Friday, December 28, 2012

December 2012

We had a great holiday.  We spent Christmas Eve with my 97 year old parents, taking goodies and a soup supper. Part of our family and niece Allison with her family were there.   We read the Christmas story, and the little kids filled the stable with the figurines.   The next day, our family of 19 gathered at our house for more good food, games and gifts.    We are looking forward to a great 2013! 
Roger, Myrna and their seven grandchildren.

Alex is the youngest.
Allison and Blake with Grandma Belle.
         Mike, Kay and family with Grandma Belle and Grandpa Jim

                                        Alyssa and Amy, the oldest grandchild.

Friday, December 14, 2012


No matter what, even though you know winter is coming, one does not seem to be prepared.  It is always a surprise when the first snow comes!

The first real snow came on Saturday, lots of big flakes, wet and drippy, falling down.  Pretty, unless you were driving.  Snow continued, then some wind last night and today, Sunday. We stayed cozied up in the house today.   It has cleared off now and the sun came peeking out.  Time to get outside and give the feeder calves some hay bales, as the bunk is full of snow, and it will have to be cleaned out before running the silage into the bunks.
The wind had blown the snow right through their yard, though, so no drifts for them to walk around.  The calves have the blizzard look, snow on their faces and over their backs.  I could not see the cows, they are hunkered down on the south side of the shelterbelt in the pasture that connects to the feed yard.

As I said, I was not prepared for winter, had to go to the basement to look for boots, scarves, found a pair of mittens on the porch, left by a deer hunter, I think. While I was out watching gates, I scooped off the step, where the snow comes around the house and fills up in front of the door.

Winter is here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Grandma Belle and Amy

97 year old Belle with her Great Grand Daughter Amy,
giving Amy a quilt for her be born January, 2013.
Belle made the nursery rhyme embroidered squares in the 30's
when she was in High School.  This summer, she put them together
with mitered corners.  Amy was thrilled.  We are looking 
forward to a five generation picture in 2013.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Deer Season in SD

Opening Deer Season in SD....Three bucks harvested from our place....a few more trees are saved from the ravages of winter feeding by them.

 Jason got his the 2nd day

Alex sat with his Dad for hours in the tree stand to get this one

Mike got the 3rd one.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family Pheasant Hunting

A good day at our farm in South Dakota.  All four of our children were here for opening pheasant hunting, along with a daughter-in-law and three of our grandchildren.  They got their limit, had great fun visiting and playing cards after good venison chili made by Troy.  We will hunt again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wind in South Dakota

Would be remiss if I did not write about the wind October 17th and 18th.
I cannot ever remember the wind blowing this hard.  At least 50 MPH, with gusts yesterday 60-70 MPH.

When we went to bed last night, the sounds were like the worst blizzard Roger and I had ever seen or heard.  You could just imagine snow flying around, and zero visibility.

Yet this wind is only blowing dirt.  I was in our small town yesterday at the Church, on the West side of town.  The wind is always bad there anyway, but in order to get in and out the door, someone on the inside had to hold the bar on the door while the other went out.  Our cars in the lot were moving back and forth.  We could watch them from the window.

As I left town and drove the mile north to turn east, the dirt blowing and scant visibility made me think of the books I have read of the dirty thirty’s, only this would not be close to what they endured.  

I think the temp yesterday was in the 40’s, so it was a cold wind.  I can’t imagine how much fine dirt is coming into our houses these two days.  It was bad enough with all the trucks and pups that have been going by all summer, and the increase during harvest, but this wind is driving the dust into all the nooks and crannies.  Fine layers everywhere!  I wonder about the air vents on top of the house.  Maybe the extra layers of dirt in the attic will help with insulation!!

I remember Roger’s Mom talking about the 30’s, how bad it was, how they laid wet rags on the windowsills to try to catch the dirt.  Of course, I don’t think houses then had much insulation, and their windows did not fit tight like ours should.  And from what I have read, the Dakotas were on the north side of the worst of wind and drought.

