March 31, 2008 – Claire at Mock Trial

Claire’s high school Mock Trial Team made it out of their region and competed in the state tournament in Des Moines this week (in unrelated, but similar news, Linda is in the jury duty pool in April).


The mock trial team consists of student lawyers and witnesses, they are given a case and argue before a judge and the team members are judged on their knowledge of courtroom decorum and performance.  Claire seems to be eating this up (but don’t anyone tell Grandpa Dave)!  But hey, Grandpa, I’ll leave you with one lawyer joke.

Q: What do you call a lawyer gone bad?

A: Senator.

one year ago…”March in AND Out Like a Lion”

March 30, 2008 – “Solo”

The kids have officially named the baby goat.  The first name that hung around for a few hours was Henry, but eventually it turned to Solo.


The name was no doubt inspired by the fact that Solo was the first single goat born on the farm.  He’s already walking around in the pasture.  I’m thinking the next kid could be Hans.  Hans, Solo. Maybe the next kid could be Franz to to have Hans and Franz to “pump you up.” 

 It reminds me of the story of a confused student assigned to write an autobiography in a high school English class. Â  Through a google search of “Tito” the student wrote the fascinating and far-ranging story about “Marshall Tito Puente” and his amazing life as Yugoslavian dictator and latin bandmaster.

one year ago…”Mushroom Planting”

March 29, 2008 – Baby Goat!

Sometime between 8 and 10 this morning Paullina gave birth to her baby boy!


She’s a good worry-free mother who always does well with her kids.


This is the first year she’s only had one, but this guy looks big and vigorous.  If it makes any difference, we were hoping tha Paullina would give birth before Nellie, who is pregnant for the first time.  We hope she picks up some pointers from Paullina as she is close to her first birthing experience.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #65″

March 26, 2008 – Earth Hour Approaching

Last year a group of people in Sydney, Australia started what they call “earth hour.” Earth Hour is a voluntary one hour time period where people and businesses turned off their lights.  Over 2.2 million people and over 2,00 businesses turned their lights off last year in Sydney, including the Sydney Opera house.  The sponsors (The World Wildlife Federation, Google, Hewlett Packard) hope it sparks thought and discussion about the effects of global warming.  As a bit of a reminder, just this week a 160 square mile piece of ice broke off from the antarctic ice shelf and will soon drift into warmer waters and melt.  This year’s event has moved beyond Australia and promises to involve many more people.  The earth hour is set for 8-9 pm Saturday March 29.

one year ago…”Moving Fencing Material into Place”

March 25, 2008 – Pasture Overseeding

Last year I frost seeded some clovers in the back pasture (frost seeding is a fancy name for just throwing seeds on the ground and the early spring freeze/thaw/rain snow moves the seeds down into cracks in the soil and puts them in a place to germinate).


The pasture was greatly improved from its grass-heavy state.  So this year I’m doing a couple more types of clovers and some birdsfoot trefoil.  The seed mixtures are so very colorful.

one year ago…”Ice Storm Cleanup”

March 24, 2008 – High Hopes Handy Hint

Maybe I’ll start a “handy hints” category.  I’ll see if I come up with more, but we’ll start with this one that works for farm and town.


Whenever you need to bring a propane cylinder to town to refill for the grill, set it in an old milk crate.  The tank won’t roll around in the back of your truck or in the car!

one year ago…”Getting Piled Up Chores Done”

March 23, 2008 – Happy Easter

Happy Easter from our house to yours.


Here are the kids in front of the completed lamb cake.  Some smartie pants dropped some raisins at the side of the cake opposite the head!


I remember this gizmo as a kid, but can’t remember the name.  Anyone?  It is magnetized and the blue bunny spins around the outer and inner edges of the metal wand continuously if you have the knack.

one year ago…”Guest Lecture”

March 22, 2008 – Snow…

Last night we got a light dusting of snow – enough to make everything white again.


It all melted in a day, but was still a bit of a bummer on Easter Weekend.  To the north, there was up to 10 inches of snow, so I shouldn’t complain too loudly.


It was a good day to make and frost the lamb cake – Nana was down and led the charge on the Easter goodies.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #64″

March 19, 2008 – Pruning

Today was the beginning of fruit tree pruning.

Some of the apple trees we planted are now large enough to climb up to prune the top branches.


The goats enjoy a little roughage and chew on the tips of the prunings.

Cherry trees generally don’t need a lot of pruning – primarily to get rid of the watersprouts near the base and any crossing or dead branches.

You can do your own “Where’s Waldo” to see what branches were cut from the previous photo.
one year ago…”When I Grow Up…”

March 18, 2008 – We Knew This Day Would Come…

Today we got the phone call that our local locker that processes chickens is closing its doors to chicken processing.  Golly’s Locker in Maxwell is no longer an option.  That means if we want to have our chickens processed at a locker, it would be about 360 miles of driving to drive there, drop off, pick up frozen birds and back home.  We’re going to have to think about on-farm processing as an alternative.

one year ago…”Back on the Farm”