Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Its Done, well for now anyway...

For several months now, I have been working on an old kitchen hutch my husband had in the garage, given to him by his Uncle Dean years ago.  It held a variety of tools,fishing equipment, grease guns and the like.  It was stuffed so full, the drawers would not shut, and the glass cabinet doors for some reason had been removed.

It had character, too much character to be shoved into a corner of the garage, never seen, exposed to the heat and cold, abused......  So, I decided to rescue it.
So, I took it apart (it was 2 separate pieces)  I soon found out the large chip out of the enamel top on the bottom piece, was not a missing chip after all--it was black paint, which came right off.  Then I started stripping, and stripping and stripping....It had at least 11 coats of paint on it, some which I am sure contained lead.  Lead paint means you can not use the heat gun, or the sander...So, I had to chemical strip...and strip...and strip.

 In its past, it has been several shades of white,cream, yellow, peach, pink, 2 shades of green, one drawer had lavender on it....a little of every color.

I don't think the top and bottom went together originally   They are of 2 different woods and construction styles, and the handles are different.

But, that adds to the character.

The wood has been damaged in several pieces.  Some I repaired, others I left alone--for the character.

I tried to go for the shabby chic or distressed look.  My husband though, calls it the "it looks like she didn't finish it look"....I even showed him pieces on eBay going for several thousands dollars with the same look....He wasn't impressed.

I declared it done--for now.  Later I want to paint our bedroom, but I don't know what color.  When I do, I will probably go over the piece with a paste stain to compliment the room color.  That might be in a month, or five years from now.  So, I went ahead and moved it into my bedroom, and relocated some other items into it.  It provides great storage and a good place to show off some of the small antiques and glass items.

You can tell the pine bottom is darker than the top.  When I stain it, that will even out some--I am leaning towards a sage green or mauve stain....maybe.

Now, I need to switch a couple other pieces of furniture around, to balance the room, as  I now have 2 tall pieces side by side, and it just makes the room seem tilted..  That will be tomorrows project.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Swapping and bartering....

If you happen to be in Northern MO, or North KC area.....check out the fairly new facebook page:    Swap/ Barter Services in Northern Missouri  It is about bartering the old fashioned --trading goods and services--what you don't need for what you do need.  

If your not in this area, check and see if there is a group for the area you are in, or start one if there is not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4H and coop

Last week was busy.  We had our first 4H meeting of the year.  Emily and I also spent the night Friday night at my parents, then left at o dark thirty for Columbia ( car is getting good at this trip) for Emily to speak in the 4H State Speech contest.  My mom went with us, which was nice as she got to hear Emily speak.  Emily has entered (and won) numerous speaking contest, but it was the first time my mom has been able to hear her.  In a way, it was rather sad, as last year after the contest we went directly to the hospital so that she could show her trophy to her Aunt Debbie, whom we lost to cancer this January. That memory was in the back of our minds all day.  Then back home again.

After a busy week last week, and weekend, today we had our first classroom day at coop.  I am one of the parents in the middle school class.  We have either 7 or 8 students in the class.  Last week, was a field trip week, so this was the first class after (next week will be another field trip).  For our class project, the kids are making a blog.   This will give them some hands on computer and web experience, writing experience and photography.  They will be writing a review of all the field trips we take throughout the semester.  Also, they plan on having some secondary pages that will tie in with our trips or homeschooling.  They also will allow parents to place ads on the site, but we are unsure as to what we will do with the profits yet--possibly an end of semester party, or for a mission.  It was neat to see the kids get excited about making the blog.  It is just in the beginning stages, but you can check out what got done today on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


It is fall, which means time to join 4H. Plattsburg Pioneers are having their first meeting of the year on Thursday 9/20 at 6pm at the Clinton County Youth building on 116 hwy. To be in 4H, a child needs to be 8, if they are younger than 8, they are a "clover kid". Dues are $17 per child per year. Each child picks their own projects that they are interested in--there are a ton to pick from, including but not limited to archery, 22 rifle, baking, cake decorating, horses, cooking, sewing, photography, cattle, goats, rabbits, cats, dogs, chickens, quilts, name it, its a project. If interested--show up!! We normally meet the third Thursday of each month. Although we are in Clinton County, kids of any county can join our club.

If you are in Missouri, but not in our area, but interested in 4H, go to the Missouri state 4H website  On the left side, enter your county.  Then, click on club info.  If no clubs come up, call your local 4H extension office.

