The Spotted Table

 

 

I woke up today realizing we would have to host our Thanksgiving at my kitchen table.  My table that doubles as homeschool desk, bunco rolling board, pinterest project work space…the table covered in white cloudy spots.

 

For the first time in three years, I decided to seek counsel regarding the unsightly blemishes.  Dr. Google challenged me to brave my understair closet in search of a nearly forgotten home appliance.

Once found, I heated the iron to the cotton setting without steam, found a smooth-ish towel and applied heat to a white spot…after several short attempts I grew more daring in the length of time I would hold the iron on the table…the results were surprising. 

 

An hour later, I have caught up on Facebook, learned who Adele is, listened to most of her YouTube songs with tears streaming down my face…that woman’s voice made me cry from the first note in Hello, anyhow, my entire table is white spot free…my sick child is awake from nap and I am dehydrated from crying….did I mention my table is spot free?!

 

This is my favorite use of an iron!

Did you know an iron could do more than remover wrinkles and transfer shirt designs?

Happy Thanksgiving from our farm table to yours,

Amber

The Great Binzebo!

Let’s talk about a Bin-Buster!

 

Nervous he may not appreciate the idea to re-work the recently abandoned grain bin on the family farm, Gayle Voepel silently dreamed for two years before she presented the BINZEBO Project to her husband, Doug.

It is not every farm wife who wants to ask her husband to bust a piece of family history.  Doug’s father bought the farm in the 1950’s.  This Butler Bin, constructed in the 60’s and used until two years ago had the potential for new life–if Doug could see Gayle’s vision for The Great Binzebo.  Pinterest was lacking models-that is right Gayle created this vision without a Pinterest counterpart! But she is quick to give the credit to Doug, “No Pinterest involved. It was my idea that my husband took and ran with. He did an awesome job!”

Thankfully, for the 20,000 plus likers on Facebook, via Living The Country Life and Women in Agriculture, Doug used his washed out planting season to repurpose The Bin. (Eastern Missouri experienced abundant rainfall delaying planting and for some farmers, including Doug–prevented spring crop planting.)

The end of March marked the start of Spring and the beginning of The Binzebo Project.  First,the Voepel’s removed the blower, motor and electrical. Then, they pulled up the old bin floor–afraid of what they would find.  Pleasantly, there was only one crack and a concrete expert recommended they pour an overlay with a stamped design.  Before that step, they borrowed hand operated bin jacks to lower the structure to the ground.

Now with the bin at eye level, they repainted the galvanized metal and faced a big dilemma–should they paint over the “Butler”?

Gayle decided she wanted to keep the history and character of the old farm bin. The “Butler” received a new coat before being raised back in the country sky on 4×4 posts.

For all of you wondering about the Midwest Wind–Doug took extra caution to secure this top heavy structure utilizing 6X6’s reinforced with extra rebar in the concrete.

And that little pebble next to the Great Binzebo even received it’s own facebook comments–the explanation is simple Gayle likes rocks.  The North river runs through the family farm. Gayle is known to bring in unique pebbles, stones and this time a giant boulder that required special attention while on it’s journey across spring rain saturated soil.

But that was not the toughest part of the project–the railings with each metal spindle having to be placed individually and held just right, required several hands to install.

As Spring came to an end, so too came the end of construction.  In time for Gayle and Doug’s annual family reunion Fourth of July Style.

There are still finishing touches.  Concrete needs several coats of sealer–in between rains.  Those rains have meant a cooler summer, and so far Gayle does not foresee needing a ceiling fan, ” I have been pleased with how cool it is and there always seems to be a least a light breeze.”

The covered walkway, that used to house the dryer and motor, has future plans including a brick and rock fireplace bar area.

Last, but not least, Gayle has yet to take a photo at night showing the original light fixtures highlighting the new life of the Binzebo.

Gayle’s Favorite part of the project is the enthusiastic reaction from everyone who sees The Binzebo.  The Voepel’s one regret: not being able to incorporate the bin door into the Binzebo design–so it sits waiting for Gayle to dream another Country Living DIY dream.


The Great Binzebo now houses a bountiful harvest of family, friends and fun.

Thanks for stopping by for another random Friday in Farmland!

Talk to you soon,

Amber

 

Fit Fridays

For most of my life, the word fit referred to health and exercise.  Then, I met ladies on the internet.

Ladies, who found me because of this blog having farm topics.

Ladies, who used this word in the most abstract manner…

“We were fitting this afternoon.”

and

“Fitting is a chore”

I quickly surmised they were not uber-cool moms with a new slang term for exercise.  I mean they may be absolutely are uber-cool.

