June 30, 2010 – Advances in Cat Feeding

With Claire’s recent departure, Martin has assumed the pet feeding duty.

Martin started feeding the cats, and immediately started making changes to the routine.  He added a new bit of technology.  Evidently he was not impressed with Claire’s dump a half pound of cat food out in a pile and run technique.  Martin instituted some new cat feeding technology – single serving cat feeders made out of an old board and tuna cans.  Although not totally apparent in this photo, four tuna cans are screwed onto a board, so all four cats can eat at the same time – portion controlled.

one year ago…”Lake Shetek State Park”

June 28, 2010 – Cherry Pie

Ya’ll saw the cherries a few days ago. Here is one of the finished products from blue-ribbon pie baker Linda.

cherry pie

She’s trying to pass pie-making down to children, but nobody quite has the knack yet. I think Martin may end up with the best chance to master it.  Claire has been posting various Indian sweets on her blog, so I thought we’d fight back with the heavy artillery!

one year ago…”Pipestone National Monument”

June 27, 2010 – Garage Progress

The garage tearing down continues. It’s been a pain through the rain – another downpour in the middle of the night.

Here’s how the garage looked late last night – down to pretty much a skeleton.

There was great progress this afternoon – the rest of the sheeting off the roof, the rafters removed and the front and backs felled with the push of a hand after a couple of strategic cuts!  It was satisfying to watch them fall en masse.

It’s starting to look pretty wide open as only the walls remain

one year ago…”20th Anniversary Trip to Dayton House in Worthington, MN”

June 26, 2010 – On-Farm Chicken Processing

Today was the second time we used the new plucker to move chickens from the chicken tractors to the freezers.

I won’t go into all the steps of butchering chickens, but will show what the chickens look like after they are scalded and through the tub plucker. We did 39 chickens in the morning – we had hoped to get going by 6 am, but the rain didn’t stop until 8 (now rain 23 of 26 days in June). We were through by 11:30. It seemed to go better than the first time. We broke in Emma on the eviscerating line, and Martin caught chickens, turned the plucker off and on and ran bagged chickens to the freezer or refrigerator. Emma and Linda cut up 20 for quick meals of chicken breast or other parts and we sold a few of the rest. Still have about 50 to do later this week.

one year ago…”Birthday Trip to Omaha Zoo”

June 25, 2010 – Cherries to Food

It’s time to “do something” with the cherries. First thing is to pit them.

Pitting is the worst part of the job, but we added another pitter, so two people can work at once. At this moment it doesn’t look like the kids were suffering too much! These cherries are destined for jam and cherry pie filling.  I’ve come to love eating them off the tree, the sweet and tart must just be all full of great healthy compounds!

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #168″

June 22, 2010 – Father’s Day

For father’s day, everybody helped with garage deconstruction for a few hours.  Although it’s not a traditional gift, it beats sweaters, socks, or a tie!

Great progress was made – the trailer was filled with shingles -we almost got the whole roof stripped and started ripping off the siding as well.  Soon the eyesore will be gone.  Another day with rain – hard to keep berries and the like from molding.

one year ago…”Septic Day 1″

June 21, 2010 – Summer Tradition

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to send our kids to Luther College in Decorah for a week in the summer for Dorian Music camp.

This was Emma’s first year in the high school group, and by all reports, she had a great time in the mass choir, band, and drama classes. It was definitely a treat to listen to the bands and choir.

She roomed with a friend from her high school and came home very satisfied, but not so well rested!

one year ago…”Rain, Rain”

June 20, 2010 – Mammatus!

We had a spectacular show Friday night as the second round of storms for the day passed by to the east. A nice field of mammatus clouds developed.

mammatus over barn

I went out anticipating that the thunderheads to the east might have some interesting illumination from the setting sun to the west, but was very pleased to see these clouds and watch as the grew and developed.

skystream under mammatus

The following bit of information is condensed from Wikipedia: Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud that extends from a cumulonimbus (thunderheads). Mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm or maybe even a tornadic storm. These tend to form more often during warm months and are most common over the midwest and eastern portions of the United States.

Mammatus may appear as smooth, ragged or lumpy lobes and may be opaque or semitransparent. Because mammatus occur as a grouping of lobes, the way they clump together can vary from an isolated cluster to a field of mamma that spread over hundreds of kilometers to being organized along a line, and may be composed of unequal or similarly-sized lobes. The individual mammatus lobe average diameters of 1–3 km and lengths on average of 0.5 km. A lobe can last an average of 10 minutes, but a whole cluster of mamma can range from 15 minutes to a few hours. They usually are composed of ice, but also can be a mixture of ice and liquid water.

mammatus clouds

As the sun sank lower, the clouds turned from yellow to red.

It was rather exhilarating to be outside walking under this strange meteorologic phenomenon under a wide open sky!

one year ago…”Emma’s First 5K”

June 19, 2010 – Same Story; Different Day

OK, now we’ve had rain 16 of 19 days in June.

Today, we had not one, but two wall clouds blow over, one in the morning and one in the evening.

I tried to put some photos together, but it looks like I’ll have to take the “how to adjust color and brightness and stitch landscape photos together” class sometime.  But nonetheless, it’s a rather dramatic view of a much too common view over the landscape this month.

one year ago…”Pruning Christmas Pines”

June 18, 2010 – High Hopes Flowers Grace Cover of Midwest Living

Last summer our farm was the location of a photo shoot for a feature in Midwest Living magazine. The cover of the August issue features our flowers!

You can check out the behind the scenes photos of a professional photo shoot on the July 31, 2009 blog entry and some more background on July 28. It just so happens one of the photos I took of people taking photos is a shot that made the magazine cover. The photos are in the August 2010 issue.

Most of the photos and sunflowers were from our farm, except for those that showed fields of sunflowers. Ora, our cat is in the background for the Table of Contents page and there are about 5 pages of mostly photos from our place. Martin is the only one in the family who made it through the cutting room floor and into the magazine.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #167″