Sunday, August 24, 2008

Scenes from the Farm

I thought I would show a few of the photos I shot today.  The first one is a view of the farmhouse from the back yard.  We rent the upper level.  These are gladiolas to be taken next door to Joanne's house.  Dave and Mary (farm owners) and Joanne all work the farm and run a market stand out of Joanne's garage.  

Aren't glads gorgeous?

This is the sign out front of Joanne's house.

Tasty produce...

The epitome of summer...

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have tried out my new time-saving, non-electric, handy dandy new gadget that I got.  "What is it?" you ask.  It's the "Wonderclean"
It is a miniature washing machine that works with hot water and a good seal.  You throw some clothes in, add a little soap and the right amount of hot water.  Close it up nice and tight and pressure builds up inside.  Then you crank the handle for about 2 minutes.  Voila!  The clothes are washed.  Well, almost.  Then you have to rinse the soap out of your clothes, wring them out, then hang them up to dry.  
I have been frustrated with having to go to the laundromat.  Sometimes I only need a clean pair of jeans or some underwear.  The laundromat is expensive and boring and takes up my valuable time.  But up until now it has been inevitable.  Then I saw the Wonderclean in the Lehman's catalogue (they have cool stuff for living off the grid or self sufficiency).  I thought it was worth a try.  It was only $45.00.  I think it will pay for itself quickly.
So, my first experience was interesting.  Things I learned:  Wash darks alone -- they will bleed for sure (maybe my water was too hot), be prepared for some water getting spilled, rinse the soap out well.  I wish the base was a little sturdier.  It would be great if I could mount it directly to a laundry room sink (if I had one) so it didn't wobble around so much.  
On the positive side:  I don't have to spend 2-3 hours at the laundromat when I need a few clean clothes.  I will save money.  I'll use less electricity.  This would have been handy during my time in Mali.  I'd like to find a good quality, good for the planet, powdered soap.  Any suggestions? 
Overall, it won't replace the laundromat for my big laundry days, but it will definitely help.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Refreshing weekend

After work on Saturday I headed to Grand Rapids.  I had to go.  I couldn't stay away any longer.  I've been missing my friends and family severely.  Unfortunately Charlie was working and couldn't come with me this time.
It was dark by the time I got to town, but I went over to the farm.  My friends Rich and Jen and Amy are helping fix the place up and get it running.  Jenna and Brian will be farming it.  Actually, it has become quite a community project so far and I foresee great things for the farm.  There are better photos and news about the farm here and here.
This is a photo of Jen and her youngest child, Daisy.  Rich and Jen just got this camper.  It is really quite nice for being somewhat vintage (1976 -- made the same year I was).  My favorite thing about this photo are the two dreadlocks sticking out like Pippy Longstockings).
We hung out in the camper a while then headed out to the fire.  This photo is of Jenna and Brian after a long day of work.  They have their jobs cut out for them with the farm!  

It was a nice evening outside and we had good conversation.  I wish I had more time to spend over there to help out.  
On Sunday I spent the morning with my Mom.  We took a quick ride in her convertible - our favorite past time.  I had a nice dinner with my family - corn on the cob, summer squash casserole, and zucchini bread.  
Then I went out for a cup of coffee with my friend Dawn.  We mostly talked about her trip to Mansfield, OH to the prison there with their group - Mystic19.  They were there looking for paranormal activity.  This is the group's website.  Interesting stuff.
I feel so much better since my visit.  I feel mentally and emotionally refreshed.  I feel like I can face my week and maybe not take my frustration from work out on my husband.  Ahhhhh.... it is refreshing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Foggy morning

I can't write much today but I wanted to put up a photo of the fog over the fields this morning.  This is the view I have when I am on my computer.  I just look up and see some gorgeous scenery.  And sparrows... lots of sparrows are waking up around this time of day.

I have to finish getting ready for work.  We are having a potluck today to celebrate the new class graduation (this was the class I have been helping to train).  I still have to put the cheese on the veggie pizza I'm bringing.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick update...

Just a quick update on my life...
Work: still busy with lots of overtime, but things should be getting better soon.
Play: what's that?
Garden: overflowing with zucchini and onions.  The produce stand is in full swing with peppers, squash, potatoes, cucumbers, beans, and gladiolas.  I made an awesome stir fry last night with all the wonderful homegrown veggies.
Home: a bit of a mess right now.  I'm excited about a new contraption I got that I have to try out and I will review in a later blog.  It should make my life easier.  Are you intrigued?
Husband: Doing fine.  He's working tonight but has managed to go fishing with his brother lately.  The two of us are still deeply in love and enjoying life together.
Family: who?  It has been too long since I have seen them.
Friends: same as above.
Cat: still fat and sassy.  She is relieved that I found a home for a little lost starving kitten who wandered up to me and snuggled her way into my heart.  Clementine (named after those tiny little tangerines because she is an orange kitty) was so sweet that I know she was not a barn cat.  One barn cat even tried to kill her.  After their fight and hearing a coyote howling closer than usual, I put her on our back deck for a night and a day.  She didn't like being alone, but I couldn't bring her in either (or Sassy would have freaked out).  Luckily I was able to find her a home.  It made me feel good that I could help her.
Me: a bit worn out and lonely, but overall I am doing well.  I've been enjoying the Olympics when I can.  Just staying busy.  

Friday, August 1, 2008


This was the view off my back porch a few minutes ago.  The photo doesn't do the rainbow justice.