Monday, November 30, 2020

Beaver Moon & Cats

Yesterday was cold with the wind howling all afternoon.  In the evening while I was outdoors feeding calves, a bright almost-full moon made its appearance.  (This is not a very good photo.) The moon will be full early tomorrow (Monday) morning.  It's called the Beaver full moon due to this being the time that beavers enter their lodges for the winter.  I don't blame them!
While I carry bottles into the calf building the cats wait patiently for their turn to get some warm milk.  We have around 20 cats I would guess.  These two are a pretty orange and white in the daylight.  (Another not very good photo.)

Wishing you a great day to end November! 

Stay safe, warm, and well!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Snow Thoughts

A touch of snow fell one morning last week.  It was gone by mid-afternoon.
Below is a tractor that absolutely, positively must be dependable.  It needs to start every morning and evening without fail.  That's so the cows can be fed from the TMR (total mixed ration) mixer that you see behind the tractor.  Most of the time it starts just fine; in the winter my husband keeps it plugged in all night so the engine stays warm enough to start in the morning. 

But once in a great while things go haywire and the tractor won't start.  My husband's usual pleasant demeanor switches to yelling which of course does so much good.  A call to the mechanic may be necessary and a new part may be needed.  Such is life when you're dealing with machines which can break down at any moment.

Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend.

Stay safe and well.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Skywatch Friday

 Welcome to Skywatch Friday at our farm in Iowa, USA.  This is a sunrise scene from a few days ago.

Visit the Skywatch Friday website to find sky photos from around the world.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  My husband and I were alone for this holiday for the first time ever.  I still made the traditional Thanksgiving meal and we have LOTS of leftovers!

Thursday, November 26, 2020


Here's hoping you have a very pleasant Thanksgiving.  As for me, I have to remind myself to BE pleasant in the midst of all the cooking that must be done.  My husband can't help with such things....he's too busy outdoors with the livestock.  

Our son and family may be coming here.  They hadn't decided as of yesterday.  Otherwise it will be just my husband and me.  That's never happened before on Thanksgiving!

God's best Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Going To Town

Well, its the day before Thanksgiving and I have to go to town, of all things.  I have an appointment I just can't break.  Afterwards, I will do some grocery shopping.  Isn't that crazy.  Never before have I found myself in a grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving.  It should be interesting.  I'll wear my mask and social distance as best I can.  There is the possibility that everyone else will be at home cooking and I'll have the store to myself.  Yeah, right.

Wishing you a great day of cooking and other preparations!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

This Really Happened

 Last week here on the blog I mentioned that we have a cat named Neal Page after Steve Martin's character in the Thanksgiving movie, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles".

Well, here's a story about something that really happened to me.  The kids and I had stayed overnight at a hotel.  In the morning I went down to the front desk to pay for our room.  We completed the transaction and the clerk handed me the receipt.  I took a seat in the lobby and looked at said receipt.  Instead of my name at the top it had the name of a Neil Page who had the room next to us.  I wondered if this was some sort of joke.  I went back to the front desk and showed the receipt to the clerk who remedied the situation and gave me the correct receipt.  The kids got quite a charge out of it when I told them what happened.

My apologies if I blogged about this in the past.  I might have.  I just don't remember.  "Search this Blog" in the side column would enlighten me.  Maybe I just don't want to know.

Have a terrific Tuesday.
Stay safe and well.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Yesterday Was Sunday

 Well, yesterday was Sunday and we usually go to church in the morning.  There was no church service, however, because our pastor has Covid.  As far as I know he's doing ok.  I'm sure we prayer chain members would have been notified if not.

So, instead of going to church I baked pumpkin bars, using one of those jars of pumpkin we canned.  All I had to do was drain the pumpkin chunks and mash them up.  (This is the first year we canned pumpkin.)  The bars turned out to be yummy and my husband just loves them.  He said, "They taste like more".  

After lunch was done I went to our local convenience store to get eggs, bananas, and ice cream.  I didn't see anyone I knew there.  When I got home I placed an order for canning lids as we owe some to my husband's brother.  I've heard that lids should be ordered early so that's what I did.

Then I settled in with the computer and to wait for evening calf chores.  All the calves drank very well in the morning and hopefully that will continue.

Have a great Monday.
Stay safe and well.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020


Pictured here is my great-great-grandfather and his wife and children. 

He is listed in census records as being a photographer in northeast Iowa.  I don't have many old family photos so I enjoy looking at this one and seeing the resemblances to family members living now.

Great-great-grandfather later contracted consumption.  He and his wife left their children in the care of relatives and headed with horse and wagon to Colorado for treatment.  First they went to Missouri to visit his mother and he ended up dying there.  My great-aunt went down there once to find his grave where he is buried next to his mother at Huntsville. 