But realizing they are cool, still left me wondering about my un-cool confusion.

So I did what any wannabe cool blogger does-I put up a smiley face and waited to figure out what they were talking about.

Almost a year passed before I asked.

By this time, I garnered ‘fitting’ referred to cattle, but what were they doing to the poor cattle–dressing them in costumes?

“The Ladies” sent me to a cattle show web page with a new list of words I did not understand but I vaguely decided: Fitting must mean getting cattle pretty for a show.

I had visions of beauty pageants and shrugged my shoulders, remembering how much I disliked the superficial, partial nature of horse shows and cheerleading competitions.  Not my cup of tea to present myself under the scrutiny of a mere human more often than life already requires. I stopped my quest to understand ‘fitting.’

fast forward a few months…

Monday,  I read this post, penned by one of The Ladies.  In it I learned my new working definition for “fitting”: “Every hair in place, every positive accentuated.” -Melinda Bastian, 2015.

And while I may not apply this new knowledge to cattle any time soon, I have applied it many times this week–to my life.

Tuesday morning, as I brushed my hair and reached for the electric razor, I thought of how I  could benefit from ‘fitting,’ Every hair in place, every positive accentuated.

And this morning, I realize show cattle are not just getting their exteriors fitted–the internal work of fitting their behavior had occurred over many months–it is not tangible, yet it is the first place to start.  “…Every positive accentuated.”

What a perfect description of my personal and parenting goals–‘Every Positive Accentuated’–

if I can do that with ‘every hair in place’ I deserve a blue ribbon.

Fitting Friday~Amber

 

 

My Monday

Sunday’s are my favorite day of the week.  A day with friends and family in fellowship.

A day to start over, begin again,  refresh, renew…

So that makes Monday my second favorite day of the week…and today the house needed a fresh start after a long high fever from my little guy, E, 105.1!

The dishes piled, the clothing strewn, books scattered, toys tossed…and what started as a tidy has turned into a spring time purge…a “thinning out party” according to a dear friend.

Spring winds howl around our distinguished farm house–whistle through the window casings–and I am piling bags of “extra” on the front porch for the visiting turkey and deer to ponder.

This is beginning of a huge project we have undertaken on the farm–Farmhouse Remodel!  (more on that in the future)

To prepare for the live-in remodel, I am thankful I began organizing my life over at Power Of Mom’s.  I participated in a free webinar last month and have been a busy bee powering through all those random thoughts in my head and random notes in my life…the webinar is encouraging—well if you consider crying a sign of  being encouraged.  Here is the link to the webinar–they do have a paid portion of the website–it may or not be beneficial to you to have a step by step  plan to getting organized in all aspects of your life–for me it was TIME.

I realized that if I am going to help Boss Man with his tasks on the farm–I needed to prove my abilities with my own tasks first.  This is not a new idea–but it was the first time I was ready to take this serious–as soon as I began undertaking being organized, we decided it was also time for a remodel at our home.

Already it has been a fun journey–I love meeting people–and learning new  information.  After having five different companies look at our basement I have the pleasure of spending the afternoon with a structural engineer next week.  Sometimes I think I just like to pay city people to visit me in the country.

 

Time for my break to end and the focused purge to continue, here’s to a new beginning!

Happy Monday!

Amber

Wordless Wednesday #2

Wordless Wednesday

Christmas In The Country 2015 REVEAL

The Twelfth Night has passed and today, in order to complete this post, I was forced to open my gift to myself…photos from the season.

 

Well, that is not even my last gift…I have yet to open most of my Christmas Cards—a punishment from the guilt I feel for not sending cards for the second year in a row…Cards are my favorite gift..especially when they arrive like my Christmas In The Country partner’s did.

Tracy made this Snowman! And the Wheat ornament (I had never heard of these) is from her private collection!

Let me take you back to that day…

The Rural Route Mail Lady waddled up my sidewalk trying to balance six or seven packages and open our screen porch door.  I met her with hopeful girls hanging on my legs…”are the gifts for us?”  I deposited the packages with a quick glance at the addresses and my heart skipped…

Could my secret partner really be her?

This post to my secret farm wife hideaway on the Internet

Yes, That Happened

Followed by this:

 

The enjoyed the special gifts Tracy sent for them…we finished off the last treat yesterday…somehow I managed to not get a picture of the chocolates she sent…oops! or the flashlights…oh, well. Tracy is Awesome and I am Aspiring!

 

 

 

Tracy made this Snowman!! And gifted me a wheat ornament (I had never heard of these) from her collection!

 

These are a few of Tracy’s favorite things from Nebraska.

 

 

So are you wondering who was the  “RockStar” by whom my family was graced?