4H is WONDERFUL and is easily incorporated into homeschooling. There are projects for every subject, and if you can't find your subject,  create your own as a self determined project.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Field Trip review Deanna Rose Children's Farm in Overland Park KS

Yesterday our homeschool coop took a field trip to the Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park KS.  If you haven't been there, you need to go.  It was our first visit and we loved it.  We thought it would be more for younger kids, but the teens had just as much fun, as did the adults.  If you go Monday-Thursday, it is free.  Parking is up close, and there is a place outside to sit and eat, so you can take your own lunch and leave and return to the park with very little walking.

These are the bigger goats, which you can feed goat feed to, out of your hand.

Begging for a  free handout.

The homestead has over 200 animals, a school house, milking barn, chicken coop, barn, General store, bank, gardens and much more.  Most activities are hands on.  They close at 5 p.m. and right before they close, they have a goat race, which is very entertaining.

This little house was inside one of the gardens.  It is lined with wire fencing.  I think it would make a cute house for a sandbox.  You could tarp the roof or plant a vine over it.  The wire fencing would keep cats out of the sandbox....

Another cute little house in the children's garden.

The farmstead also features an Kanza (Kaw) Indian round mound house.  The staff member that was in the Indian house was an actual Indian, and full of information.  We spent over an hour in the house listening to her as she explained how it was built and a bit about the culture.  The house was 40 ft round, perfectly insulated and could sleep 45 people.  Inside it were skins, furs, and many tools.  I could have listened to her talk for another hour!

The park is all paved, very easy for a wheelchair or stroller to get around.  It has lots of benches in the shade to sit and rest and a playground park for the kids.

We've been busy learning "outside the box"

Like many homeschooling families, we don't just study a text book.  In fact, this year, we have NO text books as we are using computer based SOS.  Having our core subjects on the computer has its advantages--first, if we are away from home, it is much simpler to take a laptop vs 7 text books, and second, the girls are getting keyboarding and typing experience.

 We also use other resources for our schooling, such as scouts, youth group, volunteer work and 4H to name a few.  Last weekend, Rebecca and I went to Stewart MO for her to compete in the state .22 shoot which she and her fellow county 4H team had qualified for.  It was a huge event, and I do mean huge.  60 kids at a time shot their .22 on the range, and there were several sets to go through.  Meanwhile, other areas of the range had trap shooting, archery, pistol, hunting skills, air rifle....all going on at the same time.  Some kids were involved in several different activities. 
She shot the 4P (positions) which are standing, sitting, kneeling and prone.
The white boxes ahead are their targets.  She was number 23

Thru 4H and my husband, she has learned gun safety and maintenance as well as shooting.  She is now my snake shooter here on the farm.  Snakes can be a real problem when you have chickens and rabbits.
 I was impressed with the kids, their skills and their behavior.  I think I also lost some weight that day!  1/4 mile walk from where we parked to the club house, then a 1 mile hike to where she had to register to shoot.  Many families took wagons to haul all their guns and gear in, however, no wagon will fit in my little car, which isn't much bigger than a wagon!  It was chilly and overcast, but the rain held off until after we were finished.  We should get the results in a week or so as to how she and her team did.  I am confident that if she had to hunt for her own food, she could do it.

Meanwhile, my one publicschooler, Emily, was also learning outside of the classroom.  I pulled her out of school for 2 days so she could take an online class and a 2 day workshop and testing for the American Heart Association.  She passed with flying colors, and is now one of the  youngest (16) American Heart Association Instructors.  She can teach various CPR levels, all the first aid classes, blood-borne pathogens and more.  She can teach her own classes or assist me when I have a large class that requires a second instructor.  The instructor workshop is one that many adults do NOT pass, so I am proud of her.  


Thursday, September 13, 2012

If you have G rated DVD's to pass on.....

Someone has stolen all the DVD's from the Infusion Room at Texas Children's Hospital. When children with cancer are receiving inpatient chemo, these are the movies they watch. The Layla Grace Foundation is collecting G rated DVD's - used is fine - to replenish the library.

Please send them to:
Layla Grace Foundation
12320 Barker Cypress Rd
Suite 600 #264
Cypress, Tx 77429

Through the end of September.

Multi-region (from overseas) DVD's won't work. Their players are old. Thanks to the people who have asked.

After September, please use the below address:

Texas Children's Clinical Care Center
Floor 3; Ste. 350
6701 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

On Sunday I participated as a volunteer EMT for the Kansas City Memorial 9/11 stair climb.  It was an awesome, very rewarding experience.  Just the opening ceremony alone was enough to bring a person to tears, especially when the bagpipers started playing Amazing Grace.

343 firefighters from 68 departments and 7 states participated in the climb of 110 flights of stairs.

Yesterday and today, we have skipped some of our regular homeschooling to watch the numerous TV programs of 9-11.  My girls remember when this happened.  We will NOT forget.

