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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gut Fear

I learned this morning that the company I work for is on the auction block. In the world we live in, none of us is safe from corporate takeovers, sales, mergers etc. I hear about it daily from my customers. I listen to their stories with genuine sorrow and heartfelt sympathy. I have been spoiled ........ I am being paid to talk on the phone and meet new people. I talk with people from Paris France to Paris TX on a daily basis. I chat with presidents of fortune 500 companies and the people behind the scenes of large and very small companies. I am a salesperson. Doing my job means that I get inside the heads of my customers and find out what their needs are, and try to meet that need. I don't know that I could go to another company and get the hourly wage I am making now, plus the kick butt commission I get on good months. I am a college dropout .... without the degree there are few companies that will even look at me. I have talked with so many people in the same position I am in now, but this is the first time I have been here. In my entire life I have only been let go from one job ........... and I was going to quit anyway because I was pregnant with Delana. These are scary times we live in. There is a good chance that nothing will change, but I AM my fathers daughter. If there is a cause for worry I will find it. I am trying hard to remember that my fate is in God's hands and he will provide for me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall in Iowa

Sometimes a picture is better than any words (but I know me well enough to know I am not going to stop adding commentary!). Yesterday I took advantage of the beauty and took a few pictures. This is my beloved garden. Every time I look at it I remember all the work Phil did to get the fence up and make it so beautiful. He made it tall enough that the deer won't jump it, with chicken wire around the bottom so rabbits won't get in. We have this garden pretty much put to bed for the winter. It has a nice warm blanket of hay to protect the soil from the harsh Iowa winter, and give it an extra shot of food in the spring. Next February or March I will take the lawnmower into the garden on a warm day and chop up the hay for a finer mulch. I will then plant right through the mulch without disturbing the gentle balance of the soil. I don't have this soil where I want it yet, but in a few years with this kind of loving care, it will be so fertile and loamy, I will barely need a hand shovel to open it up in the spring (can you tell I am missing having my hands in the soil already?)
We were so fortunate to have 7 fruit trees on this property when we bought it. Unfortunately a very bad storm killed all but one within the first month of living here (Nothing like a lightening strike one one side of the property and a 60' tree coming down on (other side of the property) on 4 trees to wake you up). The first summer we were here we didn't get even one apple from this three (I can't remember if there was a late freeze that year). Last year the apple tree bloomed just about the time we got our first bees. We had so many apples last year it was amazing. Apples will only produce in abundance every other year. I expected not to have many if any apples this year. I have happily surprised to get another bumper crop this year. Not as many as last, but so many that we gave away tons. Those little bees are doing their job! These are the last few apples high in the tree. I believe they will be consumed by the birds or deer. We will be feasting on dried apples, apple jelly, apple juice, apple pie filling and applesauce all winter long.

Maggie and Molly in the leaves

can you believe this is what I see when I look out the living room window?

Even weeds are colorful in the fall
I can only wonder what the pioneers thought when they first saw this amazing land. They worked so hard to make it their own. I feel so inadequate compared to them. I am happy that Phil and I are doing our little part to make this a good place to live. What a wonderful opportunity we have been given.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The result off all that work..............

Beginning in early spring we start getting the garden ready. We dig, plant, add manure, cultivate, add compost then finally harvest our bounty. The kids are bringing in the last of the harvest for the year. We ended up with a wheelbarrow full of butternut squash, a bushel and 1/2 of popcorn, and still have some cabbage in the garden

Caelum and Olivia are loving the fall apples, but Ruby is going to chomp right into the butternut squash.

Yes ................ it IS all worth it. Look at all that wonderful food. I know how it was raised, how it was cooked, and what it in every single jar. I feel good knowing that my family is eating healthy organic food. They have no preservatives, and I must admit the soup is great! When I see this, I am SURE Mom and Dad would be very proud of us. Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the background I needed to know how to do all of this. Without that guidance Phil and I would be floundering around, with now idea of what we needed to do!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday I tagged along with Delana and the kids to a pumpkin patch. It was quite cold, and Ruby wasn't feeling great ... but still we had a good time. This is the nicest little place. It is run by a family, and only a few miles from our place. It was much less expensive and much less crowded then the advertised places! The first thing the kids did was to smash some apples. It was advertised as a pumpkin smash, but it was apple day, so they got to make applesauce. Caelum loved it, the girls were not quite as impressed.
They got to pet some miniature donkeys, visit a spook house (it really WAS frightening) jump in hay (Caelum found out how much that makes you itch!!) put on a puppet show, visit an abandoned mine and after all that pick some apples. The best part (in my opinion) was the carmal apple. Every time I get a carmal apple it is so messy. These people had a GREAT idea. They cut up the apple and pour hot carmal over the top. You are able to share one apple with several people and you don't have the carmal all over you! YUMMMM. I have been wanting carmal apple all week because of that.

OH MAN, What has Olivia done now???

Ruby and Olivia are putting on a puppet show

Poor Ruby wasn't feeling well

NaNa, was this like YOUR first car?

Olivia always loves to play wtih rocks!

You can't see it very well, but we are sitting on the lap of a MONSTER

They just can't stay out or trouble!!

Apple sauce ..... the fun way!!!