Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


 It's been too long since we've seen raindrops. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fox Meadows Creamery

While I was in Pennsylvania, Judith and the kids introduced me to Fox Meadow Creamery, a family-owned enterprise, where the ice cream is churned from milk produced by cows on the farm right down the road. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016


I tacked a couple of days onto my trip to Pennsylvania for Kendra's wedding. Julie and I managed to make the most of our vacation together. We attended church in Spanish, picked eight quarts of strawberries, hiked on the Appalachian Trail, dined at a cafe in Boiling Springs, shopped at a thrift store, watched dvds, and shared ice cream. It was a good visit. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Double yellow

 Pennsylvanians tend to have a less-literal interpretation of double-yellow lines than Michiganders. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016


Kendra walking down the aisle with her dad
On Saturday, I had the privilege of witnessing as my friend Kendra became the wife of Merle Swartzentruber. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016


 Naomi shared this photo with me. Charlie always gets excited when he sees me, so I don't have any photos of him as a lazy dog.

Friday, June 17, 2016

On campus

 There are some beautiful places to take a lunchtime stroll on campus. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Man vs. nature

My garden is a story of the age-old struggle of man against nature.
Take for example my pepper plants. Granted, the little plants that I started from seed didn't have much of a chance when I transplanted them outside. But, just to be sure, the rabbits polished them off. 

So, I stopped at a greenhouse and picked out a pack of four thriving plants (25% off sale), which I tenderly set in my garden. Three of the four plants were later destroyed by a skunk rooting for a nightly meal of grubs. 

I have one pepper plant.

There's also the saga of my tomato plants. I got a little carried away when I started the seeds indoors--I ended up with around ninety, small, tomato plants. I planted a few, saved a few extras and gave two flats to my parents. It's a good thing I saved extras. 

To summarize the past two weeks: I planted; rabbits ate; I replanted, sprayed with rabbit repellent and erected cages; skunk rooted; I replanted; Charlie tangled his line in two tomato cages; I sighed and replanted. 

I have five remaining tomato plants on my front porch, just in case. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


 Last week we tried kabobs (and potatoes) on the grill. 

Monday, June 13, 2016


 I happened by the library last week and noticed a dumpster full of texts. It wasn't the titles that caught my eye--it was the colors.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Baling hay

There were four guys, two pick-up trucks, four tractors, a skid steer, a telehandler and multiple wagons in the field across the road from my parents' house when I returned from work yesterday.

I grabbed my camera, iPhone and a pair of earplugs and ran out to catch a ride in the tractor. Brian assured me that I would get lots of hits if I documented their hay operation, which is probably true once Joel and Austin discover this post.

Baling the 20-acre field across the road marks the beginning of first-cutting hay for the summer. It's also the testing ground for equipment that the guys pulled into the shop for maintenance during the winter.

The hay crew cut the field on Monday, only to have it rained on that evening. But, the weather was warm and breezy later in the week and by Friday the hay was dry. A few years ago, the crew would have spent at least two long, hot, exhausting days putting up the hay in the field across the road. Now, the accumulator, bale wagon and grapple, have reduced the amount that bales have to be handled by hand, allowing the crew to finish raking and baling the entire field in one afternoon and evening.

In this video, Dad is driving the Allis Chalmers 7045 with the New Holland BC5070 Baler. In the past, there would be a wagon hooked behind the baler and the crew would stack every bale. Now, the bales are baled directly on the ground and later picked up by the accumulator (not featured, since it broke before I returned from work) or the bale wagon (see the second video).

Next, Brian operates the Allis Chalmers 7010 with the New Holland 1030 Bale Wagon. After Dad bales the hay, Brian uses the bale wagon to pick up the bales and stack them in piles, which will later be loaded onto trailers and wagons (see the last video).

Finally, Logan uses the skid steer and a grapple to load bales onto the trailer, which is behind the Ford F250 pick-up truck driven by farmer friend Harry. All the bales will be stacked on wagons or trailers and pulled into one of the barns before the hay crew retires for the night.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Grilled pizza

 Logan suggested that we try pizza on the grill for Kids' Night Off (our parents were gone for the evening). So, Logan, Naomi and I did. We made barbecue chicken pizza, which Brian, Josh and Betsy helped us eat. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mushroom farm

I decided I wanted to try mushroom farming.

So, after some research on the internet, I ordered shiitake mushroom spores. Aaron set aside a cherry log for me, and Betsy helped me drill holes, insert the spore pellets, and seal up the holes with wax. Now all I do is wait. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tunnel park

While visiting Holland, Aunt Phyllis, Mom, Naomi and I ventured to Tunnel Park to dip our toes in Lake Michigan. Aunt Phyllis was a bit miffed at Naomi and I that we didn't "discover" the tunnel until after she'd climbed the flights of stairs up and over the dune. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


My garden produced all-natural weeds.