Our homeschool coop is changing it up a bit

At least for this semester, our homeschool coop is changing direction.  Instead of having all traditional in house weekly classes, we are adding 2 field trips a month.  So, on week 1, we have coop and learn about what we will be doing on week 2, and on week 2 we will have a field trip.  On week 3, we will discuss what we learned on week 2 and do an appropriate reinforcement activity, and discuss what we will see on week 4.  The kids will be divided up by age groups so the learning will be on their levels.

I am looking forward to it as there are many things in the Kansas City area I haven't seen or taken the girls to yet.  Some of our field trips will be free ones, others won't, but doing it with coop means we will qualify as a school group and get a group rate.

On regular coop meeting days, we will continue to meet at our Independence MO location.
On field trip weeks, we will meet at our field trip location.

So far, its not too late to join, so if you want more information--contact me.  Fees are $10 per family for the semester, plus any field trip fees (and sack lunches).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Clay County MO and 4H

For anyone living in Clay County, Missouri and interested in joining 4H, there is an open house Thurs., Sept. 13 at 6:00 at the Earnest shepherd Youth Center.

This event is designed to give prospective members an opportunity to learn about the various clubs in Clay County.  You will get to meet with the club leaders and other members and get an introduction to what 4H is exactly.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Today we held the creation workshop for homeschoolers.  We had between 54 and 57 in attendance (depending on who counted).  We had kids, parents, Grandparents and educators.  It was a great group of kids--very very well behaved.  The kids asked some pretty good questions throughout the workshop and some of the adults gave some very good information as well.

One of the creatures we discussed was the black and yellow garden spider, and currently one has set up housekeeping outside one of our garage doors.  I thought of capturing her, and taking her with me, but as I got closer to her with a jar, she seemed to get bigger and meaner looking.  So she stayed home.

Another creature we discussed was the humming bird, which we have several of this year here at the farm.  After they move on this winter, I am going to get one of their nest (I know what tree they are in from watching them) and next time I will have some items for the kids to look at.

Lewis and Clark are in St Joseph MO

Press Release -  For Immediate Release
St. Joseph,MO Visitors Bureau

Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition Returns to
St. Joseph September 7-9th.


Andrea George,Remington Nature Center manager, 816-676-3204.
Tom Ronk, Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition - 573-690-0930

St. Joseph, MO - August 27, 2012- The Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition will be returning to St. Joseph on Friday, Sept 7th by way of the Missouri River.  The expedition consisting of 2 replica Lewis & Clark Pirogues (boats), one 41 feet long and the other 39 feet long, will arrive at the grounds of theRemington Nature Center Friday afternoon.

Open Camp will be held from 9am-2pm Saturday, Sept 8, 2012 near the Remington Nature Center (RNC). During this time the public is invited to see firsthand how Lewis and Clark traveled into Northwest Missouri over 200 years ago; Learn about their boats, the weapons they used, what they wore, and many other elements. This amazing history will come alive before your eyes!

The Open Camp will include the following demonstrations and educational programs, and are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Uniforms and Weapons
Rope Making
Fire Making
View the Pirogues
1804 Medicine

Though Open Camp demonstrations are only going to be held between 9am- 2pm on Saturday, the public is invited to walk through camp and talk to the many re-enactors at other times between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Sunday, the boats will departSt. Joseph at approximately 8-8:30 am, and camp will break down between 9am-10am.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition is sponsored by the RemingtonNature Center and the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau. This event will be located on the grounds of the RNC. Guests who wish to tour the RNC or use the restroom facilities will need to pay admission: $3 for adults, $2 for seniors 60 and over, and $1 for youth ages 4-15. Children 3 and under are free. Anyone 15 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. Public restroom facilities are located near the boat ramp. The RNC is located at 1502 MacArthur Drive ·St. Joseph, MO 64505.  

Lewis andClark Expedition Schedule: Subject to weather & river conditions.

Arrival at approximately 12 noon on Friday, September 7, 2012. Will land at French Bottoms boat ramp, near RNC. The expedition will camp near the RNC that evening. The expedition will leave on Sunday, September 9, as they continue their journey on theMissouri River. More info on the expedition and boats can be found at

About St. Joseph, MO Visitors Bureau

The St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau was established byBuchanan County voters in the spring of 1993 with the purpose of advertising and promoting tourism in Buchanan County, Missouri. The CVB is governed by a board of seven members and is a political subdivision of the Buchanan County Commission.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade: It has been rather warm here lately...and we have been enjoying watermelon in salads, for dessert and even in our drinks. A nice cold glass ...

I tried this and it is gooood.

A Thought to Ponder

Remember, today's might oak tree is yesterday's nut that held its ground.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Despite some rain, our burn ban continues

Our county has been under a burn ban since June.

