Farmhouse Fling

Can you go home again?

She Rocks August 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 10:13 am

Thing 2 was given a choice of summer camps this year.  She had decided to take a cupcake making class, but one little post card changed her mind (she’s a marketer’s dream).  She went from cupcakes to the in-no-way similar rock climbing camp.  And she had a blast. 

The camp took place in a converted grain silo with an amazing amount of space and a huge variety of climbs.  The first day of class she climbed to the top of the practice area, about 20 feet, but she wouldn’t climb very far in the silo.  By the end of the week, she was going to the top of the belayed climb, which seemed halfway to the moon.  The full silo climb is 65 feet, but I don’t think her climb was quite that high because of the belay equipment at the top.  She also did bouldering, zip lines and cave work.  Pretty amazing for the girliest 7 year old you’ll ever meet.

This place offers family climb nights, and I think we’ll be trying it out when the weather gets yucky and we can’t think of anything else to do.  I don’t kid myself by thinking I’ll climb as high as she did though.  I’ll be lucky to drag my body 2 feet off the ground.


Our Privacy Fence July 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 10:42 am







Attic Find April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 3:22 pm

I found an old map case in the attic.  I assume it’s a relic from the schoolhouse across the way, but I don’t really know.  It seems a little old for that.  One of the posters is copywrited in 1904, and can only be described as ‘pro-prohibition’.

That seems a little strong, doesn’t it?  So does this:

I wonder what sort of fact checking they did in the early 1900’s.

I wonder if this is the 1904 equivalent of “This is your brain on drugs.”  Frankly, it’s more entertaining than it is frightening, but maybe the thought of appearing in public in a red undershirt was a deterrent in 1904.  It’s interesting that women are barely mentioned, this is clearly aimed at the men of the era.


Treasure Hunting March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 4:13 pm

The kids are on spring break this week and Tuesday was a gorgeous gorgeous day.  They played outside in the morning, and then made themselves a picnic.  As far as I could tell, the picnic consisted mostly of bacon and was shared equally between the kids, the dog and the cat.

I’ve asked them several times in the last few weeks to pick up sticks under our trees so we could burn them.  Finally I insisted that they get it done.  So we spent an hour or so picking up the bigger branches and making a pile out in the field.  Then, not for the first time, we were distracted by shiny things.

In the field near our back door is an area that once must have taken the place of our weekly garbage pick up.  It’s got pieces of tile, random bits of brick, broken up cement block that looks like it once was the foundation of something, and shards of pottery that make me feel like an archeologist.  In amongst it all, there are lots of pieces of glass.  We spent over an hour hunched over looking at the ground, occasionally performing spontaneous happy dances when we found an especially pretty piece.  Anyone driving by must have wondered what on earth we were doing.

We have a family friend with a beachside cottage.  She has a small dish with pieces of sea glass that she’s found over the years.  Those pieces are frosted from the sand and all the edges are gently rounded.  These are still sharp and jagged although I imagine some of them were in the field for decades before we pulled them out.  SNL and the shards ‘o glass gift for children kept running through my head.  Still, in the right light (and with a good scrubbing) they’re quite pretty.

I also found this little marble, stuck the roots of a corn stalk.  I have no idea how long it’s been out there.  I checked with Dad, he says it’s not his.  I think it must be older, it’s not really round and it’s got little air bubbles in it.  But I don’t really know that much about marbles so it’s just a guess.  I suppose I should just look around for someone who looks like they might be missing a marble or two and ask if it might be theirs.


Happy Birthday! March 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 12:53 pm

Happy Birthday Grandpa, we miss you!


Gallbladders and Eyes, Oh My! March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 5:29 pm

Late one night last October I came home to find Pete curled up on the bathroom floor.  I called my mom to come watch the kids and I drove him into the hospital.  The 30 minute drive was one of the longest of my life.  Not that it was life-threatening, just that he was so miserable the entire way.  Well, that and he was barfing.  30 minutes of close quarters barfing is a lot.

We got to the hospital (Which, incidentally, is just a couple of blocks from our old house.  He could have crawled it if we’d still lived there.) and he paused long enough in the parking lot to tell me that if we found out it was nothing, I needed to bring him out and hit him until something broke.  He didn’t want my mother to have come to our house at 10:30 for nothing.  I assured him that I would be happy to help, but the doctor ended up diagnosing him with a wonky gallbladder.