Waiting for the wind to die down in SD!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


August 2, 2012

Last week, Roger is asleep, I can’t get to sleep.  Got up and wrote out some bills.  Windows are open, as we do almost every night, in spite of how hot it has been.  Don't have to run the air conditioner.

I smell skunk, run to the windows, crank them shut.  Look out the porch door, I see a spotted skunk prowling around the flower pots and the cement blocks we have ready for a project.
I watch thru the porch window, he looks at me with beady eyes.  I think, Can I get Roger awake and get a gun?   .Woke Roger up, but of course skunk was gone.

A night or so goes by.  This night I am sound asleep, and wake to the smell of skunk filling the bedroom, shut the window, run to the kitchen.  Too late, now the whole house is full of smell.  Besides that, the porch door window was left open.  No skunk in sight by the time I look.  Hard to go back to sleep.

Both the car and tracker were sitting outside.  I used the car the next day, skunk smell floats out of it. 
The next evening, Saturday, we went to the Bull Riding at Desparado Days in Kimball, the guy who told Roger where to park said…”You hit a skunk on the way in, didn’t you?”

We bring up the live animal traps, and set 3 of them…one right in front of the house, between front and back steps, the other two on west and north side of garage.
Next AM, a cat only.    Smell lingers a little outdoors today.   Catch an occasional cat.

Now we are to Wednesday AM the next week.  I wake up about 4:30 AM, watch taped Olympics, windows are open.  Roger gets up at 5:30, and skunk smell starts its penetration.
Sure enough, a skunk in the trap in front of the house.  Roger is leaving for a sale, I implore him to get rid of the skunk before he goes.  He does not want to start his day smelling like a skunk, but he fetches his 12 foot wire with a hook, and drags the trap down to the calf yard.  It was still dark.  At 8:30, I go check the trap, curious…is it a big skunk, or a smaller spotted one that I saw?  THE TRAP IS EMPTY!!  The door is still tightly latched, the entire screen on this trap is 1 inch by 1 ½ inches.

That night,still Wednesday, we set the traps again.  I toss and turn, remembering the spotted skunks that daughter Kim had in her house, wondering if I have any small entry places around my house. Checked before I went to bed, and released 2 of our wild/tame cats. Reset the traps.  We don’t think it will come back tonight, since it was caught just this AM.

Roger goes to bed, he has an early meeting Thursday.  Before I can get to bed,  I smell skunk, take a peek, there is a skunk in the garage trap.  Wake Roger up anyway.  He says,  “It can’t get out of that trap, the screens are even smaller..they are 1 inch square.”

Thursday AM, Roger dresses for skunk job, and sure enough, THE TRAP IS EMPTY again! 

Conclusion, but not the end of the story:  This must be a young civet cat, and we now think it is getting out BETWEEN the sprung down catch door and the side of the trap, again, I measured, there is only 1 inch of space, but the space is about 12 inches long.   A 12 by 1 inch space??  They must be like a rat, if they can get their head thru a space, then the body will follow.

Will set again tonight, with gun by the door!  Wish us luck!!
The saga will continue, hopefully with better results.

Wish us luck,
From the Smelly Farm!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hot Peppers

Very windy and hot in SD today.  At 5 PM, it was 98 degrees.  Taking out what little moisture we had left.

I dried hot peppers today.   I have red jalapeno peppers, they are about 2 ½ inches long and green habanera peppers, fatter and about 3 ¼ inches.  The peppers are in a raised bed with some onions, and are really dry now.  It was hard to keep this bed moist, as it is not very deep.

One of the jalapeno peppers, dried, equals a scant teaspoon.  I have used some in cooking, and one is a great plenty for our taste buds.

I did get a little smarter this week when doing this, tho.  I used rubber gloves when cutting and handling the little buggers.

Last week after I cut and filled the dehydrator, my fingers were hot and tingled all day and into the next.
Every time the next week when I licked my fingers for some reason or other, they still were giving off hot vibes.
Don’t lick your fingers, you say.  You might be surprised just how often a person does that.

Pepper aficionados  out there, which are hotter---habanera or jalapeno, or are their many things that would make the heat…moisture, variety, etc?  I got both of these from a greenhouse this spring.

