Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Very, very good or very, very bad

The last half of this month has been full of highs and lows.  There have been days that it has been difficult to find something positive to look towards.  Today was one of those days.

April 19th, I lost my job.  (Low)
I was given a severance package equal to 1 months pay. (High)
They withheld a HUGE chunk in taxes. (Low)

April 26th, I had a job interview (High)
April 29th. My phone was stolen (Low)  ... suspended account and changed passwords on all apps on the phone. I lost all of my pictures on the phone.  :^(

Today: April 30th. Bought a new phone (FRUSTRATED!)  I am now setting up all the apps on my phone again.  Most of them are working well.  BUT for some reason, I can't get my Blogger app to set up on my phone. I'll figure it out sooner or later.
The weather is cold, rainy and over all gloomy.
We wasted the center part of the day running to St. Cloud because of the rain.
The dogs were home alone just over 3 hours.  They behaved but were attached at the hip the rest of the day.  That means NOTHING got done except taking naps and sitting on the couch with the dogs.
I guess if I need to pick one thing positive for the day (and this is stretching it): we had a relaxing afternoon once we got home from St. Cloud.

Please keep me in your prayers. I'll be riding this roller coaster for awhile.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Chicken Sh**?

I saw this rooster walk up to the pile of fresh cow manure and start picking out the partially digested grains.

So just remembered when life drops a pile of shit in your way someone else might think you were blessed with a free meal!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mama, mama, mama

This evening when I fed the ewes, Bobbin jumped up into the feeding trough.

At first I thought the little lamb was trying to get mamas attention but then I realized she was nibbling on the grains in the feeding trough. 
She is still nursing but obviously she is starting to eat grains.   After eating she hopped all over the pen.  It was hilarious to watch. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Welcome to the farm

This morning we took a trip to a farm an hour away.  We picked up Moe and Curly our two new steers. They were greeted by all of the animals running after them.  They just needed to check out the two new critters.  Seeing this, I'm wondering if the little lambs when they get out of their pen should go into the alternate pasture for a few weeks.
Follow the leader?
 In the picture above is Curly, Moe, Ethan and Norman.  The schedule for butchering is 2020, 2019, May 8th (this year) and 2018.  It will be nice to have a freezer full of beef soon.  I was surprised that butcher shops only slaughter one day a week.  I am learning something new.
 Look at those little locks on Curly's forehead.  They were more profound when he was young.  He is 8 weeks old.  Moe is about 3 months old.  (Sorry, I couldn't help the naming convention.)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

They twisted my arm ....

Isaac and his friend stayed overnight Friday night so that they could dog sit today. I woke them up just after midnight so that they could watch the Northern Lights.

It was the first time that either of them had seen the lights. The photo is not an accurate depiction of the phenomenon. In reality from here I see a soft green haze with white streaks. The compilation created by the long exposure creates a more colorful and dramatic picture.  
When I was getting ready to leave on Saturday when I asked my nephew what he wanted for lunch. 
Him: "Auntie will you pick up Sushi? "
Me: "what kind?"
Him: "You're the best Auntie"
It took some time to figure out what was acceptable and what wasn't. The first two pictures were for the boys while the bottom tray was for me. As you can see they twisted my arm.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Generations of Secrets

I am well over halfway through the review before beginning to publish this series of books.  I've been crying and laughing as I read the stories that I wrote and last edited in 2005.

I am so excited to share this series with you! The books are going to get published in rapid succession. My sister is working on the book covers for me. 

I think that I'm driving Dale crazy because I'm having a difficult time putting the book down at night and going to bed.  I hope when you read them, you feel the same.  :^)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Too happy to be sad

The has been a difficult week. It started out massively busy then everything crashed. To talk about the good first, our new little lamb is doing well!

I've been on the bench for a majority of the time since early February. What that means is that my client went through a go-live with their software and I was unassigned after that finished. I received a meeting request with one of the managers and it was titled "catch up."

It wasn't catching up. Like many other things in the business that was a lie. I was laid off. It wasn't totally unexpected as I said I had been on the bench for over a month. 

If you're wondering why I'm too happy to be sad it is because I now have a short time to publish several of my books. At the same time there has been a woman that I have requested many times to be able to share her Amazing Story. She sent me a text message yesterday saying "I'm ready will you write my story?" From a very depressed day it turned into a day that all I wanted to do was happy dance around the house. I didn't because I didn't think Dale would understand.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A peak into the next book series

The series name is Generations of Secrets. One secret is hiding in small barrels.  About 10 years after I finished the story, I found this small barrel. Perfect for the cover (with a bit of preparation.)

I picked up stain for the first level of preparation.  I even stained the metal to give it an antiqued look.  My goal it to begin the photo shoot for the cover this weekend. 
Within the next month,  I hope to begin publishing the series, "Generations of Secrets"!

Trusted Friends - published!

Can you see me doing a happy dance?!?  I am so excited!   