Have a wonderful weekend.
Stay safe and well.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday at our farm in Iowa, USA. 

Go to the official Skywatch Friday page to see sky photos from around the world.

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cat Names

The picture shows two of our many farm cats. 

The larger of the two is called Neal Page.  Any idea where that name comes from?  You're right, its the name of Steve Martin's character in the movie, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles".  We also had a Del Griffith (John Candy's character}, but that cat has passed on. 

 As for the movie, it is one of our family's favorites.  When the kids were young, we watched it every Thanksgiving.  I had taped it from the TV once so we had a copy without bad words.

The smaller cat in the photo has the name Dinky, because it is so little.  Spunky it is, too, and I think it will survive the coming winter.  Sometimes small cats don't.

Of course, I have a story to go with the word "dinky".  When my father-in-law was alive he would often talk about his boyhood on the farm.  That was back in the day of using horses for farming.  They also milked cows (by hand) and had to take the milkcans into town by horse and wagon, a job which sometimes fell to my father-in-law and his younger brother.  On the edge of town were railroad tracks and one time the boys weren't paying attention and nearly were hit by the "dinky".  That was a small train which carried mail and other things.  My father-in-law said the horse saved their lives as it suddenly galloped ahead to avoid being struck by the dinky train.

I miss my father-in-law and his telling of stories.  I miss all the older family folks who are now gone.  Their lives were much different way back when and they had to live through WW1 and WW2.  They would certainly be surprised and intrigued by the internet and the worlds we inhabit online.

Have a great day.
Stay safe and well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Bottle Calves

Here are a few of my friends, with whom I have contact twice a day.  We aren't required to social-distance. 
These are some of the calves that I feed bottles of milk to morning and evening.  Right now, I'm feeding nineteen of them.  They'll be on bottles until they're eight weeks old, then they get weaned. 

As I walk to the barn every day I'm serenaded by the calves bellering at me.  They know who feeds them, and while they don't bite the hands that feed them, they will readily suck on those hands.  That's just the way calves are.

Have a wonderful day!
Stay safe and well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Television Shows

So it's last evening and I was watching one of my favorite TV shows, "The Andy Griffith Show". 
I remember watching it on channel 2 (CBS) when I was a kid.  Now it comes to us on the MeTV channel.  We get two Andy Griffith Shows in a row starting at 7 pm.  I get a double dose of Mayberry heaven.  MeTV broadcasts other old shows like MASH, Gomer Pyle, Green Acres, Hogan's Heroes, Carol Burnett,  Bonanza, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Adam-12, I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and more.  The overnight schedule includes The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Mannix, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Highway Patrol, and Dragnet.  Not that I stay awake all night watching TV.

Its just fun to have a channel like MeTV.  I think there are other similar ones out there, but I haven't found time to explore them.  

So do I watch network TV, you may ask.  Well, I watch the news most days.  And, if I remember to, I watch the three Chicago dramas, Wednesdays on NBC.  Sometimes I watch the FBI show, too.  I watch PBS at times, too.  Sometimes I don't watch anything at all, which is probably the best bet.

Enjoy your day!

Be safe and stay well!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Pampas Grass

On Friday morning, Husband needed more parts so he asked me to go get them.  I didn't even think of taking the camera.  On the way home I saw this patch of pampas-type grass which might have been interesting to take a picture of.  Oh, well, I had no camera. 
After lunch, Husband asked me to go back to town because he needed more parts.  An oddity for sure that I would be sent to get parts twice in one day.  Well, it gave me the opportunity to stop and photograph the grass.  It probably isn't pampas grass, but it looks somewhat similar.

Have a wonderful day!
Stay safe and well!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Parts Trip

 Earlier this week, Husband asked me to ride along to town to get parts.  He said lunch would be included!  I can never pass that up.  At the first place he stopped to get parts I noticed these wild reflections in the windows.

Real exciting, I know.  That's how it is with blogging, try and notice things.  

Next we went to the John Deere shop.  I didn't see anything there that was photo worthy enough, not even the big green combine sitting out front.  I just didn't want to get out of the car there.  After that, it was time for lunch.  Hooray!  Pizza Ranch was our choice because it's a casual place and we like the food.  Oh, Husband didn't like the ice cream, though.  As a dairy farmer he's pretty particular about the taste and quality of dairy products.  Actually, I thought it tasted ok.

And, that was our trip to town to get parts.  I drove home as is normal.  Usually, Husband naps, but this time he was on the phone all the way home.

Take care and have a great day!

Friday, November 13, 2020


Welcome to this sunset at our farm in Iowa, USA. 
Visit the weekly Skywatch Friday website to find many more sky photos.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

American Gothic Eye Roll


This photo with animation in it is called a "gif" which means "Graphics Interchange Format".  Maybe, however, the world is just too crazy for Mr. Farmer here, so he took up rolling his eyes on his own. 