Anyway, I will think of this hot South Dakota summer this winter when cooking with my hot peppers.

Friday, August 10, 2012

the Grass is Greener

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, at least our cows would like to think so.  They are not smart enough to know the next pasture tastes just like the one they are in. 
We went out this AM to drive some wooden posts to reinforce the fence on the road side.

The cows got excited, thought we were taking them out….No, cows, get back, let us through the gate.

Hubby walked ahead to decide where he wanted the posts.  I drove the pickup with the post pounder behind.  I have done this before, so I know how close I need to be to the fence.
I watch carefully, getting in position, then I see that the “holder” of the posts is going to hit one of the fence posts.  I back up, drive ahead…Nope, still going to hit it.  Back up, try again…..Nope….Back up, try again…Nope…And I can see that now the post hole digger, and the rear fender are almost touching the barb wire fence.   (Now I know all of you people that so expertly back up big trailers and trucks are chuckling.  I know you have to think backwards when you back up, but I can never compute that in my brain!!) 

So  I beep the horn, and Hubby is quite a bit farther up the fence line….Well, I don’t have to tell you what he said….He walked back, had me back up again, just a little, then he moved the post hole holder IN, (where it should have been anyway, but I did not say that!!)

On to the pounder job, we put in about 10 or so posts, the ground is really hard driving, even with this automatic machine.  Good thing we do not have to do it with a post hole digger.
I drove the pounder home, Hubby stayed to staple the wire to the fence.

To the Cows….just a little harder now to bend the fence over when you reach thru the fence!

All’s well that ends well!! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dinner (Noon Meal) on a SD farm

We just got through with dinner...our noon meal..(Noon meal is traditionally called dinner in this Midwest farming community).  Our dinner was produced on this farm.  We had rib eye steak, a steamed broccoli head; a vegetable dish of onions, kale and yellow summer squash, simmered in a little bit of olive oil, and the first tomato of the season, from an Heirloom tomato, sweet and ripened on the vine.  We did have a few purchased fresh blueberries to top off the meal.  What more can I ask of life?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Farm Activity

We got up early and moved the cows in the cool of the morning from one pasture to another across the road to fresh grass.  Everything went smoothly, the cows knew where to go and the calves did not give too much trouble, started down the ditch, but I got them turned back to the gate.
I came home, hubby went back to make sure there were no stragglers left behind.
He soon came back to get me, had found a dead cow, and a calf that was a little on the skinny side.
So I am thinking, we need a Brent or a Brice (grandsons who are ropers),  but off we go in our little tracker.  We find the calf again, who is now on the move.  Hubby gets his rope and moves to the back bumper of the tracker, and I start following the calf, who does not like being chased.  Roger is hanging on for dear life, I get close, get ahead of the calf, swing in front to slow him down, and Roger throws the rope---a miss.  I try again, but the stops and starts don’t make for good throwing aims.  The calf is still on the move, Hubby yells,  "Don’t let him get into the lake bed!"  I ram over the terraces and get around the calf again, try to get him in position, and this time the throw is good.  We load him in the back, hog tie his legs, as he is not too happy.

We dump him in the barn with the two other calves, locked them all in for awhile, so the new guy won’t be hunting for a way out, hoping the two resident calves will show him where the feed and water are.  I come out of it with almost no blemishes, only a cut on one of my fingers by a knuckle from the rope, holding the rope while hubby tied him up.....forgot my gloves!