We spent the next several weeks arguing over when he should have it out.  He wanted to wait until he was less busy at work, a state of affairs that I suspect will coincide with his retirement.  I thought he should have it out ‘rightthisveryminute’ going with the argument that if he had another attack in the middle of a blizzard in January he’d have to walk to the hospital because we wouldn’t be able to drive down the lane.  Very few things have made me feel as isolated in the country (and sort of like I’m living in 1873) like the knowledge that if there’s an emergency in the winter, there is a chance that we would not be able to get ourselves to help or help to us.

In the end, we ended up waiting.  Not because either of us really agreed with the other one’s position, but because the doctor that was recommended wasn’t added as an agreed provider to our insurance plan until just recently.  Really, it was worth the wait.  Today he had the pesky thing out.  And he’s already apologized 10 times for not being nicer when I had laproscopy surgery a few years ago.  Which makes the whole thing TOTALLY worthwhile in my opinion.

Then there was me.  After all my “What if there’s a blizzard and we’re stuck” talk, I ended up with an eye infection in January.  It bothered me for a few days, and I didn’t do anything about it.  Then a blizzard hit and I couldn’t do anything about it.  I finally ventured out to have it checked at Promptcare, only to get halfway there and realize that it was A Very Bad Idea for me to have driven myself.  When I finally made it in, the doctor assured me that the eye would be completely better by the next day, or the day after at the latest.  The day after my eye was even worse, but our lane looked like this:

There was no way our little car was going to make it down there.  So I put off a follow up appointment.  Until the next day when the eye was much much worse.  I ended up calling my parents to drive me to the eye doctor when I realized there was no realistic way a.) that I was going to get down the lane and b.) even if I could manage the lane, there was no way that I was going to be able to keep both eyes open long enough to make a 30 minute drive to the eye clinic.

Anyway it should be spring soon, and we’re both on our way to better health.  Next year I’ll be insisting on full physicals for all of us before the snow flies.  Being cooped up is no fun, being cooped up and sick is even worse.


The Danger of February. February 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 11:33 am

Pete and I were engaged in August and immediately started planning our honeymoon.  In the midst of an Illinois summer, I thought skiing sounded like a fantastic idea.  Pete is generally agreeable to anything, so he made plans.

Our wedding rolled around in March and all I could do was wonder what the heck I’d been thinking.  We could have gone somewhere sunny.  Somewhere beachy.  Somewhere warm.  At the end of an Illinois winter the LAST thing I wanted was to go see more snow.  We went and we had a fantastic time, but every August I still find myself telling Pete that skiing sounds like fun.  And every August he falls over laughing.

I think I’ve now found the winter equivelant.  The garden catalogs are coming thick and fast and they’ve got pictures of beautiful produce and it seems like it couldn’t hurt to order just a few things.  And maybe a few more.  And it sure would be nice to have our own asparagus patch so I didn’t have to sneak into my mom’s to harvest hers.  And fresh peas sure are good.  And the kids would really like to have their own pumpkin patch.  And oh my gosh I’ve got to stop.

Last year was our first garden ever.  And it went a little something like this.  ‘Hey Pete, when you’re in town could you pick up some basil?”  18 basil plants later I remembered that it’s best to be very specific when sending Pete shopping.  He also picked up a few tomato plants for himself (the kids and I do NOT do tomatoes).  He got 47.  That’s right, forty seven tomato plants.  For himself.  We had so many tomatoes that my father-in-law was making daily trips to the food pantry to drop them off.  I think even the food pantry was irritated with us. 

We also had one row of carrots that were impossible to dig up, a row of peppers that was accidentally mowed, and several rows of sweet corn that weren’t very sweet.  We also had a fantastic crop of weeds.  I mean really fantastic.  I kept them under control for awhile and then they’d get away from me.  I’d fight them back down and two days later they’d be waist high again.  I could just imagine my dad cringing every time he drove by.  So, I need to control myself and not give in to seed catalog envy.  I want to keep the garden smallish until we’ve proven we can keep it under control both in what we produce and how we take care of it.

Some fresh green beans would sure taste good though.  And maybe a few radishes.  I saw some flowers that I know that Thing 2 would just love.