Non other than the World Famous Matriarch of  THE ZCREW!  The Zeorian Harvesting Crew documents their travels in the High Plains Journal (A publication all farmers and ranchers must subscribe to if they are really farmers and ranchers—P.S. Bossman placed an ad for a cat loader..buy it please.  P.S.S. I failed that question in my animal science class at KSTATE.. High Plains Journal–what does that have to do with Dodge City and Kansas..isnt’ Kansas on the Prairie?  What are Plains? My city girl ignorance…)

Ok, Back To Tracy:  She has a heart of Gold..I enjoyed reading her blog posts @ Nebraska Wheatie  about harvest…her love of Nature, Photography, Family and Ag melted by heart.  AKA I cried…her handwritten note in my Christmas Card  related to my miscarriage and how she expected my children to be underfoot while opening a package, she explained why she choose each gift…oh,I am hopeful to meet her in person soon!

Ok, those kids who are usually underfoot..are painting in the carpeted  living room…so I am off to join in the fun!

One last Merry Christmas,

Amber

P.S. if you would like to see where I sent my gift visit Chelsea @ BoilerMakerAG

P.S.S. Thank you to the Ladies who organized our Amazing Gift Exchange:

This Uncharted Rhoade  CountryLINKed  The Ranch Wife Chronicles  Diaries From the Dirt Road

 

Christmas In The Country 2014

Today, I dropped off our Operation Christmas Child Boxes in town…we choose to track our boxes this year…

Pippi is hoping the boxes travel to a tropical island or Asia.

Fi wants to know why ‘Her Girl’  is not able to come over for a play date.

So as the girls sleep with visions of red and green shoe boxes flying to a far off country I await my favorite email of the season…The Christmas In The Country gift exchange name!

I love surprises.

I love meeting new people.

I love celebrating Christmas.

I even loved receiving a lump of coal from a stranger last year…You can read about my first gift of coal thanks to the Christmas In The Country Gift Exchange last year.

If you love Christmas, gifts, and country living you can sign up until November 30th, 2014.  No blog needed!

Hosted by:

This Uncharted Rhoade  CountryLINKed  The Ranch Wife Chronicles  Diaries From the Dirt Road

Inline image 1

Monday Dance Party

Tonight we danced.
The girls put on their “church” clothes and picked out my outfit. A satin floral, print dress with a colorful accessory…a hot pink, poof- eared headband. They even choose Little Bull’s “church outfit.” Some how Boss Man convinced the girls he was suitably dressed in a T-shirt and jeans.

After a dinner on paper plates, we danced to keyboard music. We each choose our favorite number to dance to a random preset song. I feel most comfortable dancing in one of two styles…the first is a mix of free form, martial arts, ballet and the next is swing dancing.

The first is best performed alone…or while entertaining a non-verbal baby. But I digress..tonight was a partner dance party..so I choose swing.

Swing dancing with my girls reminded me of how much I love to dance…watching my girls dance in their father’s arms melted my heart and reminded me that Boss Man promised to learn to dance while I was partially paralyzed after Pippi’s birth.

I like to tease Boss Man that he must have really thought I had no chance of walking….but the reality is this sweet man brought tears to my eyes when he presented catheter wearing, walker toting me with a gift of an instructional dance DVD and the pledge to learn to dance with me.

I may have to recycle that DVD as a stocking stuffer for a family gift…maybe every Monday will be Dance Party this long, cold winter.

Baby Sign Language: Why

I was inspired to publish my drafted posts…these are posts that are unfinished maybe they are missing photos…or definitions…grammar check…but they are my voice…my thoughts…and a peek into my life.

___________

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Pippi, I had a long list of must do’s to be a “Perfect Mother.”  I knew in my head that such a woman did not exist but if she did I knew she would have a natural birth, breastfeed, use cloth diapers, expose her baby to classical music, multiple languages, read to her baby in the womb, sing lullabies, all while being the “Perfect Wife,” “Perfect Friend,” Perfect Daughter”…..needless to say I set myself up for failure.

Well, I quickly let go of some expectations after my traumatic delivery that left me temporarily paralyzed in one leg–Ok, I let go of one: CLOTH DIAPERS!  Boss Man had it right when he kindly mentioned cloth diapers were probably a good idea but did I really think I could keep up with baby laundry and cloth diapers when I (non-working, childless woman) could not keep up with the current laundry.  But I digress.

As Super Mom…

I breastfed through cracked, bleeding nipples.

I did read to her and rejoiced when she began turning the pages of Good Night Moon.

I danced with her to classical, spanish, chinese, russian and arabic music.

