October 31, 2010 – Happy Halloween Recital

Martin decided it was time to be a mad scientist for Halloween.

Although, truth be told, he looks a bit more like someone in one of the British Invasion bands in this photo.

OK, now he’s got the mad scientist look down.

Ready to go gather the candy with a famous French artist!

Emma and Martin also had a recital today – Martin on the piano and Emma on the flute.

one year ago…”Happy Halloween”

October 30, 2010 – I’ve Got a Pumpkin as a Head

Claire came home this weekend, although I hardly recognized her.

She fell in love with this warty pumpkin.  Reminds me of a song with the following lyrics.

Head full of tricks and treats
It leads me thru the nighttime streets
Black cats and falling trees
Under ladders always walking
Salt shaker spills just throw it over your shoulder, babe
I’ve got a bad idea again, i’ve got a
Halloweenhead, halloweenhead

Bonus cred for anyone who can name the artist.

one year ago…”Fall Mushrooms”

October 29, 2010 – Growing Season Over

The wind stopped and the first hard frost of the growing season settled down upon us last night. It was 24 this morning when my head came off the pillow.

frosty zinnia

This is a photo that is only possible to take one day a year. After this frost, the flower turns brown!

frosty celosia

We enjoyed the longest growing season ever recorded in Central Iowa – 212 frost-free days!

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #182″

October 24, 2010 – Tractor Repair

I mentioned a few days back that the JD 2510 was barely running.  Fortunately it was a simple problem that did not exceed my rudimentary mechanical understanding.

I replaced the in-line fuel filter that I had added last year, drained out the carb, cleaned the carb fuel strainer and got it all back together without any leftover pieces and it once again runs like a champ!

one year ago…”Saturday Farm Work”

October 23, 2010 – Emma’s Very Belated Birthday Bash

Through a series of unfortunate events (mainly marching band competitions), we were not able to throw Emma’s birthday party until this weekend.  We started the event at a relatively new pizza place in Ames, Vesuvius wood-fired pizza.  If you like thin-crust, wood-cooked pizza with an emphasis on ingredients other than mozzarella cheese, it’s a great place to go

She wanted to do something different with her friends, so it was off the the ice rink.

Although no Olympic hockey players or figure skaters were discovered, they had a good time and all came back uninjured.

one year ago…”Late October Potatoes”

October 22, 2010 – Getting Garlic in the Ground

Well, it’s that time of year again – time to get garlic in the ground. The last time I used the tractor, it was running really rough, almost to the point of conking out. The first check was the inline fuel filter, so today I went to get a replacement, put it in and it ran better, but still not very well – at any rate, I hustled to take of the tiller and put on the potato digger to make trenches for the garlic.

Then it was time to enlist help of the children to plant.  First, they are “de-cloving” the garlic.

Then, drop it in the ground.  We usually put a couple of rows in one trench.  Today we got about  500 feet of row in the ground.  Wet weather was bearing down upon us, thus the urgency to get them in the ground.  Now, I need to become more familiar with the fuel system of the tractor before snow flies!

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #181″

October 18, 2010 – Mini-van Driver No More!

Many years ago, I swore I would not be the driver of a minivan. Regular cars and extended cab trucks were the only vehicles in my mind. Then Martin, the caboose, came along and getting the car seat and kids in the back of the Taurus station wagon proved to be problematic. So, I ate my words and entered the realm of the soccer mom.

To be sure, the minivan served us well. It got us where we needed to go with plenty of room. It was with a little reminiscing that I let it go last week. Now that Claire is off to college, we no longer need a minivan and downsized to an Outback, adding another 4WD to the stable. We did well by this van, it served us well and only lost about $1000 dollars of value each year we had it. It was a bit of a risk to buy a Kia many years ago as some wondered how long they’d be in business – well, as it turns out, I never would have guessed that GM and Chrysler would go under!

one year ago…”PFI Field Day”