July, our neck of the woods in Wisconsin is invaded by antique tractors.

People come from all around to the Symco Union Thresheree. Held along the banks of the Little Wolf River, the event has a little something for everyone: a tractor pull, demonstrations of old threshing machines and hay balers, flea market, live music and dance, tractor parade, historic Unionville town, and great food (ie: ice cream made by the Amish!)

Sure, the old tractors are cool... (Check out my fiance next to this steam-powered tractor!)

But I really love the old buildings and antiques that make up Unionville.