Saturday, October 20, 2012

Farmwife's Journal - October 20th

This morning we butchered about 150 chickens.  There is one more batch that will get butchered next weekend, and then we will be done with chickens for the season.  That's a good feeling!  :)

Last night I was out "partying" with friends (a ladies tea and devotional) and did not arrive home until midnight.  This morning at 5:00 a.m. my sweet husband was nudging me, "I hate to wake you up, but it's time to get ready for butchering".  The feeling was a familiar one.  It was time to pull myself up by the boot straps, suck it up, and get moving.  Any family that lives on a farm knows what I am talking about.  If we are out late having fun with our city-folk friends, we know the price we will pay later.  There is no sleeping in (or at least not much) around here.  The animals are always waiting for your care, no matter what other things are going on in life.  Working while tried and exhausted is not uncommon on the farm because, at times, you simply don't have a choice.

So I pulled myself out of bed, made my way to the kitchen and got started on making a pot of chili to feed my hungry chew after the butchering was over.  Some left-over oatmeal was heated up for breakfast and a pot of coffee was brewing.  At 6:00 am our helpers arrived.  Bundled up, while standing under lights and a heater, we got started processing our chickens for the customer who will arrive this afternoon.  The air was filled with the joy and anticipation of a job to get done, as we began our routine of working together as a team.  You learn to enjoy it all, because like I said, you often don't have a choice in what needs to get done, and who wants to be miserable all the time! :)

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a customer this summer ( I may have blogged about this already...I can't remember).  She was telling me about their cabin that they go to every weekend in the summer, which stirred up that longing in me for those vacations and getaways that are often rare when you live on a farm.  I told her that I have always dreamed of having a cabin.  Then she said something profound,  "Well, having a family cabin is a romantic notion".  She said it's hard having two places to maintain.  Then she went on to tell me that they have been thinking about selling both places and moving out to the country.  She said that they would love to do something like we are doing.  Then I smiled and said with a twinkle in my eye, "Living on a farm is a romantic notion!" :)  We both laughed. 

We meet many families who are longing to move to the country.  Often city-dwellers believe that farm life is the answer to all their problems. ( I used to be one of those people.)  And it's true,  it will solve many of your problems, but I can guarantee that you will also have a whole new set of problems that you didn't have before. :)  As green as that grass looks on the other side of the fence, it is just a figment of your imagination.  That said, I don't want to discourage you from farm life.  It is the best place to raise a family!  But I also do not want to deceive you into thinking that it is a type of heaven, where all your challenges and hardships go away.  You have to learn to take the good with the bad...or should I say, the wonderful with the not so wonderful. :)

Our family and helpers butchering at 6am

Me and our helpers, Evan Mahlstedt and Tim Mathison (other helper not shown - Jacob Mahlstedt)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Gophers

My boys got this idea that they wanted to build a the ground! :)  I am guessing it was Ben's idea because he always has one. :)  So Mike found a spot for them to start digging.  Every chance they get, they ask, "Mom, can we go dig?"

They plan to make it deep enough to stand in.  In the background you can see a large piece of plastic which they will use for a cover and an old dryer door for the entrance.  They use their army shovels to loosen the dirt and then scoop shovels to pile the dirt all around fort.  Ambitious boys! 

I am thankful for land in the country for my boys to explore and conquer, and  I'm thankful we don't have neighbors who might call planning and zoning to complain that my boys are digging a pond, or a cellar, or to china! :)

"Quick look this way, the battery is going to die on the camera!" :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Campaign pictures - Red Rooster Day Parade

Getting the speakers set up

Decorating our float

Mahlstedt children practicing their songs

Gabe on his tractor

Jacobs family

Luthens family

Getting set up and waiting in line
Charlie Harris :)


Moving along, almost to the beginning of the parade.

The float

Mahlstedt kids - they did an awesome job!!

The driver and the Mrs.
All done!
After the parade.  Totally exhausted!  I shook more hands that day than I have in my entire life. :)
We had an awesome crew!  Thanks to everyone that helped with the parade!! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Jonny!

Happy Birthday (Oct. 8th) to my favorite 11 year old in the whole world!  Jonny is a joy and blessing to his family!  His life is characterized by his cheerfulness, forgiveness, tender heart, and hard work. 

When Jonny wakes up in the morning he hops right out of bed and joyfully goes about doing what he needs to do.  When he is working around the farm, he is often heard humming a tune.  This always makes the rest of us smile! :)  We so appreciate his good attitude and his love for life!

Another thing I really appreciate about Jonny is that he is quick to ask forgiveness, and he is always very sincere.  He keeps a clear conscience and doesn't hold grudges.  What a good example he is to all of us! 

Jonny is also a very hard worker!  He is faithful and committed to his chores, and you always know he will get the job done.  He is very responsible!