All of these were good ideas but most helpful idea was and still is……

Baby Sign Language.

So why did I use baby sign?  Because I wanted to be a “Perfect Mom.”

Why did we continue?

We started to see results soon…I learned a few signs and used them when Pippi was seven months old…knowing that statistically she would not use the signs until nine months at the earliest…but I wanted to get into the habit.  She did start playing with the hand shapes around ten months and slowly started using the signs correctly.

When Pippi would go to Grandma’s or Auntie’s houses she would sign and everyone wanted to learn the basic signs so they could communicate with her….she picked up her signs weeks and sometimes months before she was able to say the same word or phrase–and it was easier to understand her sign language than her toddler speak for many people.

Why am I going to teach my new little girl Baby Sign?

To reduce stress in the home.  It is much less stressful to teach a word rather than learning what grunts and arm flailing  represent.  I started at a young age teaching Pippi to “use your words.” If she did not have words to express what she was trying to tell us I looked up a new sign.

Why do I still sign with my four year old?

Because it is part of our family language….We sign I love you, give I love you kisses, sign yes and no amongst each other with out others taking notice, remind Pippi to say please and thank you discreetly and in the moment.  We are able to communicate with our signs..I can send Boss Man to check on Pippi in the restroom with a simple sign….and when I was pregnant I could excuse myself politely in public and sign that I was going to the ‘potty’ for the umpteenth time.–Oh and in Church a quick sign….ok so it is mostly ‘I love you”,  ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘potty’ that we use sign language still but when she was younger we had a larger signing vocab.

I am rambling–that is another benefit of sign language for Boss Man…fewer ramblings.

I will keep this short..ok I will finish quickly…The time is here to start signing more consistently with new little baby girl, Fi, she is nearly six months!

I thought I would share what signs we are adding along the way.

Signing Time!

_____

Now, Pippi is seven, Fi is three and I have a baby boy,E, who is eight months old.  And, yes we are beginning to sign with him for all the same reasons!  And I embraced that a real Super Mom is not perfect.  She is authentic…she gets tired, mad and makes mistakes…she learns from them and demonstrates how to take care of herself, ask for and receive help, seeks forgiveness and shares grace…and so many more attributes….perfection not included.

 

Royals: Holding My Breath

The Royals are tied late in the game. My children are sleeping…my mind slides into home…decades ago

__________

locusts siren the second half of summer….nearly drowning out the raucous fun of the neighbor kids playing ball in the street.

I lay in my bed, trying to not feel sorry for myself…an eight o’clock bedtime was much to early..the sun was still up…but mom would have my sisters and I up at five-thirty so she could get us to the babysitters before work.

A tear runs down my cheek…I do not even have a book to read ….I long for school…and remember the Royals baseball cards I earned at school…George Brett was my hero…the Royals were one of the greatest teams in history.

I imagine them winning the World Series this year as I flip through the radio stations.

Tonight, The Game is on.   I listen to each pitch, steal, strike, ball, pop up fly, out…I imagine what each player looks like….how they stand…what colors they are wearing.

I listen to the stories of life off the field….and long to help these mere mortals.

As the final innings draw near I begin what would turn into my game night ritual…

“God, whoever you are please take all my energy from me and give it to this player…I am young and do not need this energy to lay in bed please give my extra energy to this player. Help him get a home run, or a hit…”

I never doubted that the Royals were the better team on the field.  The thought of losing never entered my mind as a possibility.

Every game they were losing I would try another tactic…breath holding…

“I am going to hold my breath to give all my energy to this player…I’m am holding my breath…………..holding my breath so he can hit farther….run faster……holding my breath DARN!  He stepped out of the batters box….( gasp gasp gasp). Ok I am holding my breath again…”

Ever loss stung, as I cried myself to sleep…feeling sorry for the champions who were robbed.  I never thought the Royals could lose….every loss was an unfair mistake…this pre teen girl knew the truth…

The Royals are World Series Champions.

______

Tonight I sit here with my baby boy on my lap watching home runs rain down in extra innings…and I, this thirty something momma, is hopeful…maybe, just maybe, the Royals really are World Champions…

 

 

pippi’s dream

I found a little note I wrote to remind me of Pippi’s Dream dated July 19, 2011

___

Hey, Mommy do you want to know what my dream was?

we went up up up on the clouds

then daddy came up with us in the clouds and

we floated

and floated

then the Rain came

d

o

w

n

And a giraffe came down

and a puppy was sniffing my nose

that was my funny dream.

____

I love this girl with all my heart…and through the magic that is love, I love her brother and sister and Daddy the same with every ounce of my heart!  Happy dreams to each of you floating in the cloud today.