This the Geo Tracker, showing the bumper space hubby had to stand to rope the calf, while tracker is on the move.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Life

This AM, June 8th, I spent a little time in the garden, planting a red rhubarb that my daughter got for me, and putting some fertilizer on the pumpkins and squash, since the soil they are in is not the most fertile.  Grandson Alex wants to to get a gigantic pumpkin from one of his plants.
It is a cool morning, and when I was finished, (well, one is never finished when you have a garden) I got a cup of coffee and sat on the bench I have in the garden.  I thought, how lucky I am, to sit here, without mosquitoes this AM, and listen to the various bird songs, to observe the trees and nature around me.  My garden has panel gates around the perimeter to keep out the deer, so I imagine myself in a safe haven, a wall God's angels have around me as I meditate.
 Is this a foretaste of the Biblical prediction when every man shall sit under his own tree in peace?  I ponder and pray for this world, the wars, the destruction, the children being abused, hungry, oppressed people, ones who are battling cancer.  I prayed for a time when every man shall have his "own tree"  You cannot know the solace and comfort just sitting like I was until you have the opportunity in your life as I have now.
I reluctantly left my garden bench to tackle all the chores waiting for me, at the same time thanking God for my life at this time, and the many blessings He has given me.
I hope anyone reading this today can find a haven for a few minutes to be thankful for the good things in their life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day, May 13th 2012

Four Generation picture--Had a great day with our family, plus sister and hubby, niece and her children!
Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Seen on Facebook....

Shopping with your Husband is like hunting with the Game Warden. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring is here, or summer in SD on April 1st??

April 1, 2012 in South Dakota.  It was 90 degrees today.  It should not be this warm at this time of year.  At the very least a cold rain, or most probably a spring snowstorm.  Nonetheless, I dug through my seeds and planted a row of spinach and also some lettuce.  If it comes up and then it freezes again, which everyone thinks it is going to do, then I just lose a little seed.  If not, then perhaps some spinach and lettuce in a few weeks for our table.   We shall see.  Keep tuned!!  I have also been looking for kale seed and have not located any so far.  I put in 4 kale plants last year, and that kept us in that good vegetable for a good many weeks, but the greenhouse I go to was closed for the weekend...too early yet, I know, for them to be open.
I harvested fresh asparagus from my garden, plants that I put out 2 years ago.  It is too crowded, I did not separate the roots apparently, just plopped it in the ground.  Don't know why I waited to long to start a patch in my garden.  We have "ditch" asparagus in the fence line of a couple of our fields, but it is hard to find each year before the town asparagus hunters get to it.  I also pulled a few stalks of rhubarb, cooked it for hubby, who likes to spread it over a slice of bread for a treat.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Now it is spring in SD.  We had very little snow in central SD this winter.  On March 16th, the temperature reached 80 degrees and today, St Patrick's Day, it is around 75 degrees. It was a nice day for a leisurely walk through the alfalfa and hay field.  The weather, tho, seems to me to be too warm considering we had very little moisture.  Many years on this date, we would still be digging out of the snowbanks. 
The big trucks going by send up huge clouds of dust on our gravel road. The grass is greening up, my tulips and iris are several inches tall.  The American Gold Finches that I feed are turning back to their gorgeous yellow, with black tipped wings.  The robin family has returned to my yard. Seed catalogs are waiting to be read and orders made for seed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The wind howled during the night, sounding like a blizzard, but it was not.  We now have about an inch of snow on the ground, but it is not blowing in the air.  We are welcoming some snow to cover the dusty ground we have had all this winter, an unusually warm winter.  It was about 25 degrees this AM, so not so cold, but the wind makes it cold by blowing through you.  However, the weatherman is promising back to warmer weather by the weekend.  He says it will be 52 on Sunday.  This is unheard of in South Dakota in the winter time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Liberty Grain

Since the fall of 2011, we have been watching a new business operation, Liberty Grain, in construction about one mile as the crow flies, from our farm.  They will be buying all grains and corn from farmers by the fall of 2012 .  They started with a bare field, now the dirt has been worked up for a railroad track 1/2 mile long to connect to the railroad that runs near the operation.  Electricity has been run to the site, so now there are also big poles to do that.   We actually could not see anything from our farm, until they brought in a large crane, and built a building.
They have a Web site, so you can follow the construction, and just recently installed a Web Cam, which is very interesting.   Roger just came in from chores and said, "Go to the Web Cam, I think they are running cement this AM".  I posted their Web Site, and you can go to the Web Cam from there. You can see the train track in the back of the Web Cam.  It looks ready for the tracks to be laid.  Take a look at the site.