We know that you've been waiting and now it is official!

ANNOUNCING: Trusted Friends!  Book 3 of the Goodwill Mystery Series has been published and is now available on

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

First flowers

Last Saturday I was walking around the yard and I saw the crocus were up and blooming. they are often called snow crocus because they will come up and bloom even if there is snow on the ground.

I took a moment to pull a few weeds.  This one didn't look like much from the top but it would've made my mother proud! The root was over a foot long!
Oh no! Look at that hand. It reminds me of Grandma Stella Field.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Allergy season

I've been waking up pretty stuffy lately. Then as I walked through the woods I saw the cause. The trees are budding! It won't be long and they will be full of green leaves.

Time to get into the woods and cut out the invasive brush so that I can have a walking path through the woods this summer. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tiller time

Friday after work, Dale decided that it was time to till the garden. I get excited in the springtime when it's time to till. That means it won't be long before we can plant. In Minnesota the only thing you can plant before Easter is potatoes and onions. And those are planted on Good Friday.
I figured you might be wondering how the plants are coming which were planted last week. About half of them have germinated and are up and growing. I will split those into another tray so that the lights can be adjusted appropriately.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Walk of shame ....

Buddy wast he first sheep to go through the process of sheering. The steers and the donkeys had their noses up to the slots in the pen watching the process.  
Norman and Ethan check out Buddy's new look
As soon as buddy was released, they all had to check him out.  He acted as if he was doing the "walk of shame"! Poor boy.
Donny also comes to check out Buddy
Gizem fought getting caught (tooth and nail) but once he was in position and the sheering started, he was a little more behaved. This weekend if we hit the 70 degrees predicted, he will be happy that all the wool was gone.
Gizem "Mystery" looks so tiny without his wool
We stacked the fleeces in the corner until we were ready to carry them off.  After Cocoa was finished and before Creamer was started, the ewes stood in the corner sniffing the wool fleeces.  It was almost as if they were looking for the boys.
Creamer and Cocoa check out the wool fleeces
With the wool off, lambing will be easier.  It will also be easier for the baby lambs to feed.  Look at those round bellies.  I hope that it all goes well!  Time will tell.  Our sheerer grew up on a farm with sheep.  He expects them to lamb sometime just after Easter.
Two pregnant ewes ready for lambing
It is time for a trip to the mill with 2 years worth of fleece.  I tried washing, picking and combing last year but the process was enormously labor intensive without the professional machines.
Fleeces laid out on a 4 X 8 foot panel

Clean up and a WILD WEEK!

I am trying to get my book ready to publish as an e-book in the next week or two.  I am so sorry that I've dropped the ball with my blog.  On top of everything else, I'm trying to get things done outside in the good weather. 
Can you see the tree that bends and twists all the way back to the ground?  Most people would cut that tree out and destroy it.  For me that is going to be the focal point in the middle of the rock garden that is surrounded by our new orchard.
Don't expect it to be completed anytime soon.  There are about 20 trees that need to get cut down.  Today I took a rake and a hand trimmer out and I cut out several invasive bushes.  Although they look pretty, they take over the woods and make it impossible to enjoy walking through the area.
I only spent 2 hours but I got a lot of area cleaned up around the front edge.  There is a lot more to be done and very few days to get it done.  At the same time, I am trying to get my book uploaded on Kindle eBooks.  How do people handle life with children? ...... oh, if I had a few kids they could help with cleaning up the woods.  (Ha-ha!)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Planting Time

From the bathroom, to the garden to the table, let's recycle!  I have been driving Dale crazy for the past 18 months saving toilet paper rolls.  But there was a purpose!  (I save everything for a purpose.  LOL)
Empty toilet paper & paper towel rolls
I cut 4 small slits in the bottom of the roll (at about equal points.)  That means you will create 4 equal size tabs at the bottom of the roll.
Make 4 slits
You will know that the depth is correct if the tabs roll in equally on all four sides.  Yes, fold them in so that you have a bottom of the roll that will help to hold in the dirt.
Creating a bottom
This next step is the fundamental.  Label the rolls.  I hope that the pen that I chose will be sufficient to make it all the way to planting time!
Label Rolls
Fill each roll with dirt.  Make sure that you pack it down a bit or the water will settle it too far and you won't have an effective planter.
Fill with dirt
Place your seed on the top and push in slightly.  Then cover it with dirt.  Make sure that you don't tip these over because there will be no finding your seed again.
Planting Time
It is the same with watering.  Especially when you start, sometimes the dirt will float over the top (with the seeds).  Give only a little water and repeat several time until there is sufficient moisture.
Carefully Water
I use two sheets of saran wrap to create a cover that will provide a greenhouse effect during germination.
Create greenhouse effect
Normally I hang the light almost on top of the rolls.  But I misplaced my chains and had to buy new ones.
I tried to publish this before, but for some reason it failed.  Stay tuned for updates on the plants that were pre-started!