Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're Done!!

We're done, we're done, we're done!  Another harvest finished on the Schraefel farm.  Yahoo!  It is always such a relief when those machines pull into the yard for the last time.  Although now the fun begins - trying to sell all this good grain.  But at least it is dry and safe in the bins.  It's raining this morning, and I feel for the farmers who still have crop out, but wow, it feels good to be done!

In other news, Stephen is now legally driving.  Those of you in the area may want to steer clear of a black Dodge truck for a while.  He is quickly learning that gas is not cheap, though, and may soon go back to hitching a ride on the big yellow bus that he now follows into town each school day!  Of course that would entail actually getting out of bed in time to catch the big yellow bus, so we'll see how that goes.

Adam and Stephen are in the middle of a very successful football season.  The Rebels are 4 and 0, and looking at a good run in the playoffs.  Stephen even made the front page of the local rag, after intercepting a pass and making a "spectacular" 60-yard run for a touchdown.  He and Adam are both on the defensive line this year, and do very well.  Adam was a human wrecking machine the last game, with at least two quarterback sacks. It scares me a little how much they enjoy tackling and pounding other humans into the ground!

Derek has begun his hockey season with a five-day power skating course in town.  He is, of course, enjoying himself, since he is 1) off the farm, 2) with his friends, 3) playing sports, and 4) in close proximity to the local convenience store.  Life is good!  He is presently trying to decide whether he will come with us to Weyburn on the Thanksgiving weekend, or beg for room and board with a friend so he can play the first two hockey games of the season.  Time will tell - either Clem and I will have a nice get-away to celebrate our 20th anniversary (yes, I said 20, folks - ugh), or we will get to stock the vehicle with electronics and listen to our youngest asking "how much longer" for the six-hour drive.  Wish us luck!  And please send some positive energy this way to help ensure our farm is still intact after a weekend of being inhabited solely by two teen-age boys...

 And that's about it around here.  Thanks for checking in!

Friday, September 18, 2009

There's an owl in our yard!

I went out to bring in the clothes from the line this evening, and saw what I thought was a big old crow in the trees.  On closer inspection, I found it was an owl.  A gorgeous, big owl, just sitting there taking in the lovely
It sat, perched on the very tip of a long dead branch, long enough for me to walk around to the other side of the trees to get a better view.  It didn't even mind that Roxy the dog was sniffing around.

After a little computer manipulation of the photo file, here is what I saw:  

Oh the joys of living in the country.  That, and the sunsets:

Good night, all!  Thanks for checking in!

PS:  This blog site has a new editing feature, which I obviously haven't figured out yet.  One day soon I hope to have the text aligned to the left again!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

My favorite middle son turned 16 today.  It often overwhelms me how fast these boys are growing up!  Older and up, I guess.  Although Stephen seems to have levelled off at 6'2".  Now he just has to put a little meat on those long bones.  He looks like such a toothpick on the football field.  But looks can be deceiving, as some of the opposing team members can attest.  He swung one poor quarterback around and threw him about three yards!  Today's QB was a little more slippery, so Stephen took a more offensive approach, intercepted a pass, and ran about 70 yards for a touchdown.  I wonder if the coach is rethinking his decision to put him on the defensive line....

Anyway, the Rebels are 3 and 0 after today's home opener. And they are having a blast.  I was a little worried that those big heads wouldn't fit in the door when they got home after the big team supper celebration, but both Adam and Stephen are safely in bed.  They have been burning the candle at both ends, trying to harvest and still make most of the football practices.   Stephen was cut from the AAA team he was trying out for, and I think that is a good thing.  He wasn't really sure he wanted to play on that team, or if he wanted to move away to do so.  And he and I were both having second thoughts about the coaching there.  So he will stay home and play on the Midget team here, and will be affiliated with the new Junior B team that is starting here this year.   No pressure - he can just coast.  And that's just how he likes it.

Poor Clem was left combining all by himself today while Derek and I went to watch the game. He and the boys licked up three small fields of barley last night, and it busheled really well.  Imagine having to worry about bin space in the dry year that we've had!  So there is about 150 acres of barley left to go, and then the wheat.  The peas and lentils are safely in the bin, except for a few spots that are still ripening.  They will get cleaned up when the cereal grains are finished.  If it hasn't snowed by then!

We are still enjoying fresh vegetables from the garden, although the variety is more limited!  We had the last few cobs of corn last night for supper.  The tomatoes are starting to slow down.  And then there are just the potatoes, carrots, and onions to bring in.  Not as many as last year, but that is a good thing.  I ended up giving away potatoes and carrots this spring as we wouldn't have been able to finish them before they went bad.  

Derek gave us a scare the other day when he ended up with a concussion after hitting heads with another boy while playing touch football at recess.  Only Derek can have an accident like that.  He was pretty groggy for a couple of days, with a good headache and nausea.  But he seems to be getting over it.  In fact, when I got to the school for the football game today, he was playing touch football with his friends.  Yep.  He was told no physical activity for a week, and the next day he's playing football.  This child will be the end of me, I swear.

And the end sometimes doesn't seem that far away!  Today I received my new BIFOCALS!!!! Talk about feeling old!  The really sad thing is that they work, so I must have really needed them.  I had been trying to convince myself that the optometrist was out to lunch, but no, I need bifocals.  Enjoy your youth while it lasts, kiddies!

Well, the house is quiet, and as much as I enjoy visiting with you, I best be off to bed, to rest before the start of a new day here at the zoo.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A September evening walk

We had a little shower around supper time this evening, which put the kibosh on any more combining (although Clem said the peas were still a little tough) and swathing (which Clem had stopped doing anyway because the lentils are still on the green side).  But it made for a beautiful evening for a walk - not too warm, and a bit of a breeze to keep (most of) the mosquitoes away.  I took the dog and my camera and a desire for a bit of alone time.

This was the view over the west trees.  Talk about "land of living skies"!

And this was the view as I headed out of the yard.

I thought I would check out some of the trees up close, too.  Here's our crabapple tree right behind the house - loaded with apples that need to be picked and sauced!

 Here are some over-ripe chokecherries, which also didn't get picked.  But just check out Mother Nature's color show!

These are buffalo berries, which I don't believe are edible.  Purely for the birds.  And our eyes.

Then I headed down the trail to check out the crops up close.  The barley is coming in nicely.  (Make sure you tell Clem you didn't even notice the weeds!!)

More beautiful sky:

This is my favorite view of the farm, coming up from the south.

The wheat is turning that gorgeous golden hue, and this crop is looking very nice considering the little moisture we've had this year.

Here's proof that crickets take care of grasshoppers.

How can anyone not like the prairies??

And that was my walk in a nutshell.  I must go now and put some Benadryl cream on the mosquito bites on my wrists!!

Good night, and thanks for checking in!