We have had a few sprinkles of rain here and there, and finally had a good stead rain for about 30 hours last week, but its not enough.  My husband noticed that the rain looked like more than it really was--no water was running in the ditches, and the ponds didn't come up any.  Several in our area have ponds that are completely empty, and even after the rain, the ponds are still completely empty--not even a puddle in them.  In fact, the only puddles we had after the rain were on concrete or in the driveway where the rocks slowed the water down.  And, even those puddles were short lived.  In fact, even after the 30 hour steady rain, if you go outside and dig a hole in the ground, only the top 2 inches of dirt are even damp.  A good part of the rain water was absorbed by plant roots and ran into cracks in the ground.  We needed a lot more than we got, but are thankful for what we did it--which was just enough for the weeds to grow (not the grass-just weeds), so I will be mowing soon, which I have not done since July 1.

If you are in NW Missouri, the burn ban status can be seen here.  As of now:

Burn Bans In Effect

Clinton County – All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks is prohibited by order of the Clinton County Commission.
City of Cameron and Cameron Rural Fire Protection District – All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks is prohibited.
Plattsburg Fire Protection District, Including the City of Plattsburg: All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks is prohibited.
Caldwell County – All Burning and Discharge of fireworks is prohibited by order of the Caldwell County Commission.
Daviess County – All Burning is prohibited, the discharge of fireworks is highly discouraged.
Grundy County – All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks is prohibited.
Livingston County – All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks is prohibited.
Harrison County – All Burning is prohibited.
Gentry County – All Burning and Discharge of Fireworks prohibited effective 7/5/2012.
Atchison County – All Burning is prohibited.
Holt County – All Burning is prohibited.
Buchanan County – All burning is prohibited.
City of Osborn – Voluntary Water Use Restriction.
City of Braymer - Voluntary Water Use Restriction.
Other restrictions and bans will be added when they are issued. Please Check this page often for further information.

People are under the (wrong) impression that because we got some rain, they can burn.  As a result, there have been fires.  Some friends of ours lost their woodpile and part of their back yard while burning trash.  A house fire was started as the result of shooting off fireworks. Several fields have been lost by people throwing a cigarette out the window or farmers burning brush.  The trees are dry and easy to ignite.  Corn is dead and dry in the fields and burns easily.  A large fire in Braymer was started as the result of a lawn mower hitting a rock, creating a spark.
This corn should be a deep dark healthy green.  It should not be brown and crunchy....

What does that mean for farmers??  Well, the corn crop is gone--many farms in the area have already taken their corn in (some simply to lessen the fire hazard), other corn is brown and dead still in the field.  Depending on when the soybeans were planted, some might make it, for others who planted early due to the mild winter, they have lost their beans.  Ponds are low or gone, forcing some farmers to water their stock by well water or purchased water.  Some have even sold part of their cattle and hogs to avoid having to haul water.  Cattle who use trees for shade have lost some or all of their shade as many trees have died, depending on the tree type as some require more rain than others.  Gardens are pretty much dead or only produces a portion of what they normally would have with rain and cooler temps.
More dead, ruined corn

So,  What does that mean to you then?
Well, in turn, the grocery prices will be going up, and feed will be going up (especially the feeds that contain corn and soybeans).  Milk prices will be going up (cows eat corn and drink water).  Since the rain wasn't enough, many areas continue to have water shortages and people are fined if they water their lawn, garden, fill a pool or wash a car.  The water is needed for fire protection, drinking, cooking, and bathing.  If the drought continues, water prices will also be going up.
We lost several fruit trees.  This should be loaded with huge juicy apples.  Instead, it has a few hard tart apples.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We have the pitter patter of tiny new hooves...

Nothing a farmer likes more than to come home and find a new calf.
 We haven't been able to get to close to it to check, "undercarriage", but by the neck line and square lines of the head, we are thinking it is a little bull.  We have named it Liberty, since we were in Liberty when it was born.  (Aren't we original with our names?)

Here is the proud momma and daddy.  Don't tell daddy, but he is next in line for the deep freeze, probably some time this winter.  The rest of our herd is Angus, so we are slowly phasing out the Charolais and Shorthorns.  I think we are going to have another calf in a few months, judging on the appearance of one of the Angus ladies.

Our cows are rather spoiled at times.  I am not sure they even are aware they are cows.  I think they think they are large dogs.

Last night we had sweet corn and one of the girls threw the husks over the fence for the cows.  This morning JD saw one of the ladies at the fence eating it, with a smug look on her face.  He noticed she didn't let on to the others what she had.  To them, its like candy.  She kept it a secret and didn't share any.

Saturday, September 1, 2012