Friday, February 23, 2018

Now You See Him Now You Don't

During harvest, we see very little of Mr. Farmer. When he's cutting corn, he works long days--early to late. Beans don't cut unless they're dry, so he has a little more time to make daily preparations, check storage, and haul grain to market. Regardless, he makes hay when the sun shines, 'cause sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. This year's harvest went particularly quickly and easy for the Mrs. because of the farm crew. In addition to running all the equipment, knowing how to fix things and where they belong, Matthew invested time learning the backside of running and managing a farm in the 21 century.

In addition to friends and children, a family from Turkey came to check out Midwest harvesting this year.

As always, the Farmer's mom has a great stagger:i.e.. "This is amazing!" "How did you do that?" "No one ever had such a _______ (fill in the blank)." She isn't able to get in and out of the large equipment anymore but she still drives out to watch and take it all in.

Somehow, in the midst of it all, house repairs got done. When the upstairs bathroom was remodeled ump-teen years ago, the only way to get the bathtub out and shower in was to remove the window and cut out the wall. It was a patch-and-go job at the time. Thanks to good help, Mr. Farmer's determination and the grace of God, it came together.

This year there were apples to pick and preserve. The Mrs. made a few bushels into applesauce and apple pie filling.

On the sidelines, the only child at our house was running cross country, competing in marching band and preparing for a performance of Seussical: The Musical. By that time, harvest was coming to a close.

Cast Party at Pine Ridge Farm
Matthew's girlfriend, Laura, was gracious enough to capture our family's essence:

We enjoyed another round of Good News Club at our local elementary school (click here for more),

A trip to  see family in Wyoming for Thanksgiving,

and hosted a baby shower.

Once harvest was in, it was time to catch up on paperwork, make plans for next year and relax a little....

Including a trip to warm Arizona:

In January, after 3 1/2 years of study, the Mrs. completed a Master's degree in Biblical Counseling and is certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The Mr. included office space for her when he designed and built a new farm office and conference room a few years ago--not knowing how it would be used. The Mrs. meets with individuals regularly. Just give her a jingle if you'd like to stop by to share a joy, concern, prayer, or see what God's Word has to say about where you are, where you've been or where you're going. She may not know, but God does!

In recent news, the warmer weather is raising the possums from their slumber. One old fella met with a snow shovel. The other played possum a little too long and was discovered as he pulled into an upright position. Who knew they actually part their skivvy teeth and hang out a tongue for effect? Fortunately Mr. Farmer had reinforcements ready after "discouraging" the starlings who eat the dog food. There's a picture somewhere of him shooting from the kitchen window...If only it was loaded (ha!); guess you'll have to use your imagination.

Spring is around the corner. Rain has fallen, the ground is mushy. Lambs are due any moment and the cow's date with destiny is on the calendar (i.e. meat locker). We're hoping to see more of the sun and less of the clouds. Life at Pine Ridge Farm: seasons, change, stability, and surprises. Thanks for stopping by! Come back in a few months for the latest news and updates.

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?