Happy Birthday Jonny!  We love you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Health Journal - Relax & Nourish Tea

I have never been fond of Chamomile tea...until I came up with this herbal tea combination. Emily felt the same way.  This is an excellent tea to drink after dinner, in preparation for a good nights sleep. It will relax and nourish your body.  The three ingredients in this tea - chamomile, oatstraw, and anise -  make a wonderful flavor, especially when combined with a little cream and honey. :)  Here's the recipe along with some information on each of the herbs:

Relax & Nourish Tea
4 cups of water
1 heaping teaspoon of chamomile
1 heaping teaspoon of oatstraw
1 heaping teaspoon of anise seed
Bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the herbs. Cover and let steep 5-15 minutes. Add cream and honey to taste. Enjoy! :)

Chamomile is a great herb for helping to induce a deep sleep.   If you struggle with anxiety, insomnia, ADD, PMS, ulcers, IBS, or stress, chamomile will be a great aid for you.  It is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic.  This herb will relax your muscles - try soaking in a chamomile bath sometime!  It is also a safe herb for children and helps with colic.  I make a glycerin tincture with chamomile that is a great remedy for a child that cannot sleep or has a tummy ache.

Another wonderful herb for helping the body to relax is oatstaw.  Due to the high amounts of  magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B complex in oatstraw, it is restorative to the nervous system.  It helps with hysteria, irritability, menstrual problems, depression, urinary tract infections, and osteoporosis. 

The third ingredient in this tea, anise seed, is another great remedy for the stomach.  It helps with digestion, colic, gas, respiratory ailments, flu, and even bad breath.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Last week our oldest turned 20!  I cannot believe we have a twenty-year-old! :)  Brandon has always been one to enjoy being with people.  He loves a good laugh and is usually seen with a smile on his face.  He is also the most creative person I have ever met!  I always used to tell him when he was little, "Someday you will invent something!"  If you need an idea, just ask Brandon. :)  We would often find him daydreaming when he was young...thinking up his next creation. :)  Brandon was a boy that I didn't need to worry about.  If he wanted to use a power tool, I knew he would be cautious and responsible.  When he zoomed around on his four wheeler, I knew he was being careful...he is just that way.  He is also a hard worker, which many people have grown to appreciate about him.
Happy Birthday, Brandon!  We love you!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Farmwife's Journal-October 7th

Hi!  I'm Mindy Housman, your long lost blogger. :)  Blogging has had to get pushed to the bottom of the list lately, but the seasons are changing, which means there is less to do on the farm.  Yippee! :)

The last Friday in September was our last "Friday on the Farm" for the season.  We will still be open two Saturdays in October and two Saturdays in November for our chicken and turkey butchering days, so we are not quite done yet.  But the garden is mostly bare, and the freezer and pantry are stocked. 

Last week we finally picked the apples - enough for a whole 9x13 pan!  Yep, one pan of apple crisp is all we got!  Quite a difference from our harvest of over 1000 lbs. last year!  Late spring the temperature dropped to 20 degrees.  All the fruit bearing plants and trees suffered, and there was little to no fruit to harvest this year.  But that's farming!  Every year there is usually a crop or two that does exceptionally well, and then some that do really poor.

The good news is that a family just south of us a few miles (and obviously higher in elevation) had a great crop of apples...more than they needed, and they were giving them away.  Now our lonely root cellar is stocked with apples, and we need to work on getting the humidity up and the temperature down in the cellar.  It's a babysitting job.  The cellar gets opened up at night, when the temperature drops below 50 and then gets closed again late morning.  Apples like 80-90% humidity, so often times we will run a humidifier.  The temperature is hovering around 50 degrees in there right now, but that is not cold enough.  The ideal temperature is 35- 40.  If we don't get it cooled down (like last year when we had a very mild winter), the produce won't last very long. 

Now that our market season is over, we are going to be down-sizing the farm.  If you are interested in a milk goat, give us a call.  We will have three for sale.

Now that fall has officially arrived, we are looking forward to our puppy season.  New to the farm last year, were two beautiful Great Pyrenees puppies.  They are both over a year old now and will be having their own puppies some time late fall. :)  There will be some changes coming to the blog, as we get ready to add more information and pictures about our dogs.  Stay tuned! :)

The big news around here is that my wonderful husband is running for county commissioner!  It has been a huge factor in making our busy season even busier! :)  But we are all so very glad that he is running because he will make a fantastic commissioner.  People have been asking my husband for years to run for different political offices, but he just didn't want to make that big of a commitment at that time - family comes first for him.  Now our children are old enough to take part in it all, so when he was asked this time, he agreed to do it.  Our family has been involved in politics for years, and our children have walked in tons of parades and participated in many lit drops, but this time they get to do it all for dad!  They are so excited to help him out.  They love wearing their "Vote for Housman" shirts around town, and they practically fight over who gets to go door knocking with him. :)  Here are some pictures of them campaigning:

Off for an evening of door knocking

Emily carries the clip board and takes notes. :)

Putting in signs for her daddy - thumbs up!! :)

more campaign pictures coming...

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