Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Harvest Trends

Not only did we manage apple harvest yesterday, but we managed a bit of walnut harvest. We also got more than we bargained for! I like to call moments like these, Missouri Moments, because they are just so incredible.

Brother and Sister Miller came out and Brother Miller demonstrated how to harvest black walnuts. He shimmied right up the tree and started jumping around in the branches. Down came the nuts! If only apples could be harvested this easily! (Isn't he just amazing!?!)
And down came the tent caterpillars!
From a distance it looked like the Apple Farmer was holding up an intricate seed pod - there are a lot of intricate seed pods in Missouri, too. I turned around and wasn't paying much attention to what he was holding. He came up behind me and told me to check it out. I turned around and right in the front of my nose was this! If I was 10 years older than I am now, I would have had a heart attack that would have killed me. But instead, my heart tried to jump up my throat, along with my lunch. Being that I am quiet youthful at my advancing age and stage, I managed to control these faculties and keep all things where they were meant to stay.

The Courage of the Fearless Crew

Human Resources and the Attorney ran out to the packing shed yesterday morning, and on their way out they found this:

They checked with the neighbors who were already setting up the apple process in the packing shed. They said the kitten didn't belong to any of their barns. Sometimes one farmer's barn cat may set up residence at another farmer's barn. It's happened before at our farm - so the two boys checked with everyone first before they came running into the house declaring their mission of mercy to save the poor little abandoned furball. I think the Attorney may have even mentioned something about a business tax write off.... my memory is a little fuzzy on this - it all happened so quickly! Next think I knew, it had food, water and a name! Our big orange tabby, Skipper, needed a 'little buddy,' so meet Gilligan! Now, too bad we aren't all marooned an a deserted island!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wet Weather Brings About Webbed Feet!

Last week turned out to be a pretty grueling week in the apple business portion of our lives. Yesterday, however, a little visitor served as a great reminder to be grateful for the little things that come our way. In this case, a 'little' green frog was what it took to remind me to not let an abundance of apples get in the way of enjoying motherhood and the simple curiosity of my children!

The Attorney "You can't argue with a Frog!"
Tailgate Safety meeting: Unfortunately, the Safety Program does not include any procedures for slimey green things that hop around.
The President: "Buy a bushel of apples and get a genuine Green Frog free!"
Her Royal Highness -"What if I kissed it.....?"

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good

As members of our branch, we have the pure joy of associating with some very dear couple missionaries who serve an 18 month mission at a nearby church history site. This past Sunday we bade farewell to 5 of the 11-12 couples who completed their missions. Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures of all of these wonderful couples, but I was able to take these pictures. This is Her Royal Highness, with Elder and Sister Christensen. These couples arrived just a couple weeks prior to Her Majesty's birth. Elder Christensen had a way with Royalty and was often found at the end of a meeting block with a sweet little pink thing curled up on his chest, sound asleep. Sister Christensen is such an inspiration and had a very quiet and gentle way in her relations with others! I really miss these wonderful people!

Now here is another wonderful couple! This is Elder and Sister Peterson. Sister Peterson just glows! Everywhere she goes she scatters sunshine. A sister in our branch once talked about 'Motherhood Heroes,' and Sister Peterson is one of mine! Never a negative word escapes her lips. Sister Peterson is also an amazing organist and her very last Sunday playing Postlude music, she played two of my favorite pieces - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, and From thou Font of Every Blessing! I like to think she did it just for me!

Elder and Sister Rucker are so dynamic! Sister Rucker was always so encouraging and sweet! She is also one who goes the extra mile in her service to the church and in her family. I had the privilege of receiving some beautifully colored and laminated stories and games for FHE and church - I will treasure these forever!

Our closing hymn last Sunday was, "God be With you Till We Meet Again." I don't think there was a dry eye in the chapel when we finished. Another hymn that reflects what is in my heart is called, "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good."

Each life that touches ours for good

Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;

Thou sendest blessings from above

Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,

What greater goodnes can we know

Than Christ-like Friends, whose gentle ways

Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs,

We hold forever in our hearts

A sweet and hallowed memory,

Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim

Devotion to the Savior's name,

Who bless our days with peace and love,

We praise they goodness, Lord above.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crazy Men Drivers!

Its the Apple Farmer! It looks like he is posing cooperatively for a picture, but he is really driving backwards (he is also not watching where he is going - so I can say that we are really thankful for wide open spaces here on the farm)!
This is our pug. It has given us many interesting challenges this season - and we are only 2 weeks into our season! It doesn't like to start. In this picture, though, it is actually running! Yes, the Apple Farmer is driving with no hands. Can you find 19 bushels of apples? Speaking of The Apple Farmer's driving skills, the Attorney has some interesting driving skills of his own. I kept telling him he was just not old enough to drive the pug, but he was certain that since Human Resources could drive it, he could. Finally I gave in and gave him a driving lesson. All was going pretty well, until our second apple pick-up. The Attorney landed us in two apple trees. We were lucky that we still had our eyeballs. The trees are much lighter now, since the Attorney lightened their loads. Shaken up, I sat in awe as The Attorney plead his case on why he is still a perfectly good driver! Fortunately for him, he is still allowed to drive the Golf Cart.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Princess and the Pee

Guess what happened at our house today!

Autumn Bounty!

Went to the produce auction today. The apples didn't do great but they did a lot better. This is some beautiful Indian corn that I won at auction, and I also won a bunch of great pumpkins! It was loads of fun decorating!
Here are some of our apples on display. I'm still working on filling up the produce tables. Can you see some of the great pumpkins and gourds up above the tables?

This is a beautiful chest of drawers made by one of our Amish neighbors. It is an amazing piece of furniture, standing maybe 18 inches tall. The chest on the left of the bench is also his. I'm hoping we can sell a bunch of these for him.

It's the Attorney and he is sitting next to his favorite pumpkin!! He is growing so fast!

The Big Long Straw

Hmmm, I wonder why the Apple Farmer has such a loooooong straw. I wonder why Brother Miller is smiling so big.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Once Upon an Apple

Here is a fun apple story that one of the neighbors copied down from their Amish newsletter and gave to me. Its really cute!

Granny Smith had a son Jonathan who was a Northern Spy. Down on Wolf River lived McIntosh whose maiden Blush was a Cortland Jonathan. She thought of him as a Jonalicious with pockets full of Jon-a-Gold. An early Transparent wedding was performed with him wearing a Mutsa. She was a Rome Beauty, wearing a Winesap, eating a Banana and he thought she was Honey Crisp. They had three appleys name Gala, Paula Red and Fuji.

After 25 Red and Yellow Delicious years they put em all in a jar and had apple butter and bean soup. And lived Apple-y ever after.