Everyone knows, of course, that "American Gothic" was painted by an Iowan named Grant Wood.  I saw the painting once where it resides at the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans' Day

 Well, it's Veterans' Day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  We honor all who have served in our armed forces.  My father-in-law was a Marine during the Korean War and my father served in the Army then, too.  Many men that age were veterans.  A couple men in our community were involved in D-day, but I always heard that they wouldn't talk about it because they saw so many other soldiers get killed and injured.  

When I was junior high age a soldier from our small town was killed in Vietnam.  His name was Steve.  Around the same time another soldier graduate of our school went MIA.  His name was John.  Several years later his remains were found.  A guy from our church served in Vietnam and, thankfully, he came home again.  

So, those three were the only soldiers I knew of.  Most information about Vietnam came to me via the television.  News from Walter Cronkite and Bob Hope's shows for the soldiers.  Hopefully, I read the newspaper once in a while.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dairy Thoughts

 The last few days have been just wonderful, weather wise.  Temperatures have reached the 70's, which, of course, is unusual for November.

It's been great weather for the cows to spend time in the pasture.  The photo shows only a couple of them.  We milk around ninety Holsteins.  In today's world, we are just a very small dairy operation.  All across the country have sprung up huge dairies milking hundreds and even thousands of cows.  Milk prices are low, making it harder for small dairies to stay in business.  My husband and I wonder where it will all end.  Maybe each state will have one gigantic dairy factory someday.  Time will tell.

Monday, November 9, 2020

You've Got Cows, Dear

Here is a Far side cartoon by Gary Larson (click on it to enlarge): 

Believe me, my husband could be that patient!  My husband is often bothered by cows here on our dairy farm.  I can often say to him, "You've got cows, dear." 

 I don't know how Gary Larson ever came up with his ideas for cartoons, but sometimes they really hit the nail on the head.  

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Ephesians 4:32


Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Burning Bush & Birds

 Our burning bush is still very much in flames.

While taking this photo I noticed a bird nest hidden amongst the branches.  It is made of little sticks.  I've no idea what bird built it.  

Right now we have many blue jays at the bird feeders, and unfortunately also a lot of house sparrows and starlings.  They love farms.  A few days ago I saw a downy woodpecker at the suet feeder and also a red-bellied woodpecker.  One day before that we had a red-breasted nuthatch here to visit.  Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal come to call occasionally, too, looking for sunflower seeds.

I hope you have some birds around to watch, too.  Have a great day!

Thursday, November 5, 2020


Sky watching over our farm in Iowa, USA: 

We've had cloudless skies lately.  This photo is from a few days ago.

Click HERE to go to the Skywatch website.  There you will find more sky photos.

Scenic Soil

In my opinion, our farm is not very scenic.  This is about as scenic as it gets.  The green in the foreground is a hay field.  Beyond that was corn.

Yesterday, I looked for my husband and found him out in the field chisel-plowing.  The size of our plow tells you we have a small farm.  Two hundred acres is very small nowadays.
Here's another look at that good old rich Iowa topsoil.  What would we do without it?


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Volga River

 The other day my husband needed some parts and he asked me to go and get them.  Hooray, I thought, a little road trip!  I took my camera along, bound and determined to find something to take a picture of.

Near Fayette, there was this hill with a tad bit of fall color left on top.  

If you click the photo it will enlarge.  Then you might be able to see that the sign says "Volga River".  This jogged a memory for me.  Many years ago when I took piano lessons one of the songs I played was
"Song of the Volga Boatmen".  It's not about the Volga River in Iowa, of course.  Its an old folk song from Russia where there is another Volga River.  If you click the name of the song it will take you to Wikipedia where there is a 1902 recording of it.  You might actually recognize the tune.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day

 Well, it's the big day!  Be sure you get out and vote!  We didn't vote early, so we'll be headed to the poll sometime today. 

 It should be quite an evening, with the TV networks chomping at the bit to name the winners.  Four years ago I didn't stay awake long enough to see who won the presidential race.  Was I ever surprised in the morning!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Pallet Kitty

 Here's one of our farm cats enjoying the sunshine on a stack of pallets.

It made me think of the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea", by Hans Christian Andersen.  Remember that one?  Its doubtful that Kitty could feel a pea under all those heavy pallets, of course!

Have a great day!!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Reformation Day

 Yesterday was Reformation Day.  Yes, it is commemorated on October 31, the same day as Halloween.                      
Our Lutheran church celebrated Reformation Day last Sunday.  We sang Martin Luther's famous hymn,  "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", one of my favorites. 

The picture shows a copy of Luther's German translation of the Bible.  He wanted people to be able to read the Bible in their own language.  That's a big part of what the Reformation was all about.  Formerly, Bibles were in Latin only and were read only by the clergy.