Saturday, September 2, 2017

Summer 2017

Now that fall is nipping the air, we know what's happened since the last blog entry. Here are a few changes and happenings at Pine Ridge Farm:

Mr. Tuff

Mr. Farmer discovered this friendly fellow at the grain bin facility. After watering and feeding him 24 hours, we put his mug on Facebook and his family promptly found and retrieved him.

Rachael graduated from high school--and gifted each graduate with a marble to pass on to the high school principal, replacing the many he'd lost the previous four years:

Courtesy: West Liberty Index
We hosted a party for family and friends.


For Father's Day, Mr. Farmer started his journey to keeping cool and relaxed.

Matthew spent the summer in other people's weddings and working at IRBC (Iowa Regular Baptist Camp).

Laura and Matthew: the violinist and the groomsman--what a deal!
Grace worked and played at Higher Grounds Baptist Camp in Alaska.

Ranger Grace

Laura made a batch of homemade play dough for the nursery kiddos during Vacation Bible School and couldn't resist making a sculpture. It's one of those random pictures that scares you when you scroll through the camera roll so it's included here for your wonder and enjoyment.

We hosted young people...and fed them. As my sister-in-law Ka-Lee says, shoes= love. The more shoes, the more love! We were blessed.


When the weeds and bugs were under control in the fields and the borders were mowed, Mr. Farmer decided to overhaul the back yard. He built a fire ring, ripped out a concrete retaining wall, built a new one, and filled it in.

The most recent additions to the fire ring are the lamp posts, otherwise known as "The Tumnus Project."

As part of the renewal, David rented a high lift, trimmed dead branches and did overhead work, including the installation of the barn quilt Grace made last Christmas.

Laura picked up more Jersey calves.


The barn, shop and overflow are full of Ancient Chinese Secret--farm supplements and chemicals the mad scientist farmer mixes and matches for optimum results.

And, perhaps strangest of all is the chicken saga. Matthew and Miss Laura, his girlfriend, picked up 50 pullets last spring.

Within 2 weeks of being teenagers, we lost all but 1--most likely to the fox next door. That left us with a flock of 6 older chickens (5 hens and a rooster), Pa Rooster, and one lone chicken that roosted on the garbage dumpster.

Mrs. Farmer checked out craigslist. Lo, and behold! A Mennonite family was selling older hens to make way for new ones. Mr. and Mrs. Farmer drove down one Friday night, paid the asking price, sat on the woodpile until dusk, then slipped in, grabbed and boxed the chickens. They didn't stop laying, and now the entertainment of the day is--which hens will travel with which rooster? And wouldn't you know, the lone pullet is not a pullet after all. Reality TV is yesterday's news at Pine Ridge Farm. "Swapping Hens" has hit the air. Stay tuned.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Where Time Has Gone! Fall 2016-Winter 2017

The beginning of harvest is always an exciting time. There's a lot to get ready...and it looks like the beginning of a parade. Actually, it IS the beginning of a parade!

Not only was Matthew around for harvest, but David had a couple of other drivers and that made for an efficient, productive couple of months.

For the first time in a couple of years, we also harvested grapes.

We finished harvest (with few pictures--it was a busy time!), shortly before the snow came.

After many early mornings and late suppers, David ended the hunting season successfully! Sydney especially likes venison, so she was just as happy as he was.

...with a little help from his friend(s).

When he wasn't working outside or making plans for the coming year, our farmer found himself working on Matthew's truck. The two of them spent many hours problem solving and working together. It was a good weekend(++) project.

Thanksgiving found us in the Wisconsin Dells for a few days with the grandparents from Wyoming. Our visit ended with a treat from Grandpa Ken--giant cinnamon rolls at a local diner.

It wasn't long before Christmas when we found an afternoon to put up the tree. Apparently it's quite exhausting.

In January David made arrangements to make keepsakes for the children from the cedar tree we cut down in the front of the house. Now Pine Ridge Farm can go with them as they make their way hither and yon.

We see Matthew and Grace less and less, but we are grateful for the times and experiences the Lord allows us to share.



And spring is almost here.... We've found a lot of leaves and sticks now that the snow is melting. Who knows what else is just around the corner?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Coming...and Going...and Coming...

This summer Pine Ridge Farm had a revolving door. It looked like this:

Matthew left to work at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.

Grace came home from her year in Montana.

And left a day later for an internship at Hitchcock Nature Center near Omaha.

The farmer and the Mrs.checked soybeans on the 4-wheeler. Most were doing well. A few had to be replanted.

Even if the beans were struggling, Mrs. Hawley's flowers were beautiful. This bouquet made it up the country road and back to Pine Ridge Farm.

We started repairs on the smokehouse and outhouse,

attended a wedding on the other side of the state,

regrouped, and traveled to Missouri to pour concrete at Missionary Acres.

After arriving home, we caught up, packed up Grammy and the kitchen sink and headed to Iowa Regular Baptist Camp as a family.

After a stint at camp, this rogue teenager "borrowed" my phone at the laundromat...

Some of us made it back for the county fair parade,

and were joined by the full-time staff from IRBC the next weekend for a hot dog roast, trailer races, shooting skeet and touring the grain bin facility.

The next day everyone left except Gram and the farmer's wife--who drove the mower to take care of things at Mrs. Hawley's. It was a gorgeous night, even if Highway 6 is a little risky on a riding mower.

After the farmer's return we checked soybeans--and tried not to get lost!

Our motto when we moved to Iowa eighteen years ago was, "Things grow here."
Looks like they still do.

To celebrate their wedding anniversary, the farmer and Mrs. got their hands on an RV and traveled west.
A covered bridge in Madison County, IA.
Grace was ready to pack up and leave, so we got her things before visiting the zoo in Omaha. From there Mr. Farmer and Grace went to Oklahoma for a graduation at Ft. Hood and the Mrs. drove the RV home. That was another adventure--glad the other drivers made it home safely....
At the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha with Grace after packing her up after her summer adventure.
Once home the girls crashed.

We celebrated a couple of birthdays.

Started school...and are preparing for harvest. Whew. We made it.