Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still Playing Catch-up

I know it's a little late, but this chalkboard sign still adorns my dining room.  Not a single Thanksgiving dish was eaten in there; we went home to eat two Thanksgivings with our families.  And we left our heat off for four days, so it was really cold in our house when we got home after our long weekend away.  It's a good thing we packed on an extra layer of stuffing, grandma's mac-n-cheese, and pumpkin pie to insulate us against the chill.

I'll probably create a new sign this weekend.  We're thinking about getting our Christmas tree.  The funny thing is that we've picked our tree out of a tiny grocery store parking lot the last two years we've lived in the country.  When we lived in the suburbs, we would drive to the country and chop down a tree on a farm.  Now we live on a farm and we have to get our tree from a grocery store.  

The chickens cleaned out all the old tomatoes left in the garden.

Joey and Millie the pony enjoying a warm November day.  Millie walks very nicely on a lead rope.  I like to walk her around the yard.  She likes to eat the grass.  I like to braid her mane.

Jip is such a happy dog.  Even when I won't let him in the kitchen because I am sweeping.  His favorite thing is to walk through my sweeping pile and re-disperse the dog fur and dirt.

That's about all for now.  It's almost December.  The sheep and pony are eating lots of hay and grains.  The early sunset makes me very sleepy in the evenings.  I think I am going to have to learn some vegetarian crock pot recipes so that I can put dinner together in the morning before I leave for work.  I read somewhere you can make lasagna in the crock pot without even cooking the noodles ahead of time.  I may have to try that.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Early Christmas Surprise

Alternate title: a little girl's dream come true!

Tuesday, this week,  Joey called me at work around 3:30 pm to let me know he had just gotten off of work and was going to the city about 25 minutes away (and by city I mean it has a Wal-Mart and a Farm-King) to do some Christmas shopping.  I was a little confused/nervous because:

1. It is November (not even Thanksgiving yet!)
2. Joey hates to shop 
3. I hadn't even made a Christmas list
4. He said he wasn't going to Wal-Mart so I was pretty sure that my present was coming from Farm-King
5. He bought my birthday present at the hardware store

After work, I went to go vote and then went to bible study and forgot all about Joey's shopping trip.  The next day, Wednesday, Joey said he couldn't take it any longer and really wanted to give me my gift.  Since he was so excited about it I decided I wouldn't mind opening my first Christmas gift of the holiday season.  All of this was agreed about half-way through cooking dinner.  I told him I would finish making dinner and then I would open it.  He said that it wasn't at our house, that we had to go to it.  At this point, I was pretty sure I was getting some kind of farm machinery.  

So we put a lid on supper, locked the dogs out of the kitchen so they didn't pull a Bumpus-hounds (Christmas Story, anyone?  The Bumpus hounds break in and eat the Christmas turkey and the family has to go to a Chinese restaurant), and got ready to go see my questionable mystery Christmas present.  Joey actually made me wear a blind-fold so I wouldn't know where we were going.  I could feel where we were driving for about the first two turns and then I got completely turned around and a little carsick.  So basically if I was ever in a blind-folded hostage situation I would not be able to figure out which direction I was taken by counting turns.  After Joey drove around in circles for a while to throw me off and got a chuckle about imagining another car pulling alongside us and wondering why the passenger was wearing a bandanna over her face, we pulled onto gravel and stopped.

Joey left the car running and then led me out (was he was going to get back in the car and leave me in the middle of nowhere to walk home?) and let me take my blindfold off.   

I was standing in our friends' barn.  

And there was a pony!

Joey got me a pony!  Even though I had never asked for one, he must have known deep-down that despite all the riding lessons I took as a girl and all the My Little Ponys I collected over the years, there was still I pony-sized hole in my heart.  

When I was younger I used to ask Santa for a pony.  My dad insisted that Santa did not bring live animals (what about all the puppies with red bows under the tree on TV, dad?!)

I know it's kind of silly.  I'm pretty sure I am too big to ride her, but she is very cute and I can brush her and braid her mane and feed her carrots and say that I own a pony.  And that's what all girls really want, deep down.  

And she didn't come from Farm-King.  Joey didn't even go to the city he said he was going to.  And the neighbor's trailer had a flat tire so he actually put her in the back of his pick-up with the topper on.  

The pictures are pretty bad since they were taken at nighttime.  In a barn. 

Her name is Millie.

She likes carrots.

She's so fluffy!

And I have no idea what to get Joey for Christmas. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Busy Harvest Season

It's been a busy harvest season, it's time to catch-up!  

Let's go back to the last weekend of September.  My dad and sister came for a visit, we borrowed a friend's trailer, made a big pot of vegetarian chili, chocolate chip cookies, and a bonfire pile, and invited some friends over to help us pick our acre of pumpkins.

My sweet friend, Anna.  She had her own little pumpkin the next weekend, a beautiful baby boy.  My new friend Jess is in pink.  This is the second time we've had her and her husband over.  The first time we had a make-your-own pizza party.  Apparently you can't come over to our house without being put to work, and being 8 1/2 months pregnant won't get you out of it.   

Anna's son, Noah.  He's Joey's buddy.  He dressed up as Joey for Halloween.

My Dad on the tractor.  

My sister is a prairie farm girl.  She picks pumpkins in style.

Watch out for flying pumpkins!

Pumpkin crew minus my cousin and his girlfriend, who had to leave early (and missed out on delicious chili and cornbread served with my dad's honey and our friends' homemade goat cheese.)

This pile was maybe about 1/3 of all the pumpkins we picked.  The field is still dotted with orange pumpkins a week after Halloween.  I definitely think we grew too many.  And I definitely worked on my upper body strength this fall moving pumpkins from field to wheelbarrow to truck to farmer's markets.