Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekend Chores.

 We've had a long stretch of really cold weather and we've put a big dent in our wood pile.  So, today with temperatures in the teens , light winds and sunny skies we loaded up the truck with what is hopefully the last load of wood this winter.
 The dogs and I hit the timber and blocked up a bunch of wind fall elms before giving Susie a call to hike down to give me a hand loading up the truck.
That's not to say, I won't be cutting and hulling any more wood.  I'll get a lot more saw time down in the sugar bush in a few weeks.
Even though I could. I wouldn't want to do this on my own.

 I already had an hour in blocking up the wood.
 Gathering wood in the winter requires a lot more walking form the tree fall back to the truck.
 But, on a beautiful  sunny day it's great to get outside and get out of the house and off the couch.

Two hours later the truck is  unloaded and
our country boy/girl work out is done for the day.

So, I guess now it's time for Apple Pie and Coffee.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


 Susie and I were back down the the Mill for a Valentines Day dinner with my brother Steve, his wife Debbie, Ryan and Mary,  and Moose and Gina.

Blues and BBQ at the Mill

 The Jimmys create a big band blues sound unlike any band in this area.

The tunes varied, and always up tempo which kept us dancing all night long!

 Steve flies out of these single digit weather from Milwaukee today to spend four days in Phoenix

 Susie and I took a little stroll down memory lane after dinner as we walked around the Mill

By the Hammer of Thor!  Our local news anchor did a segment on an Eastern Iowa guy who makes work out hammers that you can hit tractor tires with,



You can try out the Country Boy work out by swinging one of these and split some gnarly old red elm in single digit weather.

I haven''t bought an ax handle in years.  Can ya tell? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015


 It's Valentines weekend and
 even with single digits and a wind chill advisery
for the county Susie and I get out each day to get the dogs and our selves out for a little exercise.

I've been riding MRX's Fat tire bike around both at sunset and well after that  under the cover of darkness.
 Thursday I road back to the barn and the dish and the surrounding field was full of white tails.  As I rolled down the road they all started to funnel over to a gap in the fence.

It was pretty awesome.
 With the cold temperatures and wind.  There's plenty going on inside as well.
For Valentines day this year Susie made me, us a four layer chocolate and banana layer cake with a coffee whip cream  layer between each cake.
 We went down to the Mill last night to check out our friends Joe and Vicky Price, dance a little and Susie picked out one of Vicky's paintings for the living room.
 Susie and Theresa
 and out friend Lindsay who looks like she is ready for Mardi Gras


Happy day of lovers!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Live Heathy Iowa

 I'm starting week 3 of the Live Healthy Iowa 10 week wellness challenge.  Not that I've really changed my eating habits it's just that I'm recording my daily workout activities.

Although my work out routine isn't generally the kind of thing that's listed on the Tracker on the web site.

I've gotten my share of snow shoveling.  Our neighbor Dustin cleared a path so we  could get in and out but, believe me there was still plenty of shoveling to be done.
 Today I got a half hour in at the weight room this morning.
 And Susie and got some cross country skiing in  this morning too.

At my gym.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Aniversery!

  My folks were married in Feb of 43?. Dad was in the Army Air Corp as a staff Sargent as a weatherman. After D day he traded his weather vane in for an M1 and fought in the European theater. 

When Germany surrendered, he was sent back home on leave in August before being shipped to the Pacific.

 On that summer day, he and my mother ( 5 months pregnant with my sister Alana) decided to take a boat ride on the Maquoketa River near his home town of Cascade, Iowa.

As they made the bend in the river, my dad could see his mother Pearl on the bridge as if she was looking for them.

Dad the forever practical joker, thought it would be funny to have his mom see my mother rowing the boat in her delicate state. 

As mom took the oars, rowing to the bridge, they could hear dad's mother yelling and waving her hands. When they finally got close to hear.


She said;
The Japs surrendered, and why the hell is Joyce rowing!

 My dad was a conservation officer for the Iowa DNR for 37 years, he retired in 1983. The two colored photos 10-26-83, his last day on the job.
dad live another 20 years. He was no doubt my inspiration to become an officer. I like him, will be retiring with 37 years on the job as well.

Thanks to my big brother Greg for sharing this story.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


 Super Bowl Sunday and Maxine was shocked to awaken to our first major storm of the winter.

The cold snap a few weeks ago put the hurts to 3 of my hives.  Today I preformed a honey bee nercropsy on each of the hives to determine the cause of death.  Each hive had honey, some more than others.

 As temperatures drop, the bees draw closer together to conserve heat. The outer layer of bees is tightly compressed, insulating the bees within the cluster. As the temperature rises and falls, the cluster expands and contracts. The bees within the cluster have access to the food stores. During warm periods, the cluster shifts its position to cover new areas of comb containing honey. An extremely prolonged cold spell can prohibit cluster movement, and the bees may starve to death only inches away from honey.

 I bundled up and put the snow shoes to tour around in the storm with the dogs.
 When you've got the proper gear, its not too bad out

My buddy Jace came by and ran the blade down the lane.  But, from the looks of things I won't be going any where soon.
 I knocked a 10" thick layer of snow off the side of the hoop house and it sprang right back up.

We've got a few more inches of snow in the forecast  yet.

I'm thinking snow day Monday!

13" of snow later... Thankful for our neighbor Dustin